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Some History related to The Banner of Truth "Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah" (Ps. 60:4).
The Banner of Truth was founded, and began to be edited, in the early 1960’s by Fred O. Blakely. It was largely at the urging of Brother Ken Smith that Brother Fred should begin to express his thoughts in writing on a regular basis, that the Banner had its beginning. Until the early 1970's, Brother Andy and Sister Maxine Powers were the mailers for both The Banner of Truth and The Word of Truth publications. Upon their move to Arkansas, Al Stoner and his wife Sara were asked to be in charge of the mailing of the papers. This eventually developed into a close working relationship with Brother Fred Blakely, particularly in the 1980's. Each month the Banners would be sent to Brother Fred's house via UPS. Upon their arrival he would call me at work to come to his house afterwards and pick them up for preparation for mailing. On so many of those evenings, after loading the papers into my car, we would go into Brother Fred's house to have a cup of coffee, (and some molasses cookies), served to us by Brother Fred’s wife, Sister Rubye. During those times Brother Fred would always have some word to share from the Scripture that would engage our conversation for the next couple hours. The kinds of things we would talk about were always things that were foundational to the faith which is in Christ Jesus. Oftentimes I would have to call my wife, Sara, to explain why I was late. I would always go home with something very substantive (cf. Heb. 11:1) and precious (I Pet. 2:6-7) to consider.
Towards the end of his time editing the paper, Brother Fred gradually was losing his eyesight, forcing him to use magnifying glasses to read and proof each monthly edition of the Banner before it was finally sent to the publisher for printing. In the early 1990's Brother Fred finally reached a point where he was no longer able to edit the Banner to his own satisfaction. It was then that he asked me to take over as editor of the paper. While I do not have the writing skills that Brother Fred had, I do have some, and I do know many of the particular things that he considered to be important, both regarding the paper's content and appearance. I, and the Banner staff, seek to continue the paper in the same spirit and style, in which it was begun by Brother Fred.
Others who have co-labored in the publishing of The Banner of Truth are Brother Richard and Sister Karen Sankowski, who for an extended time were in charge of the mailing list, and who continue to assist with the mailing of the paper. Also, Brother Michael Zaucha has been of great assistance both in writing, and as an encourager in general. Michael’s wife Sister Sharon has also assisted with the mailing list and with the scanning of articles.
Brother Robert Cobb has been largely responsible for The Banner of Truth Forum site, and has recently introduced several improvements to the site, such as access to audio and video files of sermons, archived issues of the Banner, and he has integrated The Banner of Truth Forum site with the The Word of Truth site, by Brother Given Blakely in Joplin, and the Love of the Truth Website, published by brethren from the Fort Wayne, Indiana area.
And so finally, after having said all this we are extending a cordial invitation to you, the reader, saying, "Come thou with us, and we will do thee good" (Num. 10:29). --Al Stoner