Since its founding, the Biblical Recorder has sought to serve as a trusted news source for N.C. Baptists. I’m reminded of that fact every day when I’m at the Recorder’s offices in Cary and see the etching on the glass entry doors beneath the BR logo that reads “Baptists’ news source since 1833.”
I’m also reminded of the Recorder’s rich history each day when I look at a framed copy of a front page from one of the paper’s early years that hangs in my office. Seeing that framed page reminds of previous editors like Thomas Meredith, an early North Carolina pastor, writer and statesman who not only founded the Biblical Reorder, but was also instrumental in helping establish the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.
I’m also reminded of the words of former editor Josiah Bailey who addressed the topic of trust on the Recorder’s 70th anniversary when he wrote about the BR’s mission of “making record of events without prejudice and without fear and without favor; a paper to rely upon; a paper to trust; a paper to take to one’s home, to one’s heart; a paper to love and to cherish.”
Those are high standards, and ones that I’m honored and humbled to have been afforded the privilege of stewarding during this season of the Biblical Recorder’s ministry to N.C. Baptists. Although the landscape of journalism has changed dramatically over time and especially in recent years, our commitment to being a trusted source of news and information for N.C. Baptists has not.
In fact, during the N.C. Baptist annual meeting this past November, messengers endorsed recommendations presented by a BR study committee along with some related changes to the BR’s bylaws that will help ensure that the Biblical Recorder remains a trusted news source for N.C. Baptists for years to come.
At the request of the Biblical Recorder’s board of directors, a study committee was appointed in early 2023 by the state convention’s board of directors and spent the better part of the year exploring the relationship between the BR and the convention.
The overarching recommendation made by the study committee and unanimously endorsed by both the BR’s and state convention’s respective boards and also endorsed by messengers extends a temporary management agreement between the BR and the state convention that had been in place since July 2022 when I stepped into the role as managing editor.
The temporary management agreement worked well, and both BR and state convention leadership believe that this long-term management agreement is in the best interests of the Recorder’s ministry to N.C. Baptists going forward.
Under terms of the agreement, the BR will retain its own board of directors, as well as its autonomous status as a separate, but related entity to the state convention. In addition, both the state convention and the BR affirm and acknowledge the BR’s status and role as an independent, news-gathering and reporting organization that maintains its editorial freedom under the agreement.
This new, long-term agreement should not change the steady stream of timely and trusted news coverage that you have come to expect from the BR. Through our website at BRnow.org, social media, weekly email newsletter and printed magazine, we strive to bring you the latest news, events and happenings in N.C. Baptist life, as well as feature stories on people and ministries across North Carolina. We also strive to deliver content that provides insight, perspective and analysis on how national issues and trends impact N.C. Baptists.
Beginning with this issue, the print edition of the Biblical Recorder magazine will now be published bimonthly. Print and digital subscribers to the magazine can expect to receive six issues per year, delivered every other month. Look for issues in January, March, May, July, September and November.
While this is a slight reduction from eight to six issues per year, we are thankful to be able to continue to produce a quality printed magazine when many mainstream publications and other Baptist publications have gone completely digital.
If you’re not a subscriber to the magazine, I encourage you to give it a try. Individual or group subscriptions are available. Also, be sure to sign up for our free, weekly email newsletter that complements our website and magazine and is delivered right to your inbox on Wednesday mornings. You can sign up for the newsletter at BRnow.org underneath the latest news stories. Finally, be sure to follow us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram.
Thank you for reading and following the Biblical Recorder across all of our different platforms and trusting us as a reliable source of news and information. If you have a news tip, story idea or any feedback you’d like to share, please feel free to email me anytime at [email protected]. I love hearing from readers and would love to hear from you.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – This column appears in the January/February 2024 issue of the Biblical Recorder magazine.)