“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” once said a philosopher.

Two decades ago, two prominent and much-beloved Baptist Messenger writers began a journey of a thousand articles. I’m talking about Anthony Jordan and Walker Moore, each of whom have written weekly Messenger articles for 22 and 20 years, respectively.

On behalf of Baptist Messenger readers, I want to express the most heartfelt appreciation to Dr. Jordan, who has written nearly 1,100 “Perspective” columns in the Baptist Messenger, and to Walker Moore, whose 1,000th “Rite of Passage” column appears in this issue.

While Walker will continue to write his weekly column in the Baptist Messenger into the future, Dr. Jordan’s final “Perspective” column appeared in the March 1 edition. It is on this milestone moment that I want to say thank you to each of these godly men, who have been faithful to bless and challenge Oklahoma Baptists and others through their weekly writings.

From standing up for the unborn to trumpeting the Gospel advance, Dr. Jordan used every word every week to call Oklahoma Baptist to action. With each column, you could just hear the powerful voice of this humble leader, who has been used mightily by God. Like a Baptist William Wilberforce or Winston Churchill, Dr. Jordan helped us fight on, even as the culture became more against us.

Meanwhile, with every column, Walker continues to offer a humorous and insightful story/truth that resonates with all who read it. Combining the evangelistic zeal of Billy Graham, the parenting skills of James Dobson, the storytelling of Paul Harvey and the uncanny ability to be in unique life situations of a clever “Forest Gump,” Walker’s life and writings continue to delight all who read and share his columns. I’m so thankful Walker Moore will continue to write for the Baptist Messenger!

Amid busy schedules, extensive travel, preaching responsibilities and more, these two men have been faithful to turn our thoughts to Jesus week in and week out. So, thank you Dr. Jordan for all you wrote and for how you served.

Walker, thank you for what you wrote and everything you will write each week in the Baptist Messenger. Walker, we are hoping for another 1,000 columns to come!

As Dr. Jordan passes the baton to our incoming BGCO executive director-treasurer Hance Dilbeck, we are thankful to God that he has brought a superb and godly leader into this key role. Dr. Dilbeck’s columns will be featured in the Baptist Messenger each week, for which we are exceedingly thankful.

If our era of the church needs anything, it is Christlike consistency and a fervor for the Gospel. Dr. Jordan, Walker Moore and now Dr. Dilbeck have and will keep our focus on these things. Moreover, they live it. Theirs is not mere lip service; they have genuine, heartfelt words and lives lived unto the Lord.

And yet, no matter how great columns are, we would have no ministry if it were not for you, our Baptist Messenger readers. So I want to end by thanking each of you for faithfully reading the Baptist Messenger each week in print, and also online, and for sharing these stories with friends, family, neighbors and others.

Together, we are one part of God’s grand story of Redemption through Christ, unfolding throughout time and eternity. And whether for a 1,000 steps or many more, that is the kind of journey with Jesus I want to take.