NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BNC) — Randy Duke took time out of his new role as owner of the Gospel Advocate Company, which he assumed Apr. 1, to give an exclusive interview to BNC.
BNC: What challenges do you foresee as you assume responsibility for the company?
Randy Duke: Evaluating and assessing talents/skills of employees and learning the business processes are the most important as we get started. We are not going to compromise the spiritual integrity of the Gospel Advocate, but we realize that we can improve our businesses practices and processes.
BNC: What new opportunities do you see for the company in the coming years?
Randy Duke: Embracing technology to further the message is a top priority. There will always be a need for printed material, especially in our curricula, but the potential for digital and social media is an area that needs serious investigation.
BNC: Do you have any new projects, books, or efforts already in mind?
Randy Duke: We have some ideas around better utilization of social media to broaden our customer base, especially to a newer generation of readers. The GA has been around for over 160 years, and we want that trend to continue down through generations.
BNC: What perspectives and abilities do you bring from your background that will stand you in good stead for this work?
Randy Duke: I have worked in executive roles in Human Resources in the corporate world, so I know the importance of good employee relations and having the right people in the right roles. I have many friends and family members who are preachers and I work with the Bear Valley Bible Institute in training men to preach, so I feel like I understand the importance of spreading the gospel. I also serve as an elder in the church, so I realize many of the needs that local congregations have and problems that they incur. Hopefully those life experiences have prepared me for this role.
BNC: Besides GA’s emphasis on doctrine, are there other areas of Christian life you want to emphasize through the company?
Randy Duke: Doctrine is a given — we will continue to stand on the scriptures. Our Christian Woman magazine emphasizes many facets of daily living. Many of our books emphasize walking worthy on a daily basis – whether it is making decisions (Domino Effect) or being better husbands (The Best Husband Ever). We hope to reflect a balance of Christian living in our products, both through our periodicals and our books.
BNC: Any other statement or ideas you’d like to share with our readers?
Randy Duke: I want our readers to know that we recognize the world is changing. We will have to evolve our business to keep up with a changing world in order to reach as many as we can with the gospel; however, we also want our readers to know that the scriptures are unchanging, and it is most important that we never compromise the message. “Always reliable” is the message which appears at the top of the Gospel Advocate magazine. We want our readers to know — whether in books, curricula, or magazines — that we will hold on to reliability by holding on to the Truth. We want to be the reliable resource for congregations that need educational material to help them teach the truth where they are. I would also like to thank our customers for their support during this transition of leadership. Neil Anderson and I have developed a deep friendship, and I want to build upon the good work that he did while he was here. Pray that I will be a good steward of the things entrusted to me.
Photo and header image courtesy of Gospel Advocate Company.
Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us