Reflections From the PE Staff
Dec. 28, 2014
Terry Langford, Office Coordinator
Over the last three years it has been a joy to have received over 5,500 salvation coupons that have been returned requesting the Following Christ booklet that is sent to new believers in Christ. Over 30,000 have been returned since 1997. These have come from people from all walks of life, including the incarcerated.
Lucas Key, Production Coordinator
Over the years, I transitioned from a young new arrival on the Pentecostal Evangel team to a 30-something dad with three rapidly growing kids. I always designed the Evangel with my children at the back of my mind. The magazine needed to communicate timeless truth in a way that could reach their generation too. It was also a privilege to serve on staff with my dad. I miss him more every day. For me, the Pentecostal Evangel represents a family heritage. I’m thankful for the years I could help shape its pages.
Marc McBride, Art Director
I remember when I was trying to make the decision if I should transfer to the Pentecostal Evangel from another position I held at AG headquarters. It started years before when I felt the Lord telling me to move to another ministry position. After a few years of missed opportunities and hiccups, I questioned if I was really hearing what God wanted or was it my own wishes pursuing this move.
God’s guidance came in steps. Matt Key, former art director of the Pentecostal Evangel and muscleman, contacted me asking if I was interested in a position with the magazine and when I could start. To be honest, I was looking for a position, but one that wouldn’t be too demanding. With a weekly magazine, the schedule is relentless and I didn’t know if I would be an asset. When I questioned if I should transfer to the Evangel, I expressed these concerns to Matt. Without hesitation he told me the Lord wanted me with the Evangel and that it would be a blessing to the magazine and for me personally if I were to make that move. He was exactly right!
Hearing the confidence in Matt’s voice, seeing his life as a testimony, and knowing he was pursuing the heart of God helped make my decision.
I am truly blessed to have worked with Matt and so many other great people over the years with the Pentecostal Evangel. I pray the magazine has been a blessing to the readers over the years and they too can fulfill their roles for the Kingdom.
Emily Tharp, Editorial Assistant
I am so thankful for the years I spent working on the Pentecostal Evangel. I’ll never forget the people I worked with or the chance we were given to make an impact on the Kingdom. What a blessing!
Jodi Harmon, Advertising Coordinator
When I was 4 years old, Alice Reynolds Flower lived on my street. My aunt, who took care of me while my parents were working, attended Mother Flower’s ladies prayer meetings in her home. On occasion, I went along. Little did I know that one day I would be working for the publication that Mother Flower and her husband started in 1913.
Fresh out of college in 1986, I began working in the Pentecostal Evangel office, and I have worked on 1,552 issues — including English and Spanish editions. I cherish the relationships with my supervisors, co-workers and advertising contacts. I’m going to miss seeing the Evangel at church every weekend or hearing my pastor mention it from the pulpit from time to time.
For 28 years, I was privileged to be on staff with the PE. It was more than a job; it was a ministry. Each week our staff prayed over the current week’s issue and for those who had sent in salvation coupons. Our staff planned each week’s issue, but we knew it was, “Not by might nor by power, but my Spirit, says the Lord.” He directed our path.
We rejoiced over testimonies from readers, and together we celebrated personal accomplishments, weddings and babies. We grieved when our editor, Dick Champion, passed away from cancer in 1994, and then we were shocked and grieved again when a wakeboard accident over a weekend in 2008 took the life of our picture-of-health art director, Matt Key. Through both tragedies, our staff grew even closer as we tried to get through each day, still doing the work of the weekly Evangel, but mourning our loss. We truly felt like a family.
Thank you, Evangel, for my 28 years with you. It’s been a great run, and may old copies of the Evangel still find their way into the hands of those needing a good word for the day.
John W. Kennedy, News Editor
I worked at the Pentecostal Evangel for more than 15 years, nearly twice as long as anywhere previously in my journalism career. The most enjoyable part of my time at the Evangel has involved on-site reporting, including the early years visiting missionaries and churches in foreign countries from Japan to Poland, from South Africa to Ecuador.
I have relished ferreting out the wonderful untold redemptive stories of leaders and laypeople in this Fellowship. That includes an array of chaplains, such as Sam Rust ministering to truckers in Pennsylvania, Bob Holyfield discipling inmates in Arkansas, and Delana Small, the nation’s first woman combat chaplain.
Also I’ve had the tremendous opportunity of meeting Chi Alpha leaders in their natural environs, such as Jeremy Anderson in California, Chuck Lester in Tennessee, and Eli Gautreaux in Texas.
Seeing the diversity of those toiling in the field has been remarkable: Pastor Richard Smith making a difference in inner-city Philadelphia, Joe Fauss providing a Texas ministry to help keep parolees out of prison, and Bill Jeynes skillfully straddling the worlds of evangelism and academic research.
Perhaps no annual issue provided more joy for me than the Key Bearers edition. What a privilege to know people such as Eric Earhart, now in a North Carolina pulpit rather than prison; Walter Rattray teaching lessons to ex-inmates in Arizona; Marv Watson ministering to death-row prisoners in Nebraska; one-time inmate Gina Hanna returning to a Missouri penitentiary with a message of hope; Jennifer Smith reaching women on the streets of Florida, where she had been a homeless drug addict; and Rico and Alice Altiery rehabilitating women in Illinois from lives of gangs, drugs, and prostitution.
And then there are those ministering every day in the trenches: pregnancy care center innovator Cindi Boston in Missouri, abortion recovery pioneer Sheila Harper in Tennessee, and Pebbles Eagle-Thompson providing comfort to abused children in North Dakota.
There are scores of other inspiring people working for the Lord whom I’ve interviewed. But, alas, there isn’t room to continue. Look for me at PE News online, where space limitations won’t be so constricting.
Ron Kopczick, Promotions Coordinator
There were always two Sunday traditions in our house when I was growing up: listening to the weekly broadcast of Revivaltime with C.M. Ward before my family left for Sunday School and reading the latest Pentecostal Evangel after returning home from church. I know thousands of other Assemblies of God families across the United States enjoyed those same opportunities every week.
Even to other Christians and non-believers, no entities represented the AG better than Revivaltime and the Pentecostal Evangel from the 1950s until the mid-90s, when the international radio program was discontinued. Now, nearly 20 years later, the printed version of the Evangel ceases with the publication of this issue. Two great voices that once represented the Fellowship and the Kingdom of God now have been primarily silenced.
Often in life it is difficult to understand the decisions made by others. We can only be responsible for the choices each of us makes individually.
Although it hurts to say goodbye, this farewell is offered with a great deal of gratitude — to the pastors who believed in the mission of this magazine by sharing it with their congregations; to the loyal readers who expressed their appreciation over the years; to the forsaken prisoners who anxiously awaited the encouragement offered by a weekly visit from the Evangel; to my colleagues with whom I’ve served during the past 16 years.
But the greatest thanks goes to the Lord for granting me this opportunity.
Special Thanks to GPH for producing the Pentecostal Evangel over the last 101 years with unwavering dedication to the highest quality printing and services.
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