In 1925 fourteen-year-old Herman Baker, with his family, emigrated from the Netherlands to America, traveling by boat to Ellis Island and then by train to Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Culture shock was minimal. More than 75,000 Netherlanders already lived there, Dominie Albertus Van Raalte having led the way to western Michigan with a small band of followers in 1847. Nearby towns bore such names as Zeeland, Holland, and Graafschap.
Shortly after arriving in Grand Rapids, young Herman Baker began working part-time in the bookstore owned by his uncle, Louis Kregel. Here young Baker developed a love for the religious classics, cultivated a knowledge of theology that would rival that of most ministers, and began to dream of beginning a book business of his own.
Just one year after he became a bookseller, Herman Baker became a publisher. In 1940 he published More than Conquerors, a commentary on Revelation previously self-published by his friend, Dr. William Hendriksen. This title proved to be typical of the type of book Baker loved to publish--conservative, scholarly, biblical, timeless. This title is still in print, and continues to sell steadily. Baker has always preferred books with longevity, those that will be reprinted regularly over the years.
In time, Baker would expand its publishing division to include other names like Revell, Brazos Press, Chosen, Bethany House, and most recently, the God's Word translation of the Bible. And after over 70 years, retail division continues to thrive with a full selection of new books, music, gifts, and DVDs, and over 100,000 used and remainder books. We are proud to say that the traditions and vision of Herman Baker are as alive now as they were when he started the bookstore in 1939.