JEFFERSON CITY – High Street Press, the publishing imprint of the Missouri Baptist Convention, has named Gary Ledbetter its project manager and senior editor, effective Jan. 1, 2022.
Ledbetter is a seasoned Southern Baptist journalist and denominational leader with extensive writing and editing experience. He currently serves as editor of the Southern Baptist TEXAN, the official publication of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.
As editor of the TEXAN since 2001, Ledbetter has taken the publication from a magazine to a tabloid format. Circulation since 2001 has grown from 12,000 to 46,000. In addition, Ledbetter launched a news website, texanonline.net, which the TEXAN uses for breaking news as well as distribution of stories produced for the print edition.
In his new role with High Street Press, Ledbetter serves as the chief point of contact for authors submitting manuscripts through the HSP web portal, highstreet.press. Working with authors and MBC Executive Director John Yeats, Ledbetter then shepherds selected book manuscripts through the entire editing and production process.
Yeats and Ledbetter plan for High Street Press to produce at least three books in 2022.
“Gary is a key player in the future of High Street Press,” says Yeats. “For the first time, beginning in 2022, High Street Press is actively inviting Missouri Baptist authors to submit manuscripts for consideration. Gary helps ensure that we work with the right authors to develop biblically faithful resources that help Missouri Baptists transform lives and communities with the gospel.”
High Street Press exists to partner with selected Missouri Baptist authors to create reasonably priced, theologically sound books and other resources that help carry out the MBC vision of transforming lives and communities with the gospel.
High Street Press features a unique hybrid publishing model. Selected authors pay an up-front fee that covers all editing, design, and production costs. Once the books are placed with Amazon and other major booksellers, the author retains all royalties – a model that ensures professional production while enabling the author to recoup his or her investment.
“Missouri Baptists have a great resource in High Street Press,” says Ledbetter. “I look forward to joining the team to help it develop in the coming days.”
From 2001 – 2020, Ledbetter performed public relations, media relations, public policy, institutional relations, editorial work for all convention publications, and supervision of design work for the Southern Baptists of Texas. He retired from those roles at the end of 2020 and is scheduled to retire as editor of the TEXAN at the end of this year.
Ledbetter has served Southern Baptists in varied ways throughout his career. He was vice president for student development at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary from 1995-2000. Before that, he served as communications director for the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana.
He also served churches in Indiana and Texas as student and collegiate minister. In addition, he was a member of the Southern Baptist Committee Order of Business, Southern Baptist Racial Reconciliation Task Force, and Southern Baptist Christian Life Commission (now the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission).
Ledbetter holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Criswell College, a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Still in its infancy, High Street Press has produced a dozen biblically sound books from Missouri Baptist authors, including: Elephants in the Church: What the Bible Says about Fourteen Contemporary Issues by Ken Parker; One Church, All People: Biblical Truth about Diversity and Reconciliation by Bill Victor; and What Every Christian Should Know about Satan by Rob Phillips.
To learn more about High Street Press, visit highstreet.press.