MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF FOOD FOR THE FLOCK INC.
From the Left to Right they are: (1) Norman MacNeil, Moncton, N.B., (2) Ormer G. C. Sprunt, Toronto, Ont., (3) F. W. Schwartz, Detroit, Mich., (4) Dr. James Naismith, Kingston, Ont. Immediately in front, (5) James Gunn, Midland, Ont. (6) Dr. Robert Hazel, Spring Lake, N. J., (7) John Robertson, Toronto, Ont., (8) Sydney Green Houston, Texas, (9) Miss Lillian Telfer, Toronto, Ont., (10) Robert Swatosh, Detroit, Mich., (11) Guy Cesar, Hamilton, Ont., (12) J. Boyd Nicholson, St. Catharines, Ont., (13) Benjamin Bradford, Miami, Florida, (14) Lloyd Wineberg, Washington, D.C.
More than a decade ago now, a number of brethren who had discovered in each other a common exercise, met in Hamilton, Ontario, between sessions of the annual conference there.
The exercise they shared was that of a definite need for a printed ministry that could be a help to all believers and a desire to meet that need.
This exercise naturally assumed that a publication should be made available which would serve the Lord’s people generally. It should provide material mostly from contemporary writers and be relevant to current needs.
Since the needs and interests of believers differ in many ways, depending on capacity and circumstances, the publication should have an appeal to the thinking serious Bible Student. It should likewise be useful to others who needed help in studying. Also, if possible, it should provide an incentive to those who seemed to be lacking in regular study habits. Thus the necessity for the inclusion of Doctrinal, Expository and Prophetical articles was seen.
However if the heart is cold or in need of comfort — and aching hearts abound — there is always the need for the comforting and encouraging messages of a devotional nature.
The problems of youth and new Christians also were felt, as were the needs of the many Sunday School teachers and workers among children.
The format of the suggested magazine began to take shape in the minds of those present. It’s name ‘Food for the Flock’ seemed to convey the real exercise of those involved, to feed the flock of God.
When these spiritual issues were resolved, as could be, and the mechanics of such a publication begun, the first issues appeared in January, 1955.
The first cover showed a picture taken in Palestine, of a shepherd pouring oil on the head of one of his sheep. If anything has conveyed the exercise of those involved, it is this picture; to seek, under God, to comfort, to nurture “the flock for which the Saviour bled.”
During those ten years is was felt necessary to incorporate for legal purposes. Food for the Flock Inc., is a none-profit corporation, chartered under the laws of Ontario, Canada. Dr. Robert Hazel, New Jersey, presides over a board, the members of which are representative of many distant points both in Canada and the U.S.A. Mr. James Gunn, Midland, Ontario edits with the assistance of John S. Robertson, Toronto, Dr. James Naismith, Kingston, and Mr. Sydney Green, Houston, Texas.
These ‘and others’ seek to provide such ministry in a wider sphere than would otherwise be possible and to extend the influence of the Word of God so ministered to those who feel a need for such.
One of the aspects of the exercise of those involved, has been to avoid any hint of denominationalism, under whatever guise or misnomer, that believers feeling the need for food and instruction, may be helped, wherever they may gather.
So without sacrificing principle, or becoming parochial, or yet avoiding any helpful issue. “Food for the Flock” has sought to minister to “all the flock.” All have sought to look beyond man’s ecumenism and man’s exclusions to that day when “there shall be one flock and one Shepherd,” recalling the words of the King and the principle they convey, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me.”
In this regard, the writer was encouraged the other day while visiting in a hospital, to discover a stranger who was a regular reader of “Food for the Flock”. A believer in one of the denominations, he was given a copy each month by a mutual friend and brother.
Would it be out of the way to encourage the reader to do this also? There are believers known to us all, not gathering with us, and they are hungry and dissatisfied with what they are being given as spiritual food. Pass on your copy, or enter a subscription for such as these.
Or if you know a promising young man of gift he may be helped by the many suggestive outlines and expositions available month by month.
Perhaps you know of a few of the Lord’s people “off the beaten track” who do not have oral ministry and who would be helped by subscriptions to Food for the Flock.
“Food for the Flock” was never intended to “light” reading. But with the great lack of Bible students in these days of super-activity, it’s main purpose is to provide stimulating helps to a richer and deeper knowledge of the Lord and His Word. —J.B.N.