THE GOSPEL ADVOCATE
The Gospel Advocate is a religious journal published in Nashville, Tennessee by members of the church of Christ and has as its mission exactly what its name suggests—to advocate by means of the printed page the pure gospel of Christ as set forth on the pages of the New Testament.
The periodical was begun as a monthly by Tolbert Fanning and William Lipscomb in July of 1855. This month the journal celebrates its 160th anniversary. During the Civil War it was forced to suspend publication, but following the War it resumed publication under the editorships of Tolbert Fanning and David Lipscomb. In time, it became a weekly publication and was widely read by members of the church throughout the South. The paper came to my father’s home from before the time I was a teenager and I have been exposed to its columns for over sixty-five years. For the past sixty years, I have kept a cherished copy of the Special 100th Anniversary Issue of the Gospel Advocate, celebrating 100 years of Christian Journalism, dated July 14, 1955. (Interestingly, this edition of “Hugh’s News & Views” bears that same date, exactly sixty years later!) I also have a valued copy of the 150th Anniversary Edition, issued ten years ago in July of 2005. (The journal is now again a monthly publication.)
I began contributing occasional articles to the Gospel Advocate in the 1960s. In October of 1973, I was invited by B. C. Goodpasture, editor of the journal from 1939 until his death in 1977, to become a staff writer for the Advocate, and served as such until his death. I have continued to write for the paper through the years since then. I am deeply appreciative of the confidence that each of the editors since brother Goodpasture has placed in me by publishing my articles.
I have known and been a friend of the current editor, Greg Tidwell, for over thirty years (since he was in his early twenties). In addition to serving as the Advocate’s editor, Greg is also the regular minister of the Fishinger and Kenny Church of Christ in Columbus, Ohio, where he has effectively served for over thirty years. He is an astute student of the Scriptures and of church history. He is well-informed in what is going on in our pluralistic and postmodern world, and is on the “cutting edge” of addressing the challenges posed by contemporary culture. He is well acquainted with the threats facing the Lord’s church here in the early decades of the 21st century. He knows how history, including religious history, tends to repeat itself, and is aware that the old apostasies of the past are now being recycled through some local churches, as well as through various educational institutions operated by members of the churches of Christ.
Greg honored me by inviting me to write a blurb to be included in the 160th Anniversary Edition of the Gospel Advocate. Here is what I wrote (with the addition of the date of Foy E. Wallace, Jr.’s editorship and the beginning year of Greg’s editorship of the journal):
“As a seventeen year old lad just graduated from Mars Hill Bible School in Florence, Alabama, I received the 100th anniversary edition of the Gospel Advocate, dated July 14, 1955, and still have this prized historic edition in my possession. I also have the 150th anniversary edition of the Gospel Advocate, issued in July 2005. How could I have possibly known sixty years ago that I would be here to send a note of congratulations to the “Old Reliable” on the 160th anniversary of its storied history?
“My parents received the Gospel Advocate and the family always looked forward to its arrival. Through all these years I have loved the paper and what it has stood for. With the exception of John T. Hinds, I have known all the editors of the Gospel Advocate from Foy E. Wallace, Jr. (editor 1930-1934) to Greg Tidwell (editor since 2011), and have counted them all as friends, though I came to know brother Wallace long after his tenure as editor. I have been honored to have had many articles published in its pages, and during the final four years of the editorship of the esteemed B. C. Goodpasture I served as a staff writer for the journal.
“I wish for the Gospel Advocate many, many more years of faithful service to the cause for which we pleadsimple, apostolic, undenominational Christianity.”
July 14, 2015
July 15: Philippi Church of Christ, Hartsville, TN