The changing of the guard

J. Robert Spangler, Ministry's longest serving editor, retires.

Floyd Bresee, Ph.D., is a former secretary of the General Conference Ministerial Association, and continues to pastor and preach in Oregon, where he and his wife, Ellen, live in retirement.

Bob Spangler, who has been on the Ministry editorial staff for the past 28 years, retired as the journal's editor on May 1.

In the fireplace of life, Spangler is pure cedar. Cedar catches fire quickly and burns brightly. And so does Bob. His creative genius and burning enthusiasm will be greatly missed by all of us as he enters retirement.

Bob graduated from Washington Missionary College (Columbia Union College) in 1943. In June of that year he married Marie Claytor. They immediately entered the pastoral ministry and eventually served in Ohio, Florida, Alabama, New York City, and Texas.

Bob developed a passion for evangelism. This soul-winning emphasis was especially sparked when he worked with Roy Alien Anderson, the secretary of the General Conference Ministerial Association and editor of Ministry, in an evangelistic series in Cleveland.

In 1954 Bob was called to the Far Eastern Division as ministerial secretary. He served there until the 1962 General Conference session elected him an associate secretary in the GC Ministerial Association. At the General Conference he worked under the leadership of his old friend Roy Anderson.

Spangler's long association with Ministry began at that time. He served as associate editor from 1962 to 1965, man aging editor from 1965 to 1967, then as editor from 1967 to 1990. His term of 23 years as editor makes him the longest serving editor of this pastors' journal. His predecessor, Roy Anderson, served for 16 years. L. E. Froom, the first editor, served for 22.

During his long tenure with the Ministerial Association, Spangler also served as its head from 1980 to 1985. But his greatest interest was always the magazine, and the conflicts between trying to be an effective editor and association secretary led him to re sign the latter position in favor of being an associate secretary whose chief responsibility was to edit Ministry.

We at headquarters, along with ministers around the world, will remember Bob for many exemplary traits, but two predominate: piety and creativity.

additions, improvements to each issue kept tumbling out of him right up to press time.

Two products of his creative mind occupied his heart and efforts during the last 10 years of his work in the Ministerial Association: PREACH and Project 27.


Spiritual themes occupy much of his time and conversation. He longs to help men and women accept Jesus as their Saviour. A warm, pastoral heart led him to treat his staff with genuine care and personal concern. His spiritual leader ship will be greatly missed.


We will also remember him for his brilliant creativity. Bob's mind was constantly turning out new ideas, good ideas, all of which he wished could be implemented now! He could have kept three secretaries busy and sometimes did! Magazine deadlines, schedules, timetables were nuisances to be circumvented if at all possible. Ideas, changes, additions, improvements to each issue
kept tumbling out of him right up to

Two products of his creative mind occupied his heart and efforts during the last 10 years of his work in the Ministerial Association: PREACH and Project 27.


Bob's creative genius gave us the Project for Reaching Every Active Clergy Home (PREACH) program that sends gift subscriptions of every other is sue of Ministry to clergy of all faiths. The Columbia Union piloted PREACH in its territory in 1975. The project soon spread to all of North America.

Now it embraces the world, with some 50,000 ministers in North America and 20,000 in the rest of the world receiving the magazine six times a year.

Project 27

Spangler's passion for the cross of Christ conceived and gave birth to the book Seventh-day Adventists Believe .... He was convicted that the cross and the great themes of redemption were central in the 27 fundamental beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists. This belief motivated him to coordinate the writing, editing, and production of the book. He then led out in raising the $800,000 needed to send this book to some 200,000 ministers of all faiths and to every major library and leading media office in the world.

In addition to numerous articles and editorials, Spangler has written several books. He authored First Things First, a morning devotional book, and Marked: The Case Against Saturday Blue Laws. With Leo Van Dolson, he coauthored Healthy, Happy, Holy.

Bob and his wife, Marie, worked in a team ministry before he was called into departmental work. Later Marie taught elementary school for many years. Then their concern for ministers' wives led them to be co-founders of Shepherdess International, a resource and support organization sponsored by the General Conference Ministerial Association for Seventh-day Adventist ministers' wives.

