Algerian Publishing House (1940–1952)

By Melanie Riches Wixwat

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Melanie Riches Wixwat, B.B.A. (Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan), currently lives in Beirut, Lebanon with her husband Michael, the treasurer for Middle East and North Africa Union (MENAU). She is administrative assistant to the president and the executive secretary of MENAU in addition to working as assistant to the regional editor for the ESDA project. One of her hobbies is studying Arabic and this has led her to be involved with one of the local Arabic Adventist Churches in Beirut.

First Published: February 28, 2021

The spread of the Adventist message in Algeria before its independence from the French in 1962 in part occurred through literature evangelism work and distribution of Bibles and Adventist magazines such as the Revue Adventiste.1

In 1908 Joseph Abella, at the age of 16, went to Algeria, North Africa, as the first official colporteur.2 Others followed, and by 1929 12 colporteurs were selling of literature under a Brother Bard, leader of the local field.3 In 1930 Jules Rey (superintendent of the North Africa Union Mission NAUM) began publishing Arabic literature for the indigenous population, enrolling several young people in the colporteur program.4

No official publishing entity existed in Algeria, however, until 1940 when the NAUM began operating the Algerian Publishing House in Algiers. It began without facilities and functioned as a depository only from 1933 to 1939. After 1935 it reported both book and periodical sales, and in 1940 the church designated it as a publishing house. However, no new reports on the house’s activity appeared until 1948, when the sales from books and one periodical title totalled $25,000. The volume of sales reached its highest peak in 1950 at nearly $40,000. However, sales declined, and after 1952 the publishing house closed.5

Sources

“Annual Statistical Reports.” Office of Archives, Statistics and Research (online), 1932-1952. Accessed January 27, 2022. https://documents.adventistarchives.org/Search/Pages/results.aspx?k=algerian&u=https://documents.adventistarchives.org/Statistics/ASR&s=Entire%20Online%20Archives.

“From our Correspondents.” ARH, January 2, 1930.

Pleniceanu, Doru. “L’implantation du mouvement adventiste en Algérie: 1905-1962.” Master thesis, Campus adventiste du Salève, Collonges, 2002.

Schubert, G. W., “Successful Colporteurs.” ARH, August 15, 1929.

Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia. Second revised edition. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1996. S.v. “Algerian Publishing House.”

Notes

  1. Doru Pleniceanu, “L’implantation du mouvement adventiste en Algérie: 1905-1962” (M.A. thesis, Salève Adventist University, 2002), 68.

  2. Ibid., 61.

  3. G. W. Schubert, “Successful Colporteurs,” ARH, August 15, 1929, 29.

  4. “From our Correspondents,” ARH, January 2, 1930, 2.

  5. Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia (1996), s.v. “Algerian Publishing House”; “Annual Statistical Reports,” Office of Archives, Statistics and Research, 1932-1952, accessed January 27, 2022, https://documents.adventistarchives.org/Search/Pages/results.aspx?k=algerian&u=https://documents.adventistarchives.org/Statistics/ASR&s=Entire%20Online%20Archives.

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Wixwat, Melanie Riches. "Algerian Publishing House (1940–1952)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. February 28, 2021. Accessed November 24, 2022. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=9DYJ.

Wixwat, Melanie Riches. "Algerian Publishing House (1940–1952)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. February 28, 2021. Date of access November 24, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=9DYJ.

Wixwat, Melanie Riches (2021, February 28). Algerian Publishing House (1940–1952). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved November 24, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=9DYJ.