Back in the fifties Chris Mungeam and I were members of the same Young People’s Fellowship at Cheam Baptist Church in Surrey. We were enormously blessed to be in a Church where the Bible was taught well by Arthur Matthews and the young people were encouraged to study the Word of God for themselves. I’ll always be grateful for those teenage years of Christian growing.
Chris eventually went into the Christian book world and finished up as a publisher with Marshall Pickering, and I went via a university lecturing career into the book world as a specialist publisher of books on Architecture and Building. In 1982 God gave me the vision for the songbook for Billy Graham’s Mission England and I began to look for a publisher. Naturally I favoured the contract being given to Chris Mungeam at Marshall Pickering.
Chris was very enthusiastic and ordered a very large number of copies from the printer – more than Marshall’s thought was wise and in difficult trading conditions Chris was soon out of a job! The book, however, went on to sell far more copies than Chris had printed – while Chris was looking around for something to do with his redundancy money.
Then Chris took an enormous step of faith and used the money to set up the Christian publishing company, Sovereign World! So, both Sovereign World and Ellel Ministries were established within months of each other and before very long I was looking for a publisher for the first book to emerge from Ellel Ministries, Healing Through Deliverance. The publishing platform for Sovereign World was for books which brought together the Word and the Spirit, and so Chris and Sovereign world were the obvious publishing choice.
So, some thirty five years after we were singing the same choruses at Pastor’s Hour – the regular young people’s Sunday night meeting at Cheam Baptist – we were together again as Publisher and Author. Healing Through Deliverance has now been continuously in print with Sovereign World for over twenty years.
When Chris finally decided it was time for him to retire, Sovereign World eventually became part of Ellel Ministries – so that the company that was indirectly born out of Mission England Praise is now continuing to do the work that Chris established it for – publishing books which bring together the ministry of the Word and the life of the Spirit within Ellel Ministries.
And when Chris’s wife Jan, launched the charity Sovereign World Trust to give away books to third world Pastors, a wonderful ministry was born which has produced great fruit around the world and continues to do so.
The reason I’ve made this story the subject of a blog for today, is that it is exactly twenty five years ago today that the company was born. So, in conclusion, Happy Birthday Sovereign World – and congratulations to Chris and Jan Mungeam for launching this very important ministry company onto the seas of life. And congratulations Paul Stanier, for continuing to run the company so successfully today. And, above all, thank you Lord for the way you have blessed Sovereign World throughout its history.
Wow- that’s such a great story of how your critics can be so wrong! Imagine being sacked for spotting a best-seller! It’s good that Chris responded positively when things “went wrong” in his life. He could have become bitter and angry or sued for unfair dismissal. But he looked at it as God’s opportunity and went on to establish a fantastic company that God continues to use. Well done Chris and happy birthday to Sovereign World!
I have read many books over the years, but in the past ten years reading has been difficult. Much as I miss the ability to mark books now, so that I can easily look for a reference, e-books have made a difference and enables me to continue learning and growing. However, I can say there is a difference for me in focusing the eye on the pages of paper as opposed to focusing on a hard screen, whatever the shape.