Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 1, 1962
NUMBER 1, PAGE 4,12b

Coming Up


As the Gospel Guardian begins her fourth year of consecutive weekly publications, and as our friends both new and old rejoice with us in this sustained history of service to those of like precious faith, we are more than a little bit excited about the prospects for the future. We want to share with you a brief preview of coming events:

I. A Definitive Study Of Church Benevolence

Beginning in this issue we carry the first of two scholarly articles by brother Victor H. Sellers of Rogers, Arkansas, on the subject "Society's Care of Dependent and Neglected Children." This is material which has not hitherto been presented in this fashion, and represents an immense amount of research. Bro. Sellers is a qualified expert in this field, having done his graduate work in the study of this very problem. He served for a while as the Superintendent of the Shults-Lewis Children's Home at Valparaiso, Indiana, and has had personal experience in the matters of which he writes.

After the Seller's articles have been concluded we will follow with some five or six articles from the pen of James R. Cope, President of Florida Christian College, under the title "Voices in the Wilderness." Brother Cope takes up the story where Sellers leaves it off, and gives a careful, well-documented history of "The Development of Benevolence Societies and Their Support" among the churches of Christ. He gives the answers to such questions as, "Have the Churches of Christ 'always' supported orphan homes?", 'When did the opposition begin?" and "Is it really true that persons now living remember the origin of the first orphan home supported by Churches of Christ?"

Both Sellers and Cope have done outstanding work in these two studies, and it is material which should go a long way toward putting "the orphan home question" in proper perspective.

2. A Study of Religious Journalism among the disciples will provide material for some two or three lengthy articles by this writer a little bit later In the summer. Much of this is material prepared for a lecture at Tampa last winter, but expanded and further documented for use in the Gospel Guardian. We think it will be of interest to our readers to know something oi the struggles and triumphs (and more often failures) of our fore-fathers in their efforts to provide useful teaching via the great number of religious journals. We believe certain truths gleaned from their experiences can be immensely useful to our generation as we try to unravel some of our contemporary knots and problems. One fact emerged crystal-clear from our study: An "open forum" policy, permitting full and free discussion of controverted issues generally tended to remove or at least lessen the differences; and, conversely, a "close door" policy by any journal of influence or strength has tended to promote division and foster a sectarian spirit. We think our readers will be interested in following the study.

3. Price increase. On the less pleasant side of the future looms the prospect of a price increase in our subscription rates. Increasing costs of operations, both labor and materials, make this almost a certainty. We have maintained our rates at $3.00 per year long months after other weekly journals among us have gone to $4.00; and in the denominational world, subscription prices for journals of similar size (and inferior quality, naturally!) run on up as high as $6.00 to $8.00 per year. If we could add as many as ten thousand new names to our permanent list (those who faithfully renew year after year), a might be possible to avoid the increase; but as of now we see little chance of keeping the subscription rate at the present $3.00 level. But until that increase comes, you can still have the journal (new or renewal) for one year at $3.00; or two years for $5.00.

5. W. W. Otey's books. Back to the pleasanter side of the ledger, we are happy to report that we now have all the remaining stock of Brother Otey's final book, "The Tree of Life — Lost and Regained." We have just received the shipment of these books from Brother James P. Needham. And when this supply is exhausted it is unlikely that there will be a new printing. The book sells for $2.50, and represents the mature scholarship of this noble man of God whose life span stretched over nearly a century of time. We believe it will be a valuable addition to any library.

6. Expanded services. Also on the pleasanter side of things, we are happy to report a steady growth in our book distribution, and in the sale of tracts and other supplies over the past several months. This encourages us to additional enlargement of our stock and supplies, and to further expansion of all those items which congregations, and individuals, need from a company such as this. We are particularly building up a fine supply of Bibles, and are able to supply nearly any kind you might desire — either as a single copy, or in large quantity for class use. We encourage you to keep checking the various book lists, Bibles, tracts, commentaries, and other items which we regularly publish. Make careful selections of the things most needful to you, god let us help you build a practical and well balanced library.

Well, these are some of the things to which we are giving thought as our fourteenth year begins. It promises to be a year of expansion and growth with this journal, as it will most certainly be among those thousands of faithful Christians and congregations whom we strive to serve. We express our thanks for every encouragement that has come to us during these past thirteen years — and solicit your continued interest and loyal help for the years to come.

— F. Y. T.