Spangler has relinquished his position as editor, but will not be leaving the Ministerial Association until late summer. And his ministry will continue in retirement through study, preaching, and writing. In fact, one reason he gives for retiring is that "I want to spend more time getting into the Word." As editor emeritus he plans to continue contributing to Ministry. So while we say goodbye, we also welcome him to his new role as adviser and elder statesman.

Newman is new editor

J. David Newman, executive editor since 1984, became editor of Ministry on May 1.

Ministry is striving to become an ever more international magazine. It is fitting that its new editor comes from a broadly international background. Newman was born of British parents in 1943 at Cape Town, South Africa. He attended school in Nigeria, Scotland, England, and the United States. He is a graduate of La Sierra College, Riverside, California, where he met his wife, Phyllis. The family cherishes its Old World heritage daughters Michelle and Heather have both followed in Dad's footsteps by returning to England and attending Newbold College, his alma mater.

Our new editor holds an M.A. in archeology and history of antiquity from Andrews University. He is a Doctor of Ministry candidate in church organizational behavior at McCormick Theological Seminary. Our hope is that, while continuing to carry his editorial responsibilities, he will be able to finish his work there in the next few months.


David has had nine years of pastoral experience. We feel that the editor of a magazine addressed primarily to pastors and their spouses needs to have sat where they sit. Newman's experience has been unusual, in that he has held pastorates in two divisions of the world church. He pastored in Scotland, as well as in Michigan and Ohio.

And he has had departmental experience. For five years he was Sabbath school and lay activities director of the Ohio Conference.

He has had conference administration experience as well. For three years he served as assistant to the president of the Ohio Conference and became conference secretary there shortly before being called to the GC Ministerial Association in 1984- Having been where they are, David brings a unique understanding of the needs and problems, not only of pas tors, but of departmental leaders and administrators as well.

He has had editorial experience. For the past six years, Newman has been schooled in the editor's craft under the able tutelage of Bob Spangler. During that time, Spangler has placed more and more responsibility on David's shoulders, until his move into the editorship was easy both for him and for the magazine.


Newman is a natural at organization and management. Flow charts, assignment lists, deadline boards, and all the planning necessary to put a monthly magazine together are his instinctive do main. His plan is that topics treated in the magazine will emphasize pastoral skills and be divided as follows: family and spouse, 15 percent; issues and re ports, 25 percent; professional skills, 30 percent; spiritual life, 15 percent; and theology/biblical studies, 15 percent.

David is anxious to give the magazine a more international flavor. In the past we have had great difficulty getting articles written by authors outside North America. A recent talent search designed especially to attract overseas authors was a first step in correcting this imbalance. In 1991 Newman plans to move articles by overseas authors up from 3 percent to 30 percent of Ministry's content. His long term goal is 50 percent, since 50 percent of our subscriptions are from overseas.

In addition he intends to emphasize is sues especially significant to pastors. Presently, about 20 percent of Ministry articles are by practicing pastors. His goal is to raise that to 60 percent. When a department wants the magazine to publish an article promoting a particular program, he plans to ask that the article be written by a pastor who has successfully implemented that program in a local church.

He hopes to develop a bank of authors who are pastors. Newman's goal is to use this means to eventually increase commissioned or assigned articles from the present 15 percent to about 50 percent. Commissioned articles will help the editors better control both content and quality in the magazine.


David's editorial philosophy will emphasize two words: relevance and distinctiveness. He believes that a denomination now nearly 150 years old must examine itself carefully to be sure that what it offers is relevant to the present and not just a reflection of the past. On the other hand, he insists that Seventh-day Adventists must never lose that which makes them a distinctive people.

Newman has both an inquiring mind and a loyal spirit. In his new job, neither is much good without the other. A loyal spirit toward his church and its leader ship is a must for the editor of a journal that makes such an impact on the church's ministry. But the magazine must also have a prophetic voice, asking the church why it is doing what it is doing, and if there might be a better way to do it. His supportive attitude toward his church, balanced with his perpetually wanting to know "why," fits his new job admirably.

