By Theron N. Bohannan
This is not to announce a paper or new magazine but rather a combination of two great names under which God’s wonderful truths have been and shall continue to be proclaimed and every error and ideology of men shall be exposed and dissected with the “sword of the Spirit” of God so all who really want to know His Truth may do so via this new media.
It is with greatly mixed emotions of a sad heart on one hand, while on the other, it is with immense joy and a great and good feeling toward all with whom I have had to do through the acquisition of, and being the owner and publisher of, The Gospel Guardian for more than half a decade; plus, being an equal stockholder and publisher and corporate president as mentioned above.
In looking back and re-reading an article I wrote in the September 15, 1975 issue of the Gospel Guardian, I think this article perhaps, in part at least, should be entitled “An Antithesis” or “The Second Part.”
This is, however, in part, a statement to our readers and well wishers through the past years appraising you of the fact of our divesting ourselves of all the corporate stock of the Gospel Guardian Company, Inc. On September 19, 1980, there was a meeting in Lufkin, Texas of a three man committee with me and James W. Adams. This committee had been selected from and approved by the whole Board of Trustees of The Cogdill Foundation approximately four months prior to this time at its annual board meeting in Memphis, Tennessee. This writer has been a member of this board for more than a decade of years, and still is. I was not, however, one of the three men picked to serve on this committee. I was the one, with the approval of the whole board, who did the selecting of this committee to handle the mechanics of the closing of the already agreed upon acquisition of Gospel Guardian, Inc. by the entire Board of the Cogdill Foundation. The September 19, 1980 committee meeting was held in the office of James W. Adams, Editor of the Gospel Guardian, in Lufkin, Texas. There were, as always in such transitions and/or sales, many stipulations and details to be worked out, especially when consideration is given to the future and to other generations who will someday take this present Board’s place. It is, and has been from the beginning of my acquisition of the Gospel Guardian, my hope and prayer that the Lord would allow me to live to see this great old periodical phased, in someway, into strong, true and faithful younger hands that would be not ashamed nor lack the courage (through her and/or other combinations just as sound) to “rightly divide the word of truth” for the present, as well as the future generations. This, I believe we have done and, at the same time, preserved by a sort of fusion of the two original names of the Guardian and the Truth publications.
Using the word “merger” loosely, this transaction amounts to just about that, or a “fusion” of the names of these two fine papers, The Gospel Guardian and the Truth Magazine. According to the agreements and stipulations, all will be owned by the Cogdill Foundation (a non-profit corporation) about the first of January 1981, lock, stock and in its completeness. The shares have already been signed over to said Foundation. At that time, the paper, book stores, the publishing of books and tracts and all operations thereof will be under the control and managed by the same Board of Trustees, as they are now and have been, for the most part, for many years and have very successfully handled the business.
This writer is not getting any younger and the burdens that necessarily go with the office I have held from the beginning as corporate president, owner and publisher are not getting any lighter with the passing of time. Then too, but far from the least of the reasons for this move at this time, is that our beloved editor and friend and brother, James W. Adams, is in need of some long past due relief and rest from the burdensome duties of editing and managing of a regularly published paper. Brother James mentioned this idea, on behalf of both him and me, about a year ago. So then later, via many phone calls and some letters prior to the Board meeting of the Cogdill Foundation (I believe in 1979 and perhaps early in 1980), this whole matter began to demonstrate to me the probable wisdom of becoming a little more interested in effecting an effort to this end. To my dear friend and brother, James D. Yates, who is one of the fine elders of the Spring Branch Church in Houston, Texas. Lennie and I owe so much to him and Sister Mildred, Jim’s sweet wife, for their encouragement to go forward with the proposition of somehow relieving us of the burden of responsibility from two standpoints; (1) of non-deductibility of all costs, of underwriting expenses and (2) all the frustration connected therewith. Not that it was not worth it and many times enjoyable, but personal, legal and extremely costly civil problems were getting to us. Thank you, Jim and Mildred.
Back to Brother Adams, it really; hurts so many of us that we shall not henceforth be able; to read his soul Moving, thought provoking articles we have become accustomed to reading. His excellent mind and typewriter are going to be missed. I “suspect” he might do some pamphlet or Bible lesson or book writing after a good rest and relief from present rigors and pressures. He and Sister Gertrude have so generously and gallantly given of themselves in this effort. This, as I say, is only a guess and certainly none of our affairs, only his. Of course it has been said, “a wise man sometimes will change his mind but” – and there is no use saying what the other type of man never does because my dear friend and brother, James Adams, never was afflicted with that other type of attitude – no, never.
