From the Editor’s Notebook: 30th Anniversary

From the Editor’s Notebook

W. Ross Rainey

30th Anniversary Issue

The first issue of “Food for the Flock” was published in January 1955. As a charter subscriber, the only issue missing from my own personal collection of copies over the magazine’s thirty-year history is the July 1964 issue. It arrived in the mail in such a mutilated condition that it was barely readable and I have been unable to replace it.

In 1965 the June and July issues were combined for the first time. Then in the fall of 1968 the Committee members made the following decisions which became effective on January 1, 1969:

1. The magazine was to be issued bimonthly (a move to save both printing and mailing costs).

2. The number of pages in each issue was increased from 18 to 24 (this made the total amount of material basically the same as in the past).

3. The general format was to undergo a sweeping change.

4. The written ministry would be directed toward a more relevant and time-related emphasis.

Commencing with the Jan.-Feb. 1969 issue, the magazine was published under a new title: “Ministry in Focus.” Unfortunately, many people acquainted with “Food for the Flock” thought that the latter had ceased publication. Thus in 1981 the Committee members, at the suggestion of Mr. James Gunn, reinstated the old name, using “Ministry in Focus” as a subtitle. Also, it was at the beginning of 1969 that I became associate editor. I continued in this capacity for five years, having become editor at the beginning of 1975.

In the very first issue the purpose of the magazine was stated as follows: “A monthly publication designed to promote the careful study of the Scriptures, to edify and instruct the Church, to comfort and encourage the people of God, and above all, to bring glory to the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The late Mr. James Gunn was the first editor. Other members of the Executive Committee were Ernest B. Sprunt, John Robertson, Ormer G. C. Sprunt and J. Boyd Nicholson, Sr. Those who served as Associate Editors were Robert McClurkin, David Leathem and Thomas G. Wilkie. The Advisory Committee was composed of Cecil Batstone, Guy Cesar, Aubrey Dellandrea, William Funston, David Kirk, John Martin, Norman MacNeil, Clark McClelland, Paul Plubell, Wylam Price and Gordon Reager.

Many of these brethren who were linked with the magazine from its beginning have, of course, gone Home to be with Christ.

Since the Jan.-Feb. 1985 issue of “Food for the Flock” marks 30 years of continuous publication, we felt it would be fitting to make it a special edition as a further expression of our praise and thanksgiving to God for His great faithfulness. Thus we have reprinted three articles which appeared in the first issue. I have also included the last book review sent to me by Mr. Gunn.

As I write these lines, it is mid-October 1984. Our Annual Meeting is scheduled for Saturday, October 27th in Toronto. In our next issue, as has been our custom, we will publish a brief report on the meeting. Also, in that same issue I trust to complete my series of studies on JUDE.

As an appropriate capstone to my brief comments on the history of “Food for the Flock” I can do no better than to quote as follows from Mr. Gunn’s “Editorial” in the first issue of the magazine:

“Of late years there has been increasing evidence of a definite decline in personal Bible study and devotion to the Lord. During the Second World War the saints were living unsettled lives, with added work and worry, and so much rush and bustle, that they found few opportunities for the careful reading of the Scriptures or the preparation of the heart through prayer and communion with God. Since the close of the war, most Christians have lost the art of ‘redeeming the time’ and find it hard to settle down to spiritual living. True, the world has added attractions, and has perhaps taken a larger place in the hearts of believers. Yet, with all who are truly born of God, there is an underlying love for the Man of Calvary. Keeping these things in mind, ‘FOOD for the FLOCK’ is being printed with the hope of reviving the soul and feeding the inner man, so that the saints may be drawn closer to the Lord and given a renewed appetite for the reading and study of His Word.”