Editorial - New Cover Pictures

Cecil Willis
Marion, Indiana

Truth Magazine is now half way through its seventeenth year of publication. Nearly every issue of the paper, throughout its entire existence, has had a picture of some scenic spot either in this country or abroad on its cover. We usually try to secure beautiful scenery shots, preferably with no people in the photo.

Beginning with this issue, our cover pictures will be changed for a while. The change is not being made because of any dissatisfaction with the previous format, and it is our intention to revert, after a while, to scenery shots for our covers. But as you have by now noticed, we are going to carry photographs of some of the church buildings owned by faithful congregations in various parts of the nation.

Along with the cover photo, which will be described in the usual description spot on page four, there also will be carried a very brief report concerning the church which meets in the meeting house shown on the front cover. Brethren are interested in the Lord's Work, not only where they live, but throughout the world. This interest is evidenced by the almost universal interest shown in "News Briefs. " The news section of the paper probably is the most consistently read section. This is true not only in Truth Magazine, but also in all the other journals published by faithful brethren.

The reports given on the various churches will be very concise, and very much alike. Brother John Swatzell of Russellville, Alabama suggested that we use photographs of church buildings on the front of Truth Magazine for a while. One must be careful when he makes suggestions. It has been my experience that the one making a suggestion nearly always gets any work assignment entailed in the suggestion. So, lest I break the rule, I asked Brother Swatzell if he would prepare an inquiry sheet and mail it out to a few churches to see if sufficient interest could be aroused to enable us to implement the church building picture procedure.

Happily, the response was immediate and good. Though the first mailing of these inquiry sheets went only to a few churches, enough inquiry sheets were returned to assure at least six months appearance of meetinghouses on the front cover. No particular criteria were followed as to which churches these inquiry sheets would be mailed. Brother Swatzell did an excellent job in devising a good information-seeking sheet.

After these sheets were received back, Brother Norman Midgette of Marion, Indiana was asked to further refine and condense the information given, and to establish some outline-type format by which this information could be given regarding each church, without occupying too much space. Hopefully, this special news item will occupy no more than one column in the paper. We are most grateful to both John Swatzell and Norman Midgette for jobs well done.

We have sought to be representative in the meetinghouses shown in this series. By that I mean that we have not chosen to write only to the largest churches, or only to those with new meetinghouses. One thing we have insisted upon, however. We have stated that only those pictures would be used which were of professional quality. Of course, nearly every "camera-bug" in the country thinks his pictures are of professional quality. Nearly every church needs a good professionally-made picture to use at some time in its advertising. We hope that those who submit pictures for consideration for usage on covers of Truth Magazine will send us only 8 x 10 black and white high quality glossy photographs.

It is very possible that we will have more pictures submitted than our weekly publication can use. We will continue to show meeting houses and to publish brief reports about congregations so long as sufficient interest is shown in our doing so. If you are interested in our using a picture of your meeting house and carrying a concise report about the congregation of which you are a member, do this first: Write to John Swatzell, P.O. Box 146, Russellville, Alabama 35653 for one of the information sheets which he has prepared. After having filled it out and supplied the requested information, return the sheet as instructed to Brother Swatzell. He then will send all the information to me, and it will then be scheduled for publication.

It has been my thought that a great deal of good might result from such an effort as this. As I travel over the country in gospel meeting work, very frequently I am asked, "How does it appear to you that the churches over the nation are doing? Are we growing? Are good programs of scriptural work being carried on? etc." From these reports that will be given, you can decide the answers of these questions yourself. The concise report concerning each congregation will be written under four headings: (1) Name; (2) History; (3) Work; and (4) Officers.

You will be encouraged to learn of the number of preachers being supported by some of these churches. Where unique but effective work procedures are being used, these will be called to your attention. We will try to report on radio and television programs being conducted by faithful churches. We hope to make this addition to Truth Magazine not only interesting, but also enlightening and encouraging.

Some of the churches about which reports are to be given are fairly large; others will be small churches. We will try to present news about churches in various parts of the nation; as such information is supplied to us. If you wonder why some particular church was not featured, it probably will be because they ignored our information sheet. If you did ignore one such sheet, and would like to receive another one, write John Swatzell.

Churches scheduled to appear first in this series, and in the order in which they are scheduled to appear are: (1) 2nd and Walnut, Paragould, Arkansas; (2) Country Club Road, Tucson, Arizona; (3) Studebaker Road, Long Beach, California; (4) West "E" Street, Ontario, California; (5) Hairston Street (North- A side), Conway, Arkansas; (6) Locust Street, Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee; (7) West Second Street, Bloomington, Indiana; (8) Riverside and Tebeau, Waycross, Georgia; (9) West Par Avenue, Orlando, Florida; (10) Arch Street, Little Rock, Arkansas; (11) Meeks Street, Corinth, Mississippi; (12) College View, Florence, Alabama; (13) Mt. View, San Bernardino, California.

We would like to receive some response from our readers as to how interesting and useful you think this effort to be. We have at least thirteen more churches that already have sent the requested information, and whose data will be used in the three months following those churches just listed. Judging by the reaction we receive from the readers of Truth Magazine, and of course predicated upon the willingness of churches to continue to supply a first-quality picture and the information requested, we will continue this feature of the paper. I should think there would be sufficient interest to merit its continuation for at least one or two years. "What sayest thou?"

May 3, 1973