Incorporated Trustees of the Gospel Worker Society is a nonprofit
organization that publishes nondenominational, fundamental Christian
literature. The first seed of this endeavor was planted in 1895 under
the direction of the Reverend William Brunner Musselman, a Mennonite
preacher from Pennsylvania, who then was p
residing elder of his Conference. On 5 January 1895, in Annandale, New Jersey, the Reverend Mr. Musselman
and seven women from his church began a home missionary ministry that
is now known as the Gospel Worker Society. The purpose of this ministry
was twofold: to reach people who were not reached by the churches in
their communities and to encourage people to receive the Lord Jesus
Christ as their personal Saviour from sin.
purpose of this ministry was accomplished through missionary meetings,
daily colportage work, tent meetings, and saloon work. Missions were set
up in gospel-neglected towns, and their number increased as the
Musselman and seven women from his church began a
home missionary ministry that is now known as the Gospel Worker Society.
The purpose of this ministry was twofold: to reach people who were not
reached by the churches in their communities and to encourage people to
receive the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour from sin.
1896 two branches of the Home Missionary Society were established, one
for men and one for women. In 1897 the name of the Women's Home
Missionary Society was changed to the Gospel Worker Society. "Gospel
Workers" was the name by which the women missionaries had come to be
1898, assured that the Lord wanted him to devote all his time to the
missionary work, the Reverend Mr. Musselman prevailed on his church to
release him from his position as presiding elder. They allowed him to do
this, and in 1898 the Gospel Worker Society became a nondenominational
organization under the Reverend Mr. Musselman's leadership.
its early years, the Gospel Worker Society distributed denominational
literature, but it had no literature of its own. Steps to correct that
were made in 1902, when the first issue of the G.W.S. Herald was
printed. This was the nondenominational magazine of the Gospel Worker
Society, and it was intended to be a model paper for mission work. Its
purpose was to bring sound Christian literature into the home.
first editions of the G.W.S. Herald were printed by an outside company,
but in a short time the Gospel Worker Society purchased its own press
and took over the printing of the G.W.S. Herald. The first issues were
printed in a remodeled livery stable in Williamsport, Pennsylvania,
where the Gospel Worker Society then had its headquarters. This newly
established printing place was called the Herald Publishing House.
Herald Publishing House grew quickly. In addition to printing the
G.W.S. Herald, the organization began to publish Sunday school
literature, which was called the "Christian Life Series."
1907 the Herald Publishing House and the Gospel Worker Society moved
from Pennsylvania to new headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio. The
organization needed to be more centrally located and also needed much
more room. For a few years, the fifteen-building complex on the corner
of West Seventh Street and Jefferson Avenue was sufficient. In 1922,
after much expansion and several name changes, what had begun as the
Herald Publishing House came to be known as Union Gospel Press.
Reverend Mr. Musselman conducted chapel services for the missionaries
of the Gospel Worker Society. His words of encouragement, explanation of
the Scriptures, and practical illustrations were helpful to the Gospel
Workers. They were zealous in their faithfulness to the mission and to
the publishing ministry. He often reminded them to remain loyal to the
Lord and to His work. The Reverend Mr. Musselman often stated that it
was not popular to be isolated from the practices of the world system.
He said that Jesus spoke of laying down His life and being forsaken by
all, and He encouraged His disciples to be sacrificial, to deny
themselves, and to follow Him.
Gospel Worker Society and Union Gospel Press continued under the
leadership of the Reverend Mr. Musselman until his death in 1938. His
youngest daughter, Miss Mary E. Musselman, was elected president, and
the corporation continued under her leadership during most of the years
following until her death in 1971.
the number of publications increased, Union Gospel Press was remodeled
and enlarged. Eventually it was decided that an up-to-date, one-story
plant would expedite production. This plan was put into action, and in
1950 Union Gospel Press and the Gospel Worker Society moved to their
present locations at the corner of Brookpark Road and Broadview Road.
1971, after the homegoing of Miss Mary E. Musselman, Miss Julia P.
Stabley was elected president of the corporation and remained in office
until she retired in 1990. The Incorporated Trustees of the Gospel
Worker Society and Union Gospel Press then came under the leadership of
Mrs. Beryl C. Bidlen, who was elected president in 1990. After twenty
years at the helm, Mrs. Bidlen retired in August of 2010. At that time
Miss Grace M. Todd, who has been a Gospel Worker for fifty-seven years,
was elected president. Miss Todd retired in August of 2015. Mr. David E.
Rowland is currently the president. The work begun by the Reverend Mr.
Musselman continues to grow under the ownership and steadfast direction
of The Incorporated Trustees of the Gospel Worker Society.