The Baptist Messenger has told the story of the work of God through Oklahoma Baptists since 1912. Through those 95 years, there have been many transformations in style, but the purpose and intent of the publication has remained the same.
Our editor and his staff have spent many months preparing to make major changes that we believe will enhance the paper for our readers. They have tested and retested proposed changes. In every case they have sought to take the Messenger to a new level in communicating the work God is doing through our churches and through the Cooperative Program to the ends of the Earth. I believe you are going to be pleasantly surprised as you pick up this edition.
You will notice immediately the brighter paper and new print font that make it an easier read. Most significant is the addition of full color on every page. The layout of the Messenger enhances the readability of the paper. Major focus is being placed on missions, and you will also find sections for families and the younger reader.
One major addition that we have worked toward is the development of an editorial board. This board will be comprised of pastors from across the state as well as leaders from the BGCO. Editorials will become the opinion of the Messenger rather than one person. The editorial board will both contribute content and give constant vigilance to the theological and practical aspects of the editorial page.
The Baptist Messenger is the third largest paid news publication in circulation in Oklahoma. We host the greatest number of individual church news pages of any state paper in the Southern Baptist Convention. With the new look of the Messenger comes a new look for the church pages. A wrap on the outside of the Messenger will present local church and association news. This is done at a cost efficiency that gives subscribers both the Messenger and local church news more economically than most churches can produce and mail a weekly newsletter. We hope to see even more of our churches take advantage of this service.
While printing of the Messenger is being outsourced, the print operations of the convention will stay in place. The print shop has saved the convention and hundreds of our churches thousands of dollars in printing costs. We operate to serve our churches, and therefore our objective is not profit but service. Again, our goal will be to serve even more of our churches with their printing needs. Every dollar saved means that much more can be used to spread the Gospel locally and to the ends of the Earth.
This edition is another historic step forward for the Messenger and thus for Oklahoma Baptists. Congratulations to Ray Sanders and the Baptist Messenger staff for the remarkable transformation of the paper. And to you the reader-enjoy!