This whole idea to merge or sell or some other arrangement began to more and more become a possible reality in the minds of all who are directly concerned with either or both the Guardian or Truth. We have all carefully and prayerfully considered and gone over every conceivable aspect of such a transaction, sale and/or fusion and the effects such might have on all our readers, customers, friends and brethren. By this we do not mean that all monetary aspects of said transaction, as that is immaterial and therefore irrelevant to all that should be concerned. We do, however, mean the effects for good; that is, how best to get God’s truth before more souls and more effectively teach against the horrors of error in the world, and even more importantly, those evils that are always creeping and sneaking into our Lord’s church. Yes, in congregations where you might least expect to find such weak teaching.
This is also not to say there has been no monetary considerations as concerning the overall operation of these two publications, as compared to the cost of the two, turned into one publication. We therefore feel that we shall be, with the Lord’s blessings, your helping cooperation, your prayers, your contributions, your book and literature purchases, your subscriptions and advertising in a great deal better position to successfully reach more people both in and out of the church with the same grand lessons of truth about God and His ways, in the future as in the past, through this media of the Guardian Of Truth which new name and new masthead or format you will be receiving with the first issue of the new year, 1981.
In my reminiscence of these years subsequent to the September 15, 1975 issue and even before, during the long period of acquisition, it brings tears and a heavy heart for many reasons, both joyable and sorrowful. First, I do not have the words to express my appreciation and thanks to a beloved friend and brother for all his willful help and willingness to carry so much of the load of the pressures of being the Editor-in-chief of the Guardian. As if that were not enough, he was the general manager of all the operations. We loved James Adams and his family before we starting publishing the Guardian and that love and admiration has increased and ripened through the years.
Then our thanks and gratitude to our beloved brethren, Roy E. Cogdill and Kent Ellis who, from the very first and for a time were our associate editors. But, alas, too soon other writings and books brother Roy wanted to finish forced him to resign that place on our little staff. We are and shall be ever grateful to him for his encouragement and advice.
Then for a short time it was James Adams and associate, Kent Ellis, in the editing department. Quite soon our dear friend and brother, Peter J. Wilson,of Portland, Oregon joined our growing group of good writers and was prevailed upon to become an associate editor along with Adams and Ellis. Oh, that was good. We were going first class again. Some time after that (I believe the later part of 1979 or early in 1980) Brother Ellis, for personal reasons, none of which were in any way connected with his association with the Guardian or it’s personnel nor any of the Guardians affairs, desired to resign from its editoral staff. However, Brother Pete Wilson is, and shall be, an associate editor to the end of this arangement in December, next. I must say, and I can say, because I was the one who just would not take no for an answer, it took some real doing to steal enough of Brother Wilson’s time to come in with us at the Guardian as a regular contributor of the very fine, in deed the very finest, gospel writing and shortly thereafter he became an associate editor with Brother Adams. There just could not have been a better choice made. We, speaking for myself and so many hundreds of our readers, Brother Peter, all shall be eternally grateful for the great lessons you have written for the Guardian during the past several years. Brother Wilson, I and every one (not one exception) together hope you will accept a place in that long list of staff writers of the combined two lists, which will (no doubt) soon become one list and just maybe longer when the papers become one, “The Guardian of Truth” Owned and published by the Cogdill Foundation Corporation.
I just cannot mention all the good brethren who have been the “LIFE BLOOD” of our efforts with the Guardian. Time and space will not permit me to do that here. I just want to mention however, a few more, not the least of whom is Brother Jesse M. Kelley who has been our printer, arranger and mailer from the very first issue. He has also made many fine contributions by his writing of good and sound articles. Another writer comes to mind, Brother Dennis C. Abernathy, who has written so much, our thanks to him. Brother Bill Cavender also contributed excellent articles, and since he is a staff writer for Truth Magazine, we shall be expecting to se more of his writing in Guardian of Truth, next year. Our thanks also to Brother Donald R. Givens of Canada for his good articles and to Brother Vaught D. Shofner for his brilliant work through the years. There are so many, many more – I say, “Thanks,” from the bottom of my heart for the good and wonderful work you have done for us in the great truths you have set forth in your great efforts.
Truth Magazine XXIV: 50, pp. 805-806
December 18, 1980