By Mike Willis
On the front page of this issue is Connie Adam’s announcement that he will discontinue publishing Searching the Scriptures with the December 1992 issue. This news is received with a mixture of emotions. We are elated to have him working with us on Guardian of Truth. However, the news that Searching the Scriptures will be ceasing publication is like the passing of an old friend.
Searching the Scriptures has been published for thirty-three years under the capable editorship of H.E. Phillips and later Connie W. Adams, both of whom have been very dear to me. Brother Phillips performed the wedding for my wife Sandy and me and we have continued to have association with each other through the years. When Sandy and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary, we had a small ceremony in which we repeated our vows and asked brother Phillips to preside over the occasion. Through the years, he has been a confidant, counselor, and friend.
Shortly after I was asked to edit Guardian of Truth, I met with Connie W. Adams while he was in a meeting in southern Ohio. He encouraged me in the work, gave me some words of advice, and then spoke to a group of preachers with whom we ate lunch to encourage them to help increase the circulation of what then was Truth Magazine. There never has been a spirit of competition between Searching the Scriptures and Guardian of Truth in our minds. We have always viewed ourselves as fellow laborers in the Lord’s vineyard.
Through the years, brother Adams and I have continued to be supportive of each other’s work. There has rarely been anything controversial which I have written that he has not read before it was sent to the typesetter to get his assessment of the material. His suggestions for improving the material have been respected and generally followed.
In recent years, those who have been perceptive have seen that the burden of work for brother Adams was weighing heavily on him. Thinking that he might be thinking about making a change, we met together to talk about bringing our works together. Brother Adams wanted Searching the Scriptures to end publication rather than being merged into another work which might rename two existing papers. He did not want the paper to fall into the hands of someone at a later date who might make it the tool of liberalism. Consequently, Searching the Scriptures is one paper whose use from its beginning to the end has been for the cause of truth. The Guardian of Truth Foundation purchased the name of the Searching the Scriptures with an agreement between brother Adams and ourselves that it would not be used as a name for a paper. We both want to state expressly that we request that no one resurrect that name, trying to draw on its illustrious history and reputation, to begin another paper.
There remained a problem for brother Adams which also had to be worked out. If he decided to quit publishing Searching the Scriptures, he still had obligation to those who purchased a subscription to the paper. Too, many churches had purchased church ads and these obligations in advertising had to be filled. Consequently, we entered an agreement with brother Adams whereby the Guardian of Truth would fill both of these obligations. We have committed ourselves to fulfill his obligations on church ads on 1:1 ratio and his subscriptions on a 1:1.5 ratio (a subscriber will get 1 month – 2 issues – of Guardian of Truth for every 1.5 months he has remaining on his Searching the Scripture subscription). The ratio for subscribers seemed fair because Guardian of Truth is eight pages longer and circulates two issues per month compared to Searching the Scriptures’one issue per month. Those subscribers to Searching the Scriptures who already are subscribing to Guardian of Truth will have their subscriptions extended on the same ratio.
Guardian of Truth made another condition for our reaching agreement with brother Adams to fill his obligations to his subscribers – that he be added as Associate Editor of Guardian of Truth. Brother Adams was insistent that he not be increasing his work load by this arrangement; consequently, he is not expected to have an editorial in every issue. However, we are encouraging him to write with the freedom he has used as the capable editor of Searching the Scriptures, both in his editorial space and his “Editorial Left-overs.” Furthermore, we are expecting his input on the editorial policy of this paper. Those who have enjoyed his pen through the years will want to continue reading after him. We are delighted that his material will be appearing in Guardian of Truth.
As we begin 1993, the twenty-seventh year of publication of Guardian of Truth, we do so with great anticipation. Our circulation will be the highest it ever has been. Our staff of writers will include some of the best among us. With the addition of brother Adams to our editorial staff, we are confident that we can improve the quality of our work. We want to encourage all of our readers to stay with us and recommend us to your friends.
Guardian of Truth XXXVI: 22, pp. 674, 695
November 19, 1992