Local church pastor and former director for Family Promise, David Henry is launching a new business — not only to encourage residents to read their Bibles — but also in hopes of expanding help to the underprivileged in the area.

His road to publishing did not start out as a full-fledged attempt to combat poverty and need. The local author embarked on what seemed like a reasonably small church project at the time. It simply began in 2010, when he decided to create an aide for his congregation in the form of writing some Bible study resources.

Soon other area churches saw the benefit of Henry's study guides and started purchasing them.

Things unexpectedly took off.

Seeing its impact, Henry is embracing that small beginning and is now looking to branch out globally.

But there's a twist to his plan.

Typically authors go the route of finding a publisher and then they settle into pocketing royalties on their book sales.

Henry, though, has a much bigger picture in mind.

In becoming a nonprofit, he wants to use some of the proceeds to pour into local ministries.

“I've got a really longterm goal in mind,” he said.

The concept is two-fold — not only are the study guides beneficial for teaching and learning for anyone, the sales for them also will generate funds for other needs.

“These resources can be used in things like prison ministry,” he said. “And I want to expand to provide employment to underprivileged people here.”

He said a large part of what he already does is help ex-offenders re-enter the community.

Henry said funds also could be used for things like student scholarships and other services that can help fill the gap for those in need.

So far Henry's efforts have been personally-funded — a clear indication of his commitment to the project. But, to expand to the degree Henry is seeking, it's time to put the call out for others in the community to get involved.

Henry said he intends to reach out to area churches and like-minded residents for support.

His strategy also includes the creation of an annual conference to showcase information, hold training and feature demonstrations.

“We hope to include local publishers and build like-minded partnerships,” he said. “Our community doesn't have a local conference like that now; I want it to bring people from all over.”

Other events will be geared toward establishing a global network through social media.

“I'd like to bring people together through an online following,” he said, “with the purpose of promoting things around shared values.”

Henry explained a good example of his vision for building a united global community is just an expanded version of how it is with smaller close-knit regions — like when locals rally together during a crisis or tragedy.

“You can work together toward common causes,” he said — just on a much larger scale.

More about the books

Designed for individual use or for small groups, Henry said his workbooks are customized to suit any schedule or time frame.

He said the material is written at a sixth-grade level so it is extremely simple and user-friendly for anyone and everyone.

Workbooks are built around various topics or books in the Bible.

To add some fun to the resource guides, along with overviews and questions to answer, there are puzzles and word searches — all is centered around the Bible reading.

“The workbooks are made to get people reading their Bibles,” he said. “The resources are useless without doing just that.”

For more information, visit parchments.net.

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