Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Gospel Trumpet Years

“I believe in a clean, separate and distinct work for God, but I also believe that we should keep the sectarian stink out of the distinction… ” declared E. A. Reardon, the pioneer father of Anderson University’s longtime president, Robert H. Reardon (p214/The Gospel Trumpet Years/Welch & Stultz/2011).

Reardon concluded his message to the church that day by admitting “There is such a thing as stressing the reformation to such an extent as to cause our people to be reformation-centered reformation sectarians.”

Mention the Gospel Trumpet years and Church of God people become nostalgic. This newest volume from the Church of God Historical Society (authored by Welch & Stultz) is now in the final editing/proofing stages and will bring you the most comprehensive overview available of the Church of God (General Offices, Anderson, IN).

It will clear up questions some of you wonder about. It will raise further questions for some. You will not just read it and lay it aside for it will be a resource you can turn to again and again, for information contained therein, and for historical pictures, a valuable timeline of important events (1867-1961, and other special items like the charts on the inside front and back covers.

It promises to be a fine resource for your coffee table. It covers the developing years of the magazine, the years the magazine was birthing the church; that period when the magazine was called The Gospel Trumpet (up to 1961 when it became “Vital Christianity).

The book divides into three parts. Part I offers an excellent introduction and overview before discussing the magazine itself, followed by the 6 editors of that period: Warner, Fisher, Byrum, Smith, Brown, Phillips. Of special interest will be the insights into the role of J.C. Fisher.

Part II deals with the magazine that birthed the Church and offers excellent insights into the role of the Gospel Trumpet, Songs of the Evening Light, Camp Meetings in the Church of God, the developing Global mission, theological education and the Christian Brotherhood Hour. I especially enjoyed the informative piece on the development of Mission Homes.

Part III offers a resourceful appendix with excellent appendices on the Holiness Movement, Restorationism, The Ohio Odyssey, and Sidney the son. Dave Neidert contributed an excellent segment on D. O. Teaseley. Other subjects include Healing, Making Music, and related segments on RR Byrum and EA Reardon.

The appendice on “Whatever became of? Is informative. For me, reading Dr. Gene Newberry’s final written word to the church he so dearly loved was priceless. This proved to be the final word to the church by the 93-year-old theologian and former Dean of the School of Theology--great wisdom.

From Warner’s World, I hope I whet your whistle a little and increased your interest in this soon-to-be volume awaited by many of us …

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