By Ron Halbrook
“The sower went forth to sow,” said Jesus in the parable, explaining, “The seed is the word of God.” In 1955 Brother Eugene Britnell began a , small mimeographed bulletin in Tuckerman, Arkansas, in an effort to sow the seed of the kingdom. The paper moved with him to the Arch Street church in Little Rock in 1961 and was put out for many years by that church. It had a wide circulation and a definite punch. With the exception of September, 1974, through September of 1975 (during which time Brother Britnell edited the Gospel Guardian), The Sower has been published without interruption for twenty years.
But in January of 1975, The Sower went forth under a new arrangement. No longer a work of Arch Street, it is owned by The Sower Publications, which consists of Brother Britnell and his son Olen (who is also business manager). It will appear monthly on a subscription basis, with a “variety in type, material, arrangement and illustrations.” Rather than specializing in any one subject, editor Britnell will deal with pressing problems of morality while teaching also “on Catholicism, denominationalism, communism, liberalism, institutionalism, and all other ‘isms.'” While seeking to propagate New Testament Christianity, The Sower promises to “teach and hope for the time when all ‘isms’ become ‘wasims.'” The paper will allow discussion of both sides on controversial issues, but will not be a bland hodge-podge of conflicting doctrines. “We shall never allow that which we consider to be doctrinal error to go unchallenged.”
There has been a proliferation of new papers in the last couple of -years. While one editor has spoken of plans to still be mailing out his paper in the year 2000, editor Willis of Truth Magazine says he feels fortunate to make it through a new year! There are problems for subscription papers appealing to the same basic reading audience, but in the case of papers teaching the gospel this should not be the case. As Benjamin Franklin said in the first number of the American Christian Review, which appeared in January of 1856, “There is not the least danger of our circulating too many publications, any more than of our sending out too many preachers. . . .” In terms of the need for teaching the truth in a world of darkness and sin, Franklin was 100 percent right! To the extent that any preacher or paper fills that need, it or he does good. Not only will Christians benefit from reading such papers, they will bless other people by having such papers sent to them. Brother Britnell in his opening editorial points out that “even the paper of the homosexuals, The Advocate, has a circulation of more than 60,000 copies, and that is far more than the total circulation of papers among conservative Christians.”
Those who wish to subscribe should send $4.00 per year in advance to The Sower, P.O. Box 5624, Little Rock, Arkansas 72205. The Sower is a 16-page monthly.
Truth Magazine XX: 42, p. 658
October 21, 1976