A Brief History of Hart Research Center
What is today known as Hart Research Center was originally known as H.A.R.T, an acronym that stands for Harvest 90 Adventist Research Task Force. Formed in late 80’s, Hart was a creative think tank challenged with developing resources to facilitate the personal evangelism process throughout the Southeastern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists .
A number of resources were developed in this first phase, including two Bible study series titled “Come Alive” and “Stay Alive,” as well as a checkbook-sized book called “Studying Together” which is best described as the swiss army knife of personal evangelism.
Two major video training seminars followed titled “Making Friends for God” and “Fulfilling the Gospel Commission” with Pastor Mark Finley. These two seminars marked the first time Pastor Finley was on camera.
Development of additional materials began to surge, and H.A.R.T. was reorganized into an independent non-profit communcation ministry called Hart Research Center. Creative collaborations were pursued with author/presenters that included Charles Bradford, Mark Finley, Dwight Nelson, Ron Halvorsen, Russell Burrill, Cliff Goldstein, and many others.
While looking to commission an illustration for a book cover for Dwight Nelson, Hart President Dan Houghton connected with a budding Christian artist named Nathan Greene. After looking at Nathan’s portfolio, Houghton commissioned Greene to do the book cover on the spot.
Several weeks later, Mr. Greene called Houghton and asked him if he would represent his artwork. Houghton agreed--Greene's artwork is a powerful tool to share faith, and shortly thereafter launched a fine art division within Hart called Hart Classic Editions. In addition to marketing Greene’s work to the expanding market Hart already served, distribution deals were signed to distribute Greene’s artwork to the Christian Bookseller’s Association.
In the mid-90‘s Hart Research Center played a significant role in the concept development of satellite evangelism, which married satellite technology with traditional evangelistic presentations, which resulted in vastly increased audience reach.
Hart also provided direct support materials and personnel training for the inaugural Net ’95 campaign, Net ’96, and varying levels of support for ensuing satellite evangelism events.
Color Press, a printing company owned by Walla Walla College (now University) and established in 1892 became a part of the Hart Family in 1998. Color Press serves a distinct niche in evangelism advertising that complemented the overall ministry strategy for Hart.
Color Press was relocated from the campus to a facility more than three times its original size, and with the installation of the latest in printing technology, has expanded services to a broad range of clients including church and evangelism clients.
In 2005, Hart struck a distribution agreement with Review & Herald publishing to distribute it’s evangelism-focused product offerings to the Seventh-day Adventist market through the Adventist Book Center chain, and moved direct customer distribution to Color Press.
In 2005, Three Angels Global Networking (TAGnet) also became a member of the Hart family of companies. TAGnet was founded in 1995 by a group of visionary technologists led by Sean Carney, who had a burden to see the Internet used to further the Gospel.
TAGnet’s focus was quickly shifted from a hosting ministry that catered to religious organizations to the development of a new software platform for church and school websites called netAdventist.
The platform was constructed so that the netAdventist software core could be implemented anywhere in the world, with the ability for the local implementation team to further customize the software to their specific needs. In addition, companion applications were created to assist in website theme design and translation of the software into any left-to-right reading language.
In October, 2007, the netAdventist platform was gifted by TAGnet to the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. The General Conference created a new Office of Global Software and Technology to assume oversight of netAdventist, and under their supervision, the software platform continues to expand.
It is now used on five different continents in more than thirty countries, and is translated into five languages. TAGnet continues to encourage ongoing development on the netAdventist platform through its annual netPrize, presented at the GIEN technology conference.
Today, Hart continues to fulfill the mission it committed to at the beginning, by empowering those interested in sharing the gospel in a very personal way with the development of relevant and timely resources and supporting technology.