William Benjamin made a visionary proposal to denominational leaders at the 1935 General Conference Annual Council. “The church should establish its own insurance company in order to save money through the reduction of losses,” Benjamin said. With that statement, he became the founder of Adventist Risk Management Inc. (ARM). This fall marks the 80th anniversary of ARM. In keeping with Mr. Benjamin’s vision, throughout ARM’s history it’s officers and staff have worked closely with denominational leaders to help them understand the importance of safety and preventing losses before an accident occurs.
In 2015, ARM has more than one important milestone to celebrate. The ARM newsletter, Solutions, celebrates its 20th anniversary. Solutions underwent quite a few changes during our quest of helping the Seventh-day Adventist Church minimize risk. From 1966 to 2015, here are a few of the highlights.
1966 - The Counselor
The first ARM client newsletter was launched by Stanton Parker, manager of the Riverside Branch office, in 1966. It was specifically written for denominational administrators in the Pacific and North Pacific Unions.
Solutions recently asked Mr. Parker, why did you publish The Counselor?
“We felt it was important to have a means to communicate directly with our clients on a regular basis the importance of having a strong insurance program,” Parker said. “We also wanted to provide them with helpful suggestions on how they could prevent losses and reduce costs.”
The first issue of The Counselor dispelled a thought still held by many today: “It Won’t Happen to Our Church.” Does that sound familiar?
In that issue, national loss statistics cited on church fire losses in the United States from 1956 – 1965 totaled 529 fires, with a cost of $2.7 million. Could you even rebuild your church for $2.7 million today?
The second version of an ARM client newsletter, CONCERN, was again launched from the Riverside office in 1977.
This time CONCERN was written for the broader audience of all ARM clients.
Although the newsletter had a new name the message remained the same.
“The General Conference Risk Management Services (ARM) has a deep concern for helping to reduce the losses of life, health, and property which occur in our denominational institutions.
CONCERN will be an educational tool, acquainting its readers with new techniques in loss control and to report on major losses.”
The first issue included the articles – “How Safe Is Your Bus?” and “Safety and its Spiritual Implications.”
During the 18 years CONCERN was published, its focus was on loss prevention and education.
One of the methods used to help teach safety principles was the annual safety poster contest held in Adventist schools across North America.
Annually, hundreds of posters were submitted. These creations covered a wide range of safety lessons seen through the eyes of children.
1995 – SOLUTIONS
The third milestone of communicating the principles of safety and risk management to ARM clients was created 20 years ago.
In the first issue of Solutions, readers were introduced to the idea that risk management is “stewardship in action” by preventing losses and protecting people from accidents.
Over the past 50 years, communication has exploded into the information age. Tools never before imagined are available at our fingertips at work, in our homes, churches and schools. ARM chose to use technology tools that would make information even more accessible to clients.
In 2011, Solutions went completely online and became an e-newsletter.
Today Solutions is available electronically in English, Spanish and Portuguese on your computer, tablet, or smartphone.
As part of the anniversary celebration, a new series called Solutions Classic is being introduced. Solutions Classic will take a look back at some of the articles from previous years.
Although the delivery medium may have changed, Adventist Risk Management’s message remains loud and clear –Our ministry is to protect your ministry.”