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Christian Record Announces PhoneFaith, Offering Daily Call-In Inspiration

Originally published September 2020

Lincoln, Nebraska – Christian Record Services announces and welcomes the addition of PhoneFaith as part of our outreach ministry for people who are blind. Daily PhoneFaith dial-in presentations will offer opportunities to inform, encourage, and inspire the mind, body, and spirit through mental health and wellness sessions, social meet-and-greet interactions, Bible games, and prayer. 

“Bringing PhoneFaith into the Christian Record family of programs has been our goal for several years. We are grateful for God’s guidance, in a time when so many are aware of the impacts of loneliness and isolation, to offer a new way for the people we serve to connect, engage and grow,” says Diane Thurber, President of Christian Record Services for the Blind. "We are also pleased to welcome Dr. Leanora Ruff, who will be overseeing the PhoneFaith ministry as part of the Christian Record team and brings with her years of valuable experience creating and managing call-in programs for individuals who are blind."

A special Healthy Choices program is taking place tonight, September 2, 2020 at 6:00 pm Central, and focuses on mental health. You can join the PhoneFaith program by calling 209-399-9465. For more information, including a chance to listen to a sample audio program of PhoneFaith, please visit



Christian Record Services, Inc. ( is an international ministry to people who are blind. The nonprofit was founded in 1899 and is headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska. To learn more, visit, call (402) 488-0981, or connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn @CRSBfriends.

CONTACT: Kristine Lemons, Communication Director via Phone or Email

Christian Record Welcomes New Communication Director

Originally published March 2020

Christian Record Services, Inc., a ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America for people who are blind, invites Kristine Lemons to join its ministry team as communication director. She begins this responsibility on March 30, 2020.

Lemons comes to Christian Record with a strong background in communication, marketing, and development. She currently serves as fundraising and marketing manager at CenterPointe, a nonprofit that specializes in co-occurring mental health and addiction treatment for low-income and homeless people in Lincoln, Nebraska. Lemons has also served as director of development at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo; assistant vice president for university advancement at Southwestern Adventist University, in Keene, Texas; special assistant to the president for development at Texas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, in Alvarado, Texas, and director of development at Adventist World Radio, in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Lemons earned an MBA with emphases in marketing and management from West Texas A & M University, in Canyon, Texas, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Union College, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

“Christian Record has a distinguished history of serving people for more than 120 years. I am delighted to join the team and look forward to sharing the ways the ministry is making a difference,” remarked Lemons.

“We are very pleased Lemons has accepted the position. She will bring passion, enthusiasm, diverse experience, storytelling expertise, and many other talents,” affirmed Diane Thurber, Christian Record president. “Lemons will join a dynamic ministry team that is committed to empower people who are blind to engage their communities and embrace the Blessed Hope.”

In ministry since 1899 and based in Lincoln, Nebraska, since 1904, Christian Record provides free confidence-building reading services, college scholarships, blind camp experiences, and more to people who are blind. More than 18,000 people worldwide receive services because of the generosity of individuals, business owners, and ministry partners. To learn more, visit or call 402-488-0981.

Vernon L. Bretcsh

Vernon Bretsch

Originally published December 2019

Vernon L. Bretsch, president of Christian Record Services, Inc. between 1985 to 1991, passed away on December 27, 2019. Diane Thurber, president of Christian Record said Elder Bretsch significantly expanded the scope of ministry for people who are blind and that his contributions are still being realized. “The Christian Record staff joins many others who were saddened to learn of Elder Bretsch’s death and look forward to a special reunion in Heaven with all those for whom he faithfully served.”

Elder Bretsch’s family issued the following public statement.

He lived a full life of service to God in various capacities. He began his church service as a colporteur selling books door-to-door. His printing background led him to manage publishing houses and publishing work in the Far East. He served as Mission President in Vietnam before returning to the United States. His work included the General Conference, Voice of Prophecy, conference leadership, and Christian Record Services, Inc. He retired in 1991 and had kept a busy and joy-filled life until the very end. He rests in Jesus waiting for the great resurrection soon to come. He leaves behind his wife, Phyllis, and his three children: Don, Bob, and Kathy. Opal, his first wife, passed away in 2004.

A memorial service was held at the Orchards SDA Church in Vancouver, Washington, on January 18, 2020.

Christian Record Welcomes New Communication Director

Pat Maxwell Robertson

Originally published February 2018

Christian Record Services for the Blind, a ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church to people who are blind, recently welcomed Patricia J. Maxwell Robertson as communication director.

