I am delighted to celebrate with you the fifteenth anniversary of Elder’s Digest and the rich heritage of this magazine. I am reminded how faithful God has been—from the creation of Elder’s Digest magazine to the new and exciting horizons of this international communications ministry.
This magazine was founded by James A. Cress, and its beginning can best be described in his own words: “This magazine is designed to attend to the needs of local church leaders around the world. Through this resource we would like to help elders grow in their skills and abilities as leaders. It is our intention to supply them with good information, practical articles, and life-changing sermons to preach. It is also an expression of recognition from the worldwide church for the wonderful work they are accom - plishing.”
Cress’ vision became a reality in 1994 when approximately 5,000 copies of Elder’s Digest rolled off of the press and into the hands of lo - cal elders and church pastors. The first issue was sent out to every union and conference world - wide as a ‘sample’ issue, to get the word out. In the beginning, the highest subscription count was around 3,000 copies.
Over the next 15 years, Elder’s Digest helped shape the profile of the Seventh-day Adventist Church worldwide. Committed to Cress’ original vision, this magazine con - tinues to influence and guide our local church leaders in a variety of areas. It has earned the reputation of being one of the best resources for our elders. Today about 100,000 magazines are delivered each quarter. This magazine is also printed in different parts of the world and in other languages. When we in - clude these editions, more than 200,000 copies are printed each quarter and delivered to more than 100 countries, encompassing all world divi - sions. What a blessing!
I would like to say a few words of gratitude to the two previous editors of Elder’s Digest. James H. Zachary was chosen to be the first editor of Elder’s Digest magazine. A few months later he was replaced by Joel Sarli, who did a wonderful job until his retirement in July 2005. When I see this magazine reaching and blessing thousands of local church leaders and hear how pleased they are with this helpful resource, I praise God for this outstanding literary ministry. God has been so good!
What challenges does Elder’s Digest face in the coming years? In many places of the world, this magazine is not yet available. Many coun - tries are still in need of this magazine. Translation and financial limitations (particularly the high shipping costs) are some of the challenges we face today and as we work to overcome them, I ask that you keep this magazine in your prayers.
Once again, we thank God for His faithful - ness. I would also like to thank our church leaders in the world divisions who make this magazine available to elders. And we are especially grateful to you, our readers, who make this ministry an outstanding success.
Jonas Arrais General Conference Associate Ministerial Secretary