The Publishing work in South-East European Union Conference (SEEUC) is made up of three entities: 1) Publishing House “Preporod” (established in 1919, situated in Radoslava Grujića 4, Belgrade, Serbia); 2) Printing House “Euro Dream” (established in 2008, situated in Industrijska zona bb, Nova Pazova, Serbia); and 3) Bookstore “Knjigolovka” (established in 2016, situated in Njegoševa 19, Belgrade, Serbia).
Publishing House “Preporod”
The publishing activity in Serbian and other South Slavs languages predates the organization of the Adventist church in this area. In 1892 an Adventist-Lutheran-Calvinist Society for publishing and popularization of Christian literature was set up in the city of Zrenjanin (at that time Veliki Bečkerek). This was a joint initiative of Pastor Ludwig Richard Conradi and Pastor Joszef Szalay (of the Reform church). The first brochures in Serbian were printed in the Adventist Publishing House in Hamburg, Germany. By 1896 the Serbian edition of Steps to Christ by Ellen White had been translated and published.
In 1907 Pastor Petar Todor began to spread Adventist message in Velika Kikinda, Serbia. He published the Adult Bible Lessons and the first Adventist official church periodical Poslednja objava (The Last Proclamation). This publishing activity was moved from Velika Kikinda to Novi Sad, Serbia, in 1910 when it was entrusted to Pastors Robert Schillinger and Albin Močnik as editors and publishers. Until the end of the First World War the publishing work in Serbia functioned as the branch of Hamburg Publishing House.
In 1919 the well-known publisher Gavra Šašić from Novi Sad founded “Nakladno Drustvo.
G. Sagie i komp” (Publishing Society G. Šašić and Company) which operated in Novi Sad until 1931.1 The members of its first Publishing Board were Robert Schillinger, B. Krstić, A. Močnik, M. Ludewig. Rozalija Madacki served as manager and treasurer.
In 1931 the Adventist Publishing Society was moved to Belgrade and was given a new name “Preporod,” which has been kept till today. It was entered into the Court register under No. 33959/31 on May 15, 1931.2 The publishing house contributed greatly to the advance of the Adventist work in Yugoslavia.
Together with its branch, established later in Zagreb under the name of “Life and Health,” the Publishing House was active until the early years of World War II. After the war the publishing of Adventist literature was renewed and overseen directly by the Church and its Main Board Committee.
The Union Department for publishing activity was founded in 1965 with Pastor Mirko Golubić as manager and editor-in-chief. In 1969 and 1970 two branch publishing houses were established, “Znaci vremena” and “Život i zdravlje,” both situated in Zagreb. In 1972 the Publishing House was reorganized. Pastor Antonije Kanački was appointed as director and Milan Šušljić as editor.
From 1920 to 2020 the following made their contribution to the running of the Publishing House “Preporod” as directors: Rozalija Madacki (1920-1921); Nikola Slankamenac (1921-1924); Gavra Šašić (1924-1927); Robert Schillinger (1927-1928); Pavle Brenwald (1928-1932); Milan Trifunac (1932-1933); Walter Schupnik (1933-1944); Mirko Golubić (1968-1971); Antonije Kanački (1971-1975); Velimir Šubert (1975-1980); Dušan Radosavljević (1980-1985); Jovan Lorencin (1985-1991); Tomislav Stefanović (1992-1994); Miodrag Živanović (1994-2007); Siniša Maljik (2007-2008); Dragan Pejovski (2008-2017); Union Office (Đorđije Trajkovski, Igor Bosnić, Slađana Grozdić) (2017-2019); Saša Todoran (2019- )
Books and Magazines
Publishing activity in the South Slavs languages started at the end of the nineteenth century with publishing a few brochures Verovati ili nagađati (Believe or Speculate), Deca videla (The Children of Light), Potpuna vera (Complete Faith), Zašto je ovo bilo otkriveno tako kasno (Why was this discovered so late?) and the book Steps to Christ by Ellen White (1896), printed in Hamburg. The only known sample of this first edition of the book Steps to Christ in the Serbian language is being kept in the Hungarian National Library in Budapest.3 The book Steps to Christ was translated by Marijan Hanžeković and published by the Yugoslavian Publishing House in 1921 in Novi Sad.