Maxwell Robertson comes to Christian Record with a strong background in communication, mass media, marketing, and team development. Before joining Christian Record’s staff, Patricia was an assistant professor of communications at Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska. She has also worked as director of marketing and communication technology at Catalina Island Conservancy in Long Beach, California, and director of media relations for the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in Los Angeles, California.

“Helen Keller acknowledged the important work of this organization in a personal letter she wrote in 1911,” Patricia said. “Fast forward a century-plus, and I'm honored to continue this tradition of service excellence and join the team at Christian Record.”

“We are excited for Patricia to join the Christian Record team. Her wealth of experience along with her positive spirit and dedication to excellence will be great blessings for the organization and its clients and donors,” affirmed Diane Thurber, Christian Record president.

In ministry since 1899 and based in Lincoln since 1904, Christian Record provides free confidence-building reading services and summer and winter camp experiences for people who are blind. Approximately 20,000 people receive these services because of the generosity of individuals and business owners. To learn more, visit or call 402-488-0981. 


It is with profound sadness that Christian Record Services for the Blind announces the passing of Dorothy Marston, retired services representative and wife of Christian Record call center representative Terry Marston. Dorothy passed away on Wednesday, January 10, 2017, surrounded by her family, after an extended illness.

During her time at Christian Record, Dorothy visited businesses in Nebraska, Kansas, and South Dakota to raise awareness of the needs of this ministry that serves people who are blind and to solicit funds for the organization. Additionally, Dorothy worked closely with the members in her territory, visiting and praying with them in their homes, sharing and enrolling members for Christian Record’s reading services, and inviting them to attend camps through National Camps for Blind Children.

Dorothy was known for her wry wit, continuous smile, and the fierce, compassionate love she had for Jesus, her family, friends, members, and co-workers.

Funeral services for Dorothy were on Sunday, January 14, at the College View Seventh-day Adventist Church, with an inurnment planned for a later time in Minnesota.

Christian Record Promotes Jeri Lyn Rogge to Director of Editorial and Outreach Ministries

Christian Record Services for the Blind is excited to announce Jeri Lyn Rogge as the organization’s director of editorial and outreach ministries. Rogge, who served as Christian Record’s communication director since 2015 and in other positions of responsibility since 2013, will transition to this new role in early 2018.

Rogge will be the senior magazine editor, producing publications in large print, braille, and audio for people who are legally blind in North America, Bermuda, and Guam-Micronesia. These magazines include Light, published in large print; Christian Record in braille, The Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guides, formerly known as The Student, in braille and audio; The Children’s Friend in braille; and Encounter and Vantage Point, both of which are produced in audio.

She will work with church pastors, disability ministry and special needs coordinators, and church members to discover methods and create resources whereby they may connect with people who are blind in their communities, befriend them, and encourage use of their gifts for active ministry.

Additionally, Rogge will strengthen partnerships with youth and camp ministries leaders across North America to develop systems to boost attendance at National Camps for Blind Children.

“We are excited Jeri Lyn has accepted these new responsibilities. She brings a wide variety of skills, creativity, and vision to enhance ministry with people who are blind,” said Diane Thurber, Christian Record president.

Rogge will assume responsibilities currently provided by Bert Williams, who will retire in spring 2018. He has served as editorial director since 2005 and also as director of personal ministries since 2016.

In ministry since 1899 and based in Lincoln since 1904, Christian Record provides free confidence-building reading services and summer and winter camp experiences for people who are blind. Approximately 20,000 people receive these services because of the generosity of individuals and business owners. To learn more, visit or call 402-488-0981.


Christian Record Services, Inc., is celebrating the completion of its first year of ministry in its new headquarters location in South Lincoln’s Trade Center at 5900 South 58th Street, Suite M.

To mark the occasion, Christian Record invites friends, donors, and business partners to a come-and-go holiday open house on Thursday, December 14, from 1-5 p.m. No RSVP is required. Guests may enjoy a guided headquarters tour, given on the half-hour as space allows, followed by refreshments at The Space, located next door. Those planning to attend should first come to The Space to join a tour group.

In ministry since 1899 and based in Lincoln since 1904, Christian Record provides free confidence-building reading services and summer and winter camp experiences to people who are blind. Approximately 20,000 people receive these services because of the generosity of individuals and business owners. To learn more, visit or call 402-488-0981.


Christian Record Services, Inc. (dba Christian Record Services for the Blind and National Camps for Blind Children) is pleased to welcome Lonnie Kreiter as the organization’s Vice President for Finance.

