Most of the brethren know that back in 1946 when the last issue of the Bible Banner that would have ever been published had been brought out, I assumed, agreeably with Brother Foy E. Wallace, Jr. responsibility for its publication. With the help of Brother Roy D. Spears, Luther Blackmon, and all of the personal resources I could raise we formed the Roy E. Cogdill Pub. Co., at Lufkin, Texas and established a printing and publishing business. We put the Bible Banner back on a regular monthly basis with the expectation that Brother Wallace would continue to edit it. For a short time he did so and then abandoned the work and moved west.
We were able to keep it going and within a few months at the encouragement of the brethren made it a weekly paper and reverted to the original name of the paper when founded by Brother Wallace, The Gospel Guardian. Brother Yater Tant was selected as editor and Brother Wallace granted the ownership of the paper to the publishing company.
For a number of years as the president of the publishing Company it was my obligation to see to it that payrolls were met, bills paid, and the paper kept alive. Following the battle in the late forties with the Gospel Advocate and Firm Foundation and the schools over putting the schools in the church budgets we were met in the early 50’s with the combined forces of all liberally minded brethren and churches as they reconnoitered their forces and made their attack through the human benevolent societies (so called orphan homes) and sponsoring church projects (Herald of Truth, etc.)
For some time the Guardian was the only publication available to brethren through which these digressive innovations could be opposed and the battle raged hot and heavy. Many of those thought to be friends could not stand the pressure and deserted the ranks and sold out their convictions for the sake of popularity and a place to preach, among them were some of the men regarded among us as stalwarts including Foy E. Wallace, Jr.
The struggle was a heavy and hard one. Resources were scarce but by the grace of God and the help of a few faithful brethren we were able to persevere and continue to wage the fight. No one of any knowledge of that period will question the fact that the Gospel Guardian stood, steadfastly and unfalteringly and paid whatever cost was necessary to oppose those who would bring into the Lord’s church their unscriptural innovations.
Through the pages of the Gospel Guardian in her unwavering stand much good was done and much of the cause of our Lord was saved from digressions. Other papers were started and joined forces with us in a general rallying for truth and divine authority and saved much more of the church than was saved in the first great digression.
It is sad to me that with such an illustrious past the position and attitude of the Gospel Guardian today is not the same. Everywhere I go I am asked about the uncertain sounds that are being voiced by those in control of the Guardian now and the familiar question asked is “what has happened to The Guardian?” People who have taken it for years have lost confidence and interest and are no longer subscribers. A good portion of those who yet take it do so because they have taken it through the years.
My concern, and I think it a legitimate one in view of the time, toil, money and effort put into it in the past, is that if it continues in its unstable course it could become a destructive and damaging influence instead of a bulwark against error. I hope and pray it will not.
TRUTH MAGAZINE XVII: 47, p. 2
October 4, 1973