Report: Gospel Folio Press

May 4, 2020
Sam Cairns

The Pell family began the ministry of Gospel Folio Press (GFP) in 1923 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. William (Bill) Pell and his sister Grace had the exercise to open a print shop to print gospel tracts for outreach, and Sunday School material to assist those involved with children’s work. They wanted to encourage gospel outreach and support Sunday School teachers and children’s workers by providing lessons. It began with a Teacher’s Manual provided monthly and a take home paper called Childhood Days. The stories in Childhood Days were provided by Lois Pell and Sunday School teachers from different areas. Shortly after the start of the print shop the whole Pell family was involved in the ministry.

They later expanded to print a monthly magazine called Assembly Annals (later re-named Uplook Magazine) which included ministry articles and reports from full time workers and missionaries. As well they began printing booklets on different topics and subjects, then expanded to printing and publishing books from selected writers including Peter Pell, Leonard Sheldrake, August Van Ryn, and others. 

Mr. Pell thought a daily devotional calendar would encourage believers to start each day with a quiet time of devotion. Consequently, he began Choice Gleanings Calendar which included a Scripture verse, meditation, and poem. He also included a Scripture reading guide to read through the Bible each year. This was prayerfully started in 1940 when 800 copies of the first calendar was printed and distributed. Believed to be the first daily devotional calendar available at that time, Choice Gleanings has over the years increased its print quantity to over 48,000 copies.

In time, several family members were promoted home to
glory, leaving the work load to three sisters who were getting older and finding it impossible to continue the responsibilities of the ministry. In 1990 J. B. (Jabe) Nicholson relocated from St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada to Grand Rapids, Michigan to assume the work at Gospel Folio Press. A board of directors was formed with Jabe Nicholson assuming the role of president. Under his guidance and direction, the ministry expanded and grew to include books from other Christian publishers. He expanded and revamped the Modular Bible Lesson Program to include Adult Bible Studies and all ages for Sunday School. This program includes a Teacher’s Manual, Student’s Manual, and a take home paper, covering lessons from the entire Old Testament, the Gospels, and book of Acts. This is a wonderful addition for children’s work, to support the teachers in presenting their weekly lessons. Also, at this time Uplook Magazine was improved, expanded, and updated to be distributed monthly to a large subscription mailing list throughout North America and other countries.

In the year 2000 it was decided by the Board of Directors that Uplook Ministries and Gospel Folio Press should operate separately. The decision was made that Gospel Folio Press should relocate to Canada and Uplook Ministries remain in Grand Rapids. The location was determined when the Lord provided the required warehouse space in Port Colborne, Ontario but a lot of renovation work was necessary to get the space suitable for our requirements. Consequently, the landlord started work on leasehold improvements and we ended up with a beautiful facility all on one level. Gospel Folio Press relocated from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Port Colborne, Ontario in August, 2001 where it continues to operate today. The inventory of Christian books, booklets and Bibles, gospel tracts, and Modular Bible Lessons continued to expand to include approximately 6800 titles. 

The Choice Gleanings Calendar continues to be published, printed, and distributed from our warehouse to many different locations of the world; it is also being translated into several different languages. The meditations for the Choice Gleanings Calendar are provided by a dedicated group of approximately 45 faithful contributors from many countries.

With our website we now receive orders for Christian books, Bibles, Sunday School materials, and Choice Gleanings Calendars from around the world. It is also very encouraging to watch the Lord provide for the ministry of Gospel Folio Press Trust, which is a non-profit and registered charity. We have a Gospel Folio Charitable Donation Fund which is used to support missionaries and outreach work in different areas.

Please pray for the continued protection, preservation, and provision for the ministry of Gospel Folio Press Trust. Also, please pray that the Lord will provide a replacement for the Operations Manager to assume the responsibilities of this important ministry.

For additional information check our website: You can also contact us by phone 1-800-952-2382 or by e-mail: [email protected] 

Sam Cairns on behalf of the Trustees