A North Dakota native, Lonnie is an alumnus of Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska, and a graduate of Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California. He has served as the Chief Accountant at Union College for the past seven years. Additionally, Lonnie contributes to the Lincoln community with his service on the Board of Directors for College View Academy, Lincoln SDA Credit Union, Good Neighbor Community Center, and College View Seventh-day Adventist Church.

When asked about his passion for ministry, Lonnie said, “After working many years in the public sector, I longed for meaningful work that would benefit a good cause or help those who are less fortunate. I hope that my contribution as Vice President for Finance will help advance the mission of this organization.”

“In addition to a strong track record in analytical functions and financial control, Lonnie brings additional valuable experience and knowledge, including non-profit operational and volunteer management, planned giving certification, and investment and endowment management,” said Diane Thurber, Christian Record president. “I am excited for Lonnie to join our dynamic ministry team.”

Lonnie will assume his responsibilities at Christian Record full-time on November 1, 2017.

Lonnie is married to Bonnie Kreiter, who is also a North Dakota native, an alumnus of Union College, and a graduate of Loma Linda University. She currently serves as the rehabilitation services manager for Bryan Health in Lincoln.

More About Christian Record Services, Inc.

For more than 117 years, Christian Record Services, Inc. has offered free programs and services to individuals who are legally blind.  Funding for services is provided by generous donations from private individuals and businesses. To discover more about Christian Record’s free services, visit or call 402-488-0981.


Photo information: Lonnie Kreiter; photo courtesy of Union College.

Christian Record Staff Mourns Loss of Former Colleague

On Wednesday, May 31, 2017, Christian Record Services, Inc. said goodbye to a former employee, Linda Martin, who passed away after an extended illness. During her time with Christian Record, Linda worked directly with people who called the organization to apply for free services. Members and co-workers appreciated Linda for her kindness, compassion, and dedication. Linda’s funeral will be Friday, June 2, at 2:00 pm at Piedmont Park Seventh-day Adventist Church, 4801 A Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.

Christian Record Services, Inc. Relocates to New Lincoln Location

The Board of Directors of Christian Record Services, Inc. announced plans in early 2016 to restructure the organization and relocate to new headquarters in Lincoln. Christian Record moved in December 2016 to suites in south Lincoln, Nebraska, in the Trade Center, and is now located at 5900 South 58th Street, Suite M, approximately one mile south of the location the organization operated from since 1963.

“Good things are happening at Christian Record,” said Daniel Jackson, president of the North American Division and chair of the Christian Record Board of Directors. “The Lord continues to have a plan and a place for this important work. God is opening doors of opportunity for church members in the North American Division to reach out to people who are blind. He has His hand on Christian Record, and I am eager to see Him grow and expand this ministry,” he said.

For Christian Record, an institution of the North American Division that serves individuals who are blind or cannot hold a book, the new office supports an audiobook lending library, recording studio, and a correspondence Bible school. Plans call for a museum to be added soon. From the headquarters, large print, braille, and audio resources are produced to be mailed to approximately 20,000 members in nearly 80 countries.

“The staff is in the process of finalizing strategic plans,” said Diane Thurber, Christian Record president.
“These will include ways to equip church members with tools and resources to reach people who are blind, partner with Special Needs leaders at every level of the Church, and engage current members in ministry with potential members and sighted church members,” she said.

Christian Record appreciates the many volunteers and business partners who helped during this transition. Plans are underway for an open house later this year.

EYE RUN Promotes Overall Health at Annual Event

2016 EYE RUN Start

EYE RUN participants begin their run/walk by the sound of a bell. Matt Froemming takes an early lead in this fun run event. (Photo credit: Altitude Motion Media.)

Christian Record Services, Inc. hosted the fourth-annual EYE RUN on Sunday, October 2 at Holmes Lake Park in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Each year, the EYE RUN offers opportunities for children, adults, and families to walk or run, discover healthy lifestyle choices, and learn about supportive services for individuals who are blind.

With a goal to reconnect with the Lincoln community to share a message of eye health awareness, the EYE RUN started as 5K4Vision EYE RUN in 2013 with 58 walk/run participants.  The event has shown steady growth each year, with individuals walking or running the EYE RUN in Lincoln as well as locations globally as virtual participants. EYE RUN events included a one-mile walk/run, 5K walk/run, and 10K run.

The total 2016 EYE RUN walker/runner count from all locations was 215. Among this number were participants from nine U.S. states as well as 22 members of the Gothenburg (Nebraska) Seventh-day Adventist Church, which hosted its own satellite EYE RUN.

