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The books look fantastic. Thank you for your quality, professional service. I look forward to doing business with you in the future.
—Anna Lascurain, Publisher, Darker Intentions Press

A History of Fairway Press
From Paint to Publishing

Wesley T. Runk

On a warm, summer day in 1968, a paint salesman in Lima, Ohio, visited his pastor, Wesley T. Runk, and announced that he had been sharing Runk's children's sermons with his customers, who were sharing them with their pastors. A few began to inquire if the messages could be obtained in a written form. The salesman had a vision: "Pastor, you could write the children's sermons a couple of weeks ahead of time and mail them out to other ministers. They will pay for them -- it will be like a magazine subscription." After sending some samples to pastors in his synod and receiving positive replies, Runk sensed that perhaps the paint salesman was on to something. In October of 1968, the Children's Sermon Service was launched by a team of two Lutheran pastors (Runk and Tom Lentz) and a Christian education director (Jean Hines) who took care of mailing lists and performed office duties.

Original home of CSS

In January of 1970, CSS Publishing Company was officially founded. Its product line quickly expanded beyond children's sermons to many other offerings, yet the company retained the initials CSS from Children's Sermon Service as a nod to its heritage. In 1973, CSS began to publish lectionary-based sermons and worship resources, the niche upon which the company built its name and reputation. Each year CSS broadened its approach, as it became a highly regarded channel for pastors of many different denominations to share their work. Field-tested programs in stewardship, evangelism, drama, youth ministry, and Christian education were added to the children's lessons, sermons, and worship resources.

As a result, CSS Publishing Company has continually grown in publications, employees, and sales. The company built its own in-house printing operation, and is fully self-sufficient with the capability to handle diverse book projects from start to finish. CSS has embraced the high-tech world of digital printing, providing many benefits for its customers. Throughout the company's ongoing expansion, CSS employees have remained a collegial family and pride themselves on teamwork and friendly, helpful service.

Fairway Press was created as a division of CSS for two primary reasons. First, some books, although excellent, are written for a very specialized audience. At today's production and advertising costs, CSS cannot financially support the publishing of a book that does not fit our traditional publishing needs or the needs of our primary customers. Yet, we realize that some books, both religious and secular, deserve to be published. Therefore, we provide an alternative to an author who is willing to make a financial commitment to the printing of his or her book.

Second, some authors -- those who travel in wide circles and enjoy a large following -- actually prefer to invest in their book and its marketing to their already-established audiences. Speakers, seminar leaders, doctors, professors, or pastors of large churches will self-publish, marketing their own books, recouping their investment, and reaping 100% of their initial investment.

Fairway Press does not purchase the rights to any manuscript and we do not subsidize any books. The rights to the book, the copyright, and all copies belong to the author. We have learned over the years that the best salesperson for a self-published book is the author, and he or she is entitled to all the money received from personal sales.

In either case, Fairway Press can be a viable and successful option. Although self-publishing is not for everyone, it may be the best, most realistic approach to transforming a good manuscript into a professionally produced book.