Warehouse fire destroys 1.5 million copies of GOOD NEWS magazine

St. Louis firefighters backed away from the blaze after several explosions and wall-collapses during a five-alarm warehouse fire in St. Louis on Wednesday, Nov. 15. Among items lost in the fire were 1.5 million copies of GOOD NEWS magazine. (Photo courtesy of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch/J.B. Forbes)

By Cheryl Magness

At around 10:15 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 15, a small fire ignited in the basement of Park Warehouse Service at 3937 Park in St. Louis.

Firefighters quickly arrived on the scene, but according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, they had trouble locating and containing the blaze, and at around 11:30 a.m., “there was a whooshing sound, and black smoke billowed out of the building’s doors and windows. Fire burst through the roof, and a wall on the south side of the building collapsed onto a firetruck.” 

The blaze quickly became a 5-alarm fire involving nearly 100 firefighters.

Everyone in the building was evacuated with no injuries. At least one firefighter and one building worker were later treated for smoke inhalation.

On Saturday, Nov. 18, after a day of rain on Friday, the fire rekindled. It was brought under control again by 11:15 p.m.

Among the items housed in the Park Warehouse at the time of the blaze were 1.5 million copies of GOOD NEWS magazine, from which domestic and foreign requests were being filled daily. All of them were destroyed. (See a Nov. 20 report from KSDK-TV.)

GOOD NEWS magazine was founded in 1995 through a cooperative effort of the founding editor, Rev. Wallace Schulz, a former LCMS vice-president and speaker of “The Lutheran Hour” from 1977 to 2003, and Concordia Mission Society President Rev. Larry Burgdorf.

Initially printed in English and Russian, the magazine quickly grew to 20 languages and is now disseminated in over 100 countries.

Each new issue of GOOD NEWS focuses on one topic from Scripture, thoroughly explained and extensively illustrated.

GOOD NEWS was originally designed to provide preaching and teaching tools for missionaries, who receive it free of charge. It is also commonly used for Bible study and evangelism in the U.S. and Canada.

Lost in the fire was the magazine’s store of back issues in all languages as well as the most recent issue waiting to be shipped.

Schulz wrote in a note to donors, family and friends: “We do not ask ‘Why?’ When asked if we plan to continue, we respond: ‘Why not?’

“This has always been the response of Christians from the time of the Book of Acts. Christians do not quit. All disasters and difficulties are permitted by God to strengthen the faith He has given us, so that we can do even greater work, for Him (John 15:2).”

Read more information about GOOD NEWS magazine — and how to support its ministry — on gn4u.info.

Cheryl Magness (cheryl.magness@lcms.org) is managing editor of Reporter Online and a staff writer for LCMS Communications.

Posted Nov. 21, 2017

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Reporter Online is the Web version of Reporter, the official newspaper of
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Content is prepared by LCMS Communications.

4 Responses to Warehouse fire destroys 1.5 million copies of GOOD NEWS magazine

  1. Sharon G Nygaard November 23, 2017 at 11:12 am #

    Oh my!🔥😢🙏⚓️

  2. November 24, 2017 at 9:46 am #

    I like the quote from Rev. Wallace Schulz; “Christians do not quit.”

  3. Donna Kleister November 27, 2017 at 5:50 pm #

    I am so sorry to hear this happened. This is a excellent Bible study resource and I enjoyed diving into each issue. Prayers for all and for the continued work to keep the publication going. The Bible teaches us concerning perserverence and endurance. May it be so in this work to the glory of God.

  4. Elizabeth Libby December 8, 2017 at 10:33 pm #

    How devastating and disheartening. That magazine was so incredibly rich in scripture and good teaching. It fed my soul. How good to know, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My Words will not pass away.” Lord have mercy!

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