Any participant who is blind, along with his or her sighted guide, was given complimentary registration, courtesy of event sponsors.

In addition to the walk/run at the Lincoln event, participants were encouraged to visit booths at the Healthy Lifestyle Choices Expo near the start/finish line. Local businesses and agencies that offer services to people who are blind were on hand at these informational booths with tips, activities, health screenings, and giveaways.

The official bell ring honoree for the EYE RUN start was Topher Thompson, a member of the Christian Record Board of Directors and 2016 Wisconsin IRONMAN® finisher. “Having a vision for the future is what drives goals and guides the actions to make reaching those goals possible,” said Topher. “As I was honing those abilities to compete in an IRONMAN®, I also saw those attributes being expressed through the Christian Record team. It was an honor to serve as this year’s EYE RUN event start bell ringer,” he said.

The EYE RUN relies on and is grateful for support from local and national sponsors. This year, 23 businesses and organizations partnered with the event to offer funding, gift-in-kind services, or onsite event support:

  • A & G Concrete
  • Abundant Life Family Chiropractic
  • Adventist Health Ministries—General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
  • Adventist Health Ministries—North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists
  • AdventSource
  • Altitude Motion Media
  • American Council of the Blind, Lincoln Chapter
  • Coldwell Banker Commercial: Thompson Realty Group
  • Creative Ink
  • The Eatery
  • EyeCare Specialties
  • Fletcher Chiropractic
  • Green Chiropractic
  • Herricks Vending
  • Krueger Development
  • Lincoln Amateur Radio Club
  • Long-Shots Video Creations
  • Mid-America Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
  • Midlands Printing & Business Forms, Inc.
  • National Federation of the Blind, Lincoln Chapter
  • Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired
  • Nebraska Medical Reserve Corps
  • Union College

Proceeds from this annual event help fund Christian Record’s programs and services for people who are blind.

“Thanks to the participants and sponsors who partnered with us for this annual event,” stated Diane Thurber, Christian Record president. “We were pleased with the response and appreciative of the strong commitment to promoting awareness and a healthy lifestyle.”

Learn more about Christian Record Services, Inc.

Christian Record Services, Inc. is a ministry of compassion of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America to people who are blind. Christian Record offers braille, audio, and large print reading materials, including Bibles and Bible study guides, magazines, and a lending library.

Additionally, National Camps for Blind Children, a Christian Record program, sponsors summer and winter camps in locations around North America. All services and programs are offered free of charge to individuals who are blind or incapable of holding reading material. Generous financial sponsor support enables Christian Record to provide these services and programs.

Christian Record Services, Inc. Welcomes Development Director

Christian Record Services, Inc.  (dba Christian Record Services for the Blind) is pleased to welcome Andrea Ahrens as the organization's development director.  A Lincoln native, Andrea received an MBA from the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business.  Upon moving back to Lincoln in 2010, Andrea was major gifts development director at Union College.  Andrea is married to Mike Ahrens and is the mother of three children.  

When asked why Christian Record is special to her, family memories were among her top reasons.  "My mother has told me stories about the different kids she helped at winter camp.  We actually have old 8-millimeter movies from the '80s of my mom skiing backward, leading a blind skier," she said.

"Christian Record is a wonderful organization that has successfully helped thousands of people who are blind and their families," said Andrea. "Through programs that build self-esteem and resources that allow these individuals to read Bibles and other Chrisitan literature, Christian Record offers a full life continuum of compassion.  I'm excited to be a part of this essential organization," she added.

"Andrea brings valuable skills and experience to increase donor engagement and help advance the organization's goals," said Diane Thurber, president of Christian Record Services, Inc.  "Her enthusiasm for the organization's mission to reach people who are blind is welcomed," she said.

Christian Record Services is proud to announce its partnership with Merari Medina-Castellón, an accomplished voice-over talent and social media influencer, to distribute her daily audio podcast.

The following article was published in the Lincoln Journal Star on March 30, 1958 and was written by Bess Jenkins.

On March 8, 1904, in an informal meeting of the General Conference Committee in Omaha, Nebraska, with six members present, it was recommended: "that the work of publishing literature for the blind be transferred from Battle Creek, Michigan, to College View, Nebraska, provided satisfactory arrangements can be made with the Central Union Conference."

In December of 1936, the headquarters of Christian Record Services was moved into a new building at the corner of 48th and Bancroft streets, an all-modern structure with all the conveniences needed and desired for the work.  The new home was designed and built by Felix Lorenz.

