The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Augsburg Fortress retools, shuts stores & assembly exhibits

Augsburg Fortress, Publishers announced Nov. 7 significant changes in its business operations, saying it will focus on group-use materials for congregations, such as faith formation and worship materials, and textbooks and monographs for higher education.

Based on a year of market analysis and business research, a strategic plan for the publisher’s direction was presented and unanimously approved at a regular meeting of the board of trustees for Augsburg Fortress Oct. 24-25 in Minneapolis.

Thirteen positions will be added to the company’s information technology, marketing and sales operations. Fifty-five positions will be eliminated, said Beth A. Lewis, AFP president and chief executive officer. The company has 242 full- and part-time staff.

The ELCA publisher’s update priorities will result in other changes, Lewis said:

• It will close nine bookstores by April 30, 2009. A store at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn., is not owned by AFP. Augsburg Fortress’ Canadian bookstores will remain open.

AFP will no longer provide bookstore operations at synod assemblies and most large ELCA churchwide events. It will continue to provide a bookstore at ELCA Churchwide Assemblies.

• Giving envelopes and worship supplies, such as communion wafers and cups, and candles, will still be available. Items that don’t sell well will be dropped.


sue riley

sue riley

Posted at 10:52 am (U.S. Eastern) 12/3/2008

As a former employee of Fortress turned to Augsburg Fortress after the church mearger, I am finding some problems with the "no assembly" stores.  This is a place for pastors to VIEW and buy items that are needed for their ministries. Fortress Church Supply stores were created to supply the churches with the hymnals and worship materials.  Everything else was just a way to make the money to make the worship and educational material in the price range for ALL churches, which is not the case  now. .  Maybe your staffs should have a few more urban church members on your committees and staff

Sandra Devall

Sandra Devall

Posted at 10:03 pm (U.S. Eastern) 12/12/2008

We need some 'reusable Sunday School material". Such as a five year program to fit the 60 most important Bible Stories. Churches have moved away from buy and discard material and when you can't buy extra copies of something next year, you can't reuse it.

I would support downloadable material without student handout and silly game and drawing sheets. I like the series such as "Jesus Feeds Us" we are still drawing out of these but need them in chronilogical order to reuse them.

 I would be willing to discuss this further with you.

Sandra Devall

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