In fall of 1909 Pastor Petar Todor, from Velika Kikinda, started the first Seventh-day Adventist magazine in Serbian Posljednja objava (Last Post), with information intended for church members. Unfortunately, its publication ceased the following year because of Peter Todor’s ill health. In 1910, at the initiative of the church leadership, an editorial board composed of Robert Schillinger, Vladimir Koh and Albin Močnik launched a new magazine Serbski radenik (The Serbian Worker) in Novi Sad. It changed its name several times, but its content always stayed the same. It was a magazine for teaching and informing church members about events and activities in the Church and beyond. In 1914 its name was changed to Sionska straža (Sion Guard); in 1917 to Misijski poslanik (The Mission Envoy), and again in 1922 to Glasnik (The Adventist Review). Its publication was interrupted at the outbreak of the World War II and resumed in 1956.
In 1910 the first edition of the magazine Znaci vremena (Signs of the Times) was published with Albin Močnik as chief editor. It was the first outreach magazine intended for the public. It was in continuous circulation until interruption due to World War II. Its publication was renewed in 1969 with editorial work done by Nikola Strahinić.
Between the two world wars the publishing of the following magazines also started: Život i zdravlje (Life and Health; 1926-1940; 1970-to the present day), Preporod (Revival; 1928-1941), Vest mira (The Message of Peace), Dobri Samarjanin (Good Samaritan). Periodicals were published in the following languages: Serbian, Croatian, Slovenian, Macedonian, Hungarian, and Romanian.
The editorial work on a new church hymnal (Hrišćanske himne) and a new course for the Bible Correspondence School was entrusted to one of the union directors of the responsible department (of both of these publications Lazar Slankamenac was the editor).
For more than 100 years the preparation and publishing of Adventist literature have been undertaken by many devoted and diligent workers. Due to incomplete data, we can name only some of them.
Glasnik (The Adventist Review) Chief Editors: Petar Todor (1909-1910); Robert Schillinger (1910-1921); Nikola Slankamenac (1922-1923); Albin Močnik (1923-1932); Nikola Slankamenac (1932-1933); Albin Močnik (1933-1934); Anton Lorencin (1934-1935); Albin Močnik (1935-1940); Anton Lorencin (1940-1942); Mirko Golubić (1956-1970); Milan Šušljić (1970-1990); Jovan Lorencin (1990-1994); Radiša Antić (1994-2003); Radivoje Vladisavljević (2003-2004); Miodrag Živanović (2004-2009); Đorđije Trajkovski (2009-2019); Želimir Stanić (2019-).
Since 1990 the union president has formally been the editor in chief of Glasnik, while the day-to-day editing has been carried out by the deputy editors.
Znaci vremena (Signs of the Times) Chief Editors: Albin Močnik (1910-1913); E. Jovanović (1914); Nikola Strahinjić (1969-1972); Milan Šušljić (1972-1975, in Serbian); Velimir Šubert (1972-1975, in Croatian); Tomislav Stefanović (1976-1985); Zdravko Šorđan (1986-1987); Božidar Lazić (1988-1993); Zdravko Šorđan (1994-1995); Božidar Lazić (1996-1999); Aleksandar Santrač (2000-2006); Laslo Galus (2006-2009); Dragan Grujičić (2010-2019); Pavle Runić (2019- ).
Život i zdravlje (Life and Health) Chief Editors: Gavra Šašić (1926-1928); Albin Močnik (1929-1932, in Serbian), Mirko Golubić (1929-1932, in Croatian); Anton Lorencin (1933); Albin Močnik (1934-1938, in Serbian); Mirko Golubić (1934-1938, in Croatian); Anton Lorencin (1939); Mirko Golubić (1940); Slavko Čop, Tomislav Stefanović (1972-1992); Božidar Lazić (1992-1999); Dragoslava Santrač (2000-2006); Branislav Hačko (2006-2010); Vlado Havran (2013- ).