On February 28, 1937, the building was opened to the public for an open house with special guides on hand to take guests through every department.

Christian Record Services (CRS) has received $597,000 from the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists to increase its braille production capacity. Funding will enable the ministry to add additional production space at its headquarters, purchase additional braille embossing equipment, and add one additional staff member to meet the increase in production.

Christian Record Services, Inc. is pleased to announce the promotion of Sydney Leffler to Undertreasurer, effective January 1, 2023.

In 1937, Christian Record manager, D.D. Rees, visited the school for the blind in Nebraska City to take moving pictures of the pupils attending there.  He wanted to send the films all over the world.  One particular story that he and E.L. Cardey focused on was that of Helen Siefert and Margaret Hoshor.

As 2022 came to a close, so did the tenure of one of Christian Record Services’ dedicated board members, William (Bill) Wood.  A board member since 2002, Wood was part of a number of pivotal moments in the history of the ministry. 

Larry Pitcher, former president of Christian Record Services for the Blind (CRS), passed to his rest on the morning of Saturday, January 7, 2023, after several illnesses in 2022 and complications from heart disease. He was 76. Pitcher served as CRS president from January 1, 1995, until his retirement on September 30, 2015.

On this date in 1961, a new $450,000 building project was announced in the Lincoln Journal Star as plans were laid to move the Christian Record headquarters to a new location.

Thanks to National Camps for Blind Children, the heart of a 15-year-old boy who was blind was changed forever. And so were each of the people who met him during his life. 

Emerging technology has been a part of Christian Record Services since its start in 1899, from a braille press to producing recordings on vinyl records to cassette tapes, digital cartridges, and mp3 files. With smartphones so prevalent, and an essential tool for many people who are blind, it’s only natural the organization would develop an app as a new way to share uplifting content.

Marye McKenney has been making calendars for Christian Record Services for over 30 years. Here's an article that was printed about her on this date (October 19) in 1996 in the Lincoln Journal Star.

On September 30, 1963 a pre-school for students who were blind and visually impaired was started in the new Christian Record Braille Foundation building. Read more about it in this article from the Lincoln Star.

Johanna Wilson, one of the founders of Christian Record Services, was instrumental in its early success. Read a little more about her here.

The PhoneFaith Revival is this week! The revival is a short series of meetings to strengthen your spiritual journey.

Read an article from 1934 about Austin O. Wilson, one of the founders of Christian Record Services.

On August 19, 1936, the cornerstone was laid for the new Christian Record building on 48th and Bancroft in Lincoln, Nebraska.  This historic two-story building was built with red bricks and limestone and housed Christian Record Services until 1963.  It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since December 1, 1986.

Congratulations to the five recipients of the Anne Lowe Scholarship!

“I would never want to run a camp for the blind without the counseling assistance she provided.  I wish she could be at camp all summer.” 

Josefina has been attending Camp Lawroweld for seven years, through National Camps for Blind Children. She has found many friends at camp and looks forward to seeing them each summer.

I first heard Brandon’s story after he applied for the 2021-22 Anne Lowe Scholarship, provided by endowment funds and friends who help provide programs and services through Christian Record Services for the Blind. Every word of his application essay rang with courage, and I know he will inspire you, too.

Am I too old? When Joanne Greco contemplated adopting a child who was blind from China, this was the nagging thought that was stuck in the back of her head.

At the end of the week, Cathy was all smiles and said it had been the shortest and best week of her life. She attended every year after that until she graduated from high school.

The Christian Record Services staff is excited to get a new machine delivered and installed this week. 

"There's something about sharing experiences with people who are blind, too. We 'get' each other."

Have you ever wondered how a braille Bible is produced? Here's a sneak peek behind the scenes into the production of a NET Bible.

It has been part of Christian Record Services’ strategic plan to expand the reach of Light magazine to include audio and braille readers. The debut of the audio and braille versions will happen later this year. 

Christian Record Services, Inc. has launched a redesign of its website,

Adventure, activities, nature, community, and all-around great times are on the horizon this summer!

The application process is now open for the Anne Lowe Scholarship, which is awarded to undergraduate college students who meet certain criteria.

We are pleased to announce that effective January 1, 2022, Joshua Kittleson was promoted to Assistant Director for Member Services and Studio for Christian Record Services.

We are pleased to announce that effective January 1, 2022, Dennis Tejada was promoted to Braille and Print Manager for Christian Record Services.

Did you know that “blindness” isn’t a single, static experience? Check out the first video in an informing and educational series, with Dr. Matthew Wood of Eye Surgical Associates