Working here has been the happiest days of my life
Don HinklePathway Editor
September 14, 2004
When this issue of The Pathway hits the streets on Sept. 14, it will be on my 50th birthday.
It is truly one of the great blessings from God when one of His children is allowed to serve Him in a ministry they so passionately love. That is how it has been for me as editor of this remarkable enterprise called The Pathway. I hope you are experiencing the same thing in whatever you are doing to serve the Lord Jesus and if not, I pray you will before your pilgrimage through this world is complete.
To try and express what these past 26 months as editor of The Pathway has meant to me is the ultimate challenge for this writer. Mere words cannot express the sheer joy I feel each morning as I kiss Bernadette on the cheek (that’s my wife) and take my 10-minute drive to the Baptist Building.
Andree and Julie are usually the first faces I see upon arrival and I am always grateful to smell the coffee already brewed. By this time Andree has placed the morning newspaper and mail on my desk and Julie has surfed the Web sites of all the major daily newspapers in Missouri to see if there is news that may be of interest to Missouri Baptists. If I stay on track, it is because of Andree. She keeps me pointed in the right direction and I swear, if there is a more organized woman in this world I cannot imagine it. Julie, our newest addition, has become a whiz-bang on our new Web site and our advertising revenue has already topped the amount received for all of 2003. She deserves credit for that and her future as a graphic artist is bright.
I always pop in to say “mornin” to Bob and Allen before entering my office. Bob and I have been through a lot since The Pathway was launched as a Web site-only publication in June 2002. It is not easy being a managing editor because you end up being a little bit of everything. Bob’s pretty tough though. If you think he can be hard on liberals you ought to see what he does to the devil. He’s still chasing that goal of his: winning one soul to Christ every day.
Allen is already pecking away at a story by the time I usually walk into the office. Allen did a tremendous job in keeping Missouri Baptists informed on what was happening at the State Capitol this past year. I hesitate in saying that The Pathway should take credit for anything good that happens, but I truly believe Allen’s stories leading up to the Aug. 3 votes on the Rockaway Beach casino and the marriage amendment greatly educated Missouri Baptist voters and even inspired them to show up at polls in impressive numbers. Be assured, Allen will continue to hold our public officials accountable by letting them know 600,000 informed Southern Baptists in Missouri are watching.
Murley, who is the most important part-time worker I have ever known, always joins us later in the day. As The Pathway’s design and layout honcho, I am sure that no one has endured more changes to pages than my friend, Murley. I’m equally certain no one would like to wring my neck as much as her (just kiddin). In the first couple of issues of the print edition of The Pathway we had a pretty severe typo problem. I thank God for sending us Murley as our primary proofreader. She’s never seen a typo yet that she could not zap.
They are truly a great staff and The Pathway would not have become the blessing that it has to so many of its readers without the dedication and professional approach that each one demonstrates every day. If anything good has resulted from The Pathway, it is each one of them that deserve the credit. I hope you will seek them out at the Missouri Baptist Convention’s annual meeting at First Baptist Church, Raytown, Oct. 25-27, and thank them for their service.
While I have been blessed with such a terrific staff, the blessings certainly have not stopped there. The number of new friends I have made during my tenure as editor is incalculable. The voluminous expressions of love and support have been overwhelming and I will never forget them. I won’t forget the letters calling me a “thug” and “a blight on the name of Christ” either. But you develop a pretty thick skin after 25 years as an ink-stained wretch.
While I am grateful to God for Pathway’s continuing circulation growth (we continue to set a new record with each new issue), I think I am most thankful for The Pathway establishing itself as a respected, credible source of news. The Pathway is now read in more than 36 countries – via the Internet – and the promise of a new printing press that will give The Pathway’s print edition an even more appealing look is on the horizon.
One way you know God is working through your ministry is when unexpected results occur that you know can only be orchestrated by an active, loving heavenly Father. When Allen left two weeks ago to join Bobby Welch, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, on his historic 50-state bus tour to promote evangelism, we had no idea how The Pathway might touch someone in an unexpected and special way.
After Welch was interviewed by a reporter from CNN about an upcoming CNN program focusing on the role evangelicals are playing in the Nov. 2 election, the reporter stopped to talk to Allen. She commented that she did not understand fully the difference between a theological conservative and a moderate. Allen had a copy of the chart that was published in the Aug. 17 Pathway showing the difference between the two. The reporter was excited when Allen made her a copy and it is entirely possible that information contained in that chart will be used in the program scheduled for telecast on Oct. 23 on CNN. So that chart now rests on the desk of a CNN reporter – a chart published by The Pathway and given to the reporter by a staff writer from The Pathway.
It has been an honor to serve Missouri Baptists as editor of their state newspaper. Missouri Baptists will always hold a special place in my heart and Bernadette’s as well. My days as editor of this remarkable endeavor have been the happiest of my life and for that I am eternally grateful to Missouri Baptists and to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.