ECPA's Rush To Press

Reverend Brian Milford Elected Incoming President/CEO
Of The United Methodist Publishing House

Media Contacts:
Brenda Smotherman
UMPH / Abingdon Press

Amy Smith
UMPH, Communications

NASHVILLE, TN – Meeting via video conference today, the Board of the United Methodist Publishing House elected the Reverend Brian K. Milford (Iowa Annual Conference) as the Incoming President/CEO of The United Methodist Publishing House.

In celebrating Milford’s election Board Vice-Chair, Justice Cornelia A. Clark noted, “Brian Milford is known across The United Methodist Church as a gifted and astute servant leader who has earned the respect and trust of many. As UMC Book Editor and Chief Content Officer he has gained valuable insights that make him exactly the right person to lead the Publishing House into the future with hope.”

Bishop Gregory V. Palmer (Ohio West Episcopal Area), a member of the Board and the Search Committee commented, “Brian’s spiritual, intellectual and ecclesial depth will help us build on our heritage and strengths to adapt and innovate as we move into a future filled with unprecedented opportunities to proclaim, teach and serve.”

When Neil M Alexander, who has served as President and Publisher for twenty years announced his plans to retire by the end of the 2013-2016 quadrennium, the board entered into a robust study of the leadership needs of UMPH and reviewed the qualities necessary for the next leadership team. Their efforts included new descriptions of responsibilities and providing for greater flexibility in matching individual talents with necessary roles.

After completing the strategic assessment the board authorized a wide-ranging search for the next President/CEO. Assisted by Diversified Search, of Philadelphia, PA the UMPH Board’s Search Committee launched its work in 2015.

Numerous candidates were screened and took part in extensive interviews, case study analyses, reference and employment checks, focused conversations with leaders across the UMC and intensive conversations with UMPH staff executives.

“In our careful consideration of ten finalists with great track records in publishing, leveraging new technologies and leading organizations through periods of intense creative change, Brian Milford emerged as far and away the person most ready to provide missional vision, innovative business practices, sound stewardship and trusted leadership for the challenges ahead,” said Board Chair, Dr. R. Carl Frazier, Jr.

Rev. Milford will continue in his current assignment with UMPH and assist President & Publisher Neil Alexander through the end of the quadrennium.  He will officially assume office as President//CEO at the time of the first meeting of the new Board of Directors to start the next quadrennium (October 2016).

After the unanimous vote by the Board, Rev. Milford said, “I am honored by this opportunity to serve The United Methodist Church and wider community. I look forward to working with a stellar team of dedicated and talented people as we provide relevant, quality and helpful resources for the Christian journey. We will strive every day to creatively sustain and enhance the ministries of Cokesbury and Abingdon Press.”

Brian K. Milford currently serves as Chief Content Officer and Book Editor of The UMC at the United Methodist Publishing House.  He is an Elder in the Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church and was previously a District Superintendent and Dean of the Appointive Cabinet. He was a delegate to the last two General Conferences and was elected as a delegate to the upcoming 2016 General Conference.  Milford served churches as the senior or lead pastor and participated and/or chaired numerous jurisdictional and annual conference groups. He received his Master of Divinity degree from the Divinity School at Duke University and his B.A./B.S. in Business Administration and Sociology from Iowa State University.

About UMPH

Located in Nashville, the United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH) is a publisher and distributor to Christian clergy and laity, with primary responsibilities for the publishing and distribution for The United Methodist Church. The Publishing House is a fully self-supporting agency and receives no general church funds. UMPH develops, produces, and distributes materials ranging from academic monographs to Bibles, biblical reference works, Christian formation curriculum, several genres of books, and a wide variety of other print, digital and multimedia resources, and church supplies.

UMPH currently generates approximately $65 million in annual revenue from its primary channels: Cokesbury, the retail division, consisting of an Internet store, a telephone contact center, and approximately fifty field sales staff in various regions of the U.S., and Abingdon Press, the main publishing imprint, which offers print and digital books, study materials, Bibles and Bible study aids, clergy resources. They also publish the Common English Bible. Visit them online at