In addition to several periodicals, the SEEUC Publishing House publishes worship materials, Sabbath School Lessons for adults and children, and evangelistic literature. Besides six brochures and the book Steps to Christ, several books of L. R. Conradi were made available to church members. For example, his book His Glorious Appearing (1909) had several editions in different languages. In Serbian it was titled Slavna pojava Hristova.4
Other highly productive writers whose books published by “Preporod” include: Albin Močnik, 1920’s and 1930’s; Anton Lorencin and Mirko Golubić, in the 1950’s when the publishing activity of Seventh-day Adventist Church was restarted in Yugoslavia; Blagoje Samardžija and Pavle Borović, most published authors by “Preporod”; and Anton Lorencin, who wrote Srećna porodica (Happy Family) with 200,000 copies printed in 1967.
In 1980 The Union Board set up a Department for the Spirit of Prophecy writings with the aim of accelerating the translating and publishing in the South Slavs languages of Ellen White’s writings. Pastor Milan Šušljić was appointed as the first head of this department. Prior to the setting up of the Department, the following books of Ellen White had been translated and published: Steps to Christ (1930), Great Controversy (1944), Desire of Ages (1950), Testimony Treasures (1959).
A number of books published by “Preporod” are available in many libraries, bookstores and at book fairs throughout the country. “Preporod” exhibits its publications at the International Book Fair in Belgrade on a regular basis. In 2016, at the 61st Belgrade International Book Fair, it won an award for its contribution to science with the book Mihajlo Pupin – Biggest Christian Among Scientists, supported by the Foundation Mladen Selak. In 2018 “Preporod” won an award at the Book Fair in Niš for the best graphically designed book Among Clouds and Stars. Another important project that provides “Preporod” with great opportunity to connect with people and spread its literature is literature evangelism at the seaside in Montenegro, where during the summer months around 11,000 books are sold every year.
As at the beginning of its work, “Preporod” retains the exalted and noble aim of publishing and distributing books that promote biblical values, healthy spiritual and physical life, books that help people get to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and prepare them for Christ’s second coming. There are approximately 20 new titles every year that help achieve this goal.
Printing House “Euro Dream”
At the beginning Publishing House “Preporod” was without a printing plant. At the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century materials were printed in the Adventist Printing House in Hamburg. Then the printing was done in commercial houses in Kraljevina Srba, Hrvata i Slovenaca, later Yugoslavia.
After the World War II, “Preporod” undertook the first printing work by itself using the small and simple A4-size Gestetner offset-printing machine. This method was used for printing children’s picture books, brochures and pamphlets. In 1968 and 1970, the first books, Nauka o spasenju (Teachings about salvation) by Dragiša Stojčević and Crkvena istorija (Church History) by Mirko Golubić, were printed on this machine by Stevan Omčikus. When this machine could no longer accommodate the growing publishing work, a Multilith Offset Printing Machine was purchased at the initiative of Nikola Kljajić and Janko Poljak in 1971. It was installed in the basement of the building in which the Publishing House “Preporod” and the Yugoslavian Union Conference were located (Božidara Adžije 4, Belgrade, Serbia, today Radoslava Grujića 4).
It was a difficult time. The printing had to be done in secrecy due to the lack of religious freedom in the country. The first printer working on the new printing press was Stevan Omčikus.5 After him came Svetislav Spasenović, and many others have followed working on the same printing press. Most publications for internal use were generally printed in Belgrade. That was an extremely extensive work for Preporod’s small printing crew because thousands of copies of Sabbath School Lessons and various magazines in several languages (Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, Slovenian, Hungarian) were printed and shipped to numerous destinations across the former Yugoslavia. Some other publications were still printed in state-owned publishing houses.
