Laura Alden to retire from American Baptist Home Mission Societies; served denomination close to four decades
VALLEY FORGE, PA (5/25/21)—Laura Alden, publisher of Judson Press, will retire Sept. 30 after 38 years of service to several American Baptist denominational organizations, most recently American Baptist Home Mission Societies.
With gratitude for her longtime service, ABHMS celebrates the many ways Alden has used her talents to tell stories of faith and justice and provide opportunities for others to do so as well.
At the age of 16, Alden’s first published story, about a mission trip to Mexico, appeared in the American Baptist publication “Aware.” Two years later, “The Secret Place,” published by Judson Press, included a devotional she wrote.
Little did she know then that she would become publisher of Judson Press in 2003, when the ministries of education, publishing and discipleship of the American Baptist Board of Educational Ministries were adopted by ABHMS, then known as National Ministries. Previously she had been serving as director of National Ministries’ Home Mission Communication Center to which she was appointed in 1996.
During her denominational career, she served American Baptist Churches USA as a reporter and analyst for The American Baptist magazine, 1989-1992, and Educational Ministries as managing editor of Judson Press, 1985-1988. Earlier she wrote evangelism resources as part of National Ministries’ Evangelism staff.
Alden was a featured presenter at the Green Lake Writer’s Conference, 1990-1995, where she spoke about publishing and taught writing classes.
Before beginning her work with American Baptists, Alden worked as a newspaper reporter and magazine and book editor for several religious and educational publishers. She has authored 22 children’s books.
Looking back at her service to the denomination, Alden says she is most proud of reinvigorating Judson Press in the years following National Ministries’ adoption of the ministries of education, publishing and discipleship in 2003.
“Laura’s loyal and dedicated leadership as publisher has preserved Judson Press’ position as a widely respected and foremost publishing house among Christian publishers. The board and staff of ABHMS uniformly affirm and celebrate Laura’s contributions,” says ABHMS Executive Director and Judson Press CEO Dr. Jeffrey Haggray.
Commissioned as an American Baptist Home Missionary in 1983, Alden holds a master’s degree in English Literature from West Chester (Pa.) University and a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Journalism from Bethel College, St. Paul, Minn. She is a graduate of the Stanford Publishing Course.
She currently serves on the boards of American Baptist Historical Society, New Baptist Covenant and the Protestant-owned Church Publishers Association.
Founded in 1824, Judson Press is a publishing ministry of American Baptist Home Mission Societies, American Baptist Churches USA. It is committed to producing Christ-centered leadership resources for the transformation of individuals, congregations, communities and cultures.
American Baptist Home Mission Societies partners with American Baptists to promote Christian faith, cultivate Christ-centered leaders and disciples, and bring healing and transformation to communities across the United States and Puerto Rico.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.