Conversation: Arlyn Pember
Publishing to reach people
Arlyn Pember served in a variety of leadership roles during
his 43 years at the national headquarters of the Assemblies of God. He recently
retired as general manager of Gospel Publishing House and national director of
the Division of Publication. He and his wife, Linda, have two grown children:
Richard and Lynette. Pember spoke recently with Editor-in-Chief Hal Donaldson.
tpe: Were you raised in a Christian home?
PEMBER: I was raised in an Assemblies of God pastorÕs home.
When my father came to attend Central Bible Institute, I was 5 years old. Then
he pastored three churches in Kansas. Later I enrolled at CBC myself.
tpe: How was it that you came to headquarters?
PEMBER: I graduated with a degree in Christian Education
from CBC in 1966. I had been working at headquarters part-time in the Office of
Public Relations as a tour guide. I took a full-time position as assistant
circulation manager with the idea that IÕd work long enough to pay off my student
loan. As it turned out, I never left.
tpe: You had served as Customer Services manager and
Personnel director before becoming general manager of GPH. What attracted you
to GPH 11 years ago?
PEMBER: General Superintendent Thomas Trask invited me to
take the position, and I have always wanted to serve where needed. Also, GPH is
a go-to place for resources for our churches and those on the front lines of
ministry. Getting the gospel out to the world through the printed page has
provided a wonderful ministry opportunity for me. We mail out about 16 tons of
printed material every day, most of which is discipleship resources. It has
been a high honor to serve the Lord and this Fellowship in this capacity.
tpe: What should people know about GPH?
PEMBER: Hopefully they know itÕs not simply a business
venture. GPH and the people giving their lives to this cause are committed to
ministry. They are here to serve the Church, not just to receive a paycheck.
tpe: Are most of the GPH employees also active in a local
PEMBER: Yes, they teach Sunday School, host small groups,
lead childrenÕs ministry, sing in the choir and more. That helps them stay
tuned in to the needs of the local church.
tpe: What do you see in store for GPH?
PEMBER: GPH must consistently evolve in order to remain
relevant to the local church and the culture. That requires listening to the
grassroots and responding to their needs quickly.
tpe: There is a strong connection between GPH and ministry,
churches and their members are the stockholders of GPH. When they partner with
GPH, they are providing resources that enable the ministries of the Assemblies
of God to advance. One hundred percent of the earnings go toward funding
tpe: What are your fondest memories from working at
PEMBER: There are a number of them. One occurred three years
ago when GPH began talking about developing a Mega Sports Camp for local
churches. Based on conservative estimates, more than 25,000 children have accepted
the Lord through this program, and it has been recognized nationally as a
leading resource for evangelism. IÕve also thoroughly enjoyed working with
people who are committed to the mission of reaching the world for Christ.
tpe: Is there a spiritual truth youÕd like to share?
PEMBER: I love that Scripture, ÒTrust in the Lord with all
thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways
acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy pathsÓ (Proverbs 3:5,6, KJV).
Certainly God has directed my path, and I pray for His continued direction and
for the ministry of GPH.
tpe: Anything else you want to say?
PEMBER: The things we read or watch can be life-changing.
ItÕs vital we not move away from self-study, discipleship or settings such as
Sunday School. Private devotions are essential to every believer. Those times
become some of the most spiritually enriching things we can do, and they help
motivate us to reach out to the lost.
E-mail your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.