In 1994, when Pastor Miodrag Živanović became director of “Preporod,” new printing presses and finishing machines were purchased, and the printing work was expanded. Despite the difficult political situation in the country and international sanctions that were imposed, Živanović managed to buy a Heidelberg GTO printing machine. A year later, in 1995, he obtained a Heidelberg SORM. It was an important moment for the region when all publications started to be printed by “Preporod” in Belgrade, Serbia.65
In 2008 Alois Kinder, an Adventist businessman and benefactor from Austria, donated to the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Serbia a building located in Nova Pazova, 30 km from Belgrade. The headquarters of the Publishing House “Preporod” were moved there the same year. Two years later, in 2010, all the printing machines were moved to a large building of 1600 square meters. With this move the Printing House “Euro Dream” was established. The opening ceremony was held on October 19, 2010.7 “Euro Dream” serves the needs of South-East European Union. It prints Sabbath school quarterlies, periodicals, magazines, hymnbooks, tracts, Bibles (14,000 Bibles were printed in 2019 and 2020), and other materials needed by the church. Since its printing capacity exceeds the needs of the SEEUC, it also prints materials for other unions in the Trans-European Division.
In February 2020 the “Euro Dream” director Saša Todoran, in agreement with the SEEUC administrative board, bought a new Heidelberg printing press. The new press has contributed to better quality of printing, competitive prices and faster delivery with short deadlines. The result is that “Euro Dream” can meet the printing needs of many Adventist clients from all over Europe. Today, it is a modern printing house with four printing presses and several binding and finishing machines.
Bookstore “Knjigolovka” (Bookcase)
Wishing to find another effective way to spread the message, the Publishing House opened a bookstore “Knjigolovka” on March 23, 2016, at Makenzijeva 46 in Belgrade. It was the first Adventist bookstore in Serbia outside of the church building. Two years later it moved to Njegoševa 19, a better location in the city center area. It is a modern bookstore that offers books published by “Preporod” and other publishers.
Grujić, Nikola. “Knjižara Knjigolovka” [Bookstore “Knigolovka”]. Glasnik, no. 2, 2016.
Milić, Zoran. “EuroDream – novo ime u zoni u Novoj Pazovi” [EuroDream – a new name in Nova Pazova]. Pazovačko ogledalo, no. 3, October 2010.
Seventh-day Adventist Yearbooks. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1922-2018.
Šušljić, Milan. Bićete mi svedoci – Prilozi za istoriju Hrišćanske adventističke crkve na području jugoistočne Evrope [You will be my witnesses – essays on Adventist history in south-east Europe]. Belgrade, Preporod, 2004.
Živanović, Miodrag. Adventists Your Friends. Belgrade, Preporod, 2006.
Bjelajac, Branko. “Protestantism in Serbia.” Religion, State and Society, Vol. 30, No. 3, 2002.
Milosavljević, Radivoje Rade. “Master Planning for Church Growth in Serbia.” Ph.D. diss., Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, U.S.A., 2015.
Živanović, Miodrag. “Hvala Bogu što je moja baka kupila knjigu” [I thank God my grandmother bought that book]. Glasnik, no. 1, 2009.
In Seventh-day Adventist Yearbooks the Publishing house was listed as the “Yugoslavian Publishing House”.↩
Miodrag Živanović, Adventists Your Friends (Belgrade, Preporod, 2006), 56.↩
Milan Šušljić, Bićete mi svedoci – Prilozi za istoriju Hrišćanske adventističke crkve na području jugoistočne Evrope (Beograd, Serbia: Preporod, 2004), 107.↩
Stevan Omčikus, interview by author, Nova Pazova, October 8, 2020.↩
Miodrag Živanović, interview by author, Belgrade, October 27, 2020.↩
Milić, Zoran. “EuroDream - novo ime u zoni u Novoj Pazovi,” Pazovačko ogledalo, no. 3, October 2010.↩