David enjoys a close relationship with his Lord. Believing that every minister should give top priority to private devotions, Newman and Spangler felt it their responsibility to lead the way. A few months ago they entered into a pact with each other to challenge and encourage one another to spend, without fail, at least one hour daily in prayer and Bible study. It has proved to be a rich experience for our new editor.

With great pleasure I welcome David Newman to his new post, undoubtedly one of the most influential in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Jarnes and Wade become associate editors

David Jarnes and Kenneth Wade, former assistant editors and assistant secretaries of the Ministerial Association, have been promoted to being associate editors of Ministry.


We call him Dave, to differentiate him from David Newman, who is all of two years older. Dave Jarnes brings a Middle American flavor to the Ministry staff. Born in Missouri in 1945, he spent most of his childhood and ministry in Middle America. His wife, Jeanne, on the other hand, grew up in Burma, Sri Lanka, and India. Their son and daughter are now teenagers.

Dave graduated, cum laude, from Union College and later received an M.Div. from Andrews University Seminary, where he has also completed classwork for the Ph.D in biblical studies/New Testament. He pastored for 10 years.

The full-time Ministry staff is made up of the three editors, editorial assistant Ella Rydzewski, and secretary Mary Louise McDowell. Of these, Dave is the most experienced editor. He worked for Andrews University Seminary Studies before coming to the Ministerial Association. Also, he has been here longest of the three editors, having joined the Ministry staff in 1983. He does more actual editing of articles than any other staff member.

God has blessed Dave with an amazingly analytical mind and exceptional ability to think creatively. He has the capacity to turn a problem over and over in his mind until he comes up with a facet to it that no one else has recognized. And his theological expertise is treasured by all of us.

He is anxious to help direct the magazine to the needs of pastors, and wants especially to see it successful at helping keep the ministry committed to Christ and His church.

Dave feels greatly indebted to Bob Spangler for helping him see the importance of presenting ideas in an interesting and attention-getting manner. Also, for challenging him to learn "how to keep the boat moving without capsizing it."


Ken Wade is the baby of the editorial staff. Born in Oregon in 1951, he adds a Western flavor to the group. As a boy he developed an avid interest in both science and engineering.

Seemingly insignificant happenstances (providences) often bring dramatic results. Arriving at Walla Walla College as a freshman, he sensed a call to the ministry but still had not decided whether to major in theology or biology. Entering the gymnasium to register, he found that all the biology advisers were busy, but one of the theology teachers was not.

Ken sat down and shared his dilemma with just the right adviser, who asked, "Why don't you take a theology major and biology minor like I did?" Four years later Ken graduated, cum laude, with majors in theology and biblical languages and a minor in biology. He later received an M. Div. from the seminary at Andrews University.

His professional plan was to spend a lifetime in the pastorate. However, after several years of pastoring, he developed what we would like to see in more pastors an interest in writing. This eventually caught the attention of Bob Spangler and led to Ken's joining the Ministry staff as an assistant editor. He came to Washington, D.C., with Debby and their two sons in 1984.

Ken enjoys a special interest in evangelism. He has recently held two series of meetings in the church where he attends. Not long ago he brushed up on his Spanish and spent a few weeks in Inter-America seeking out the secrets of soul-winning success in that productive field.

He has become an outstanding authority on the relationship between the New Age movement and Christianity. His book Secrets of the New Age was published in 1989.

Wade brings to Ministry significant administrative skills. Also, he is the magazine's computer expert. This gift is useful Kenneth R. Wade both in producing the magazine, and in helping it bring to pastors information about the software most useful for membership tracking, keeping interest lists, and filing in the local church.

Ken's burden for Ministry is that it speak especially to pastors. It should also challenge the church at large to reach its full potential. He wants to see the magazine used to help the church implement a strategy for reaching the whole world for Christ.

He is especially grateful for the dynamic environment created among the editorial staff by Bob Spangler. Having access to Bob's fertile mind and creative genius has challenged Ken to keep both himself and the magazine growing.


We are proud of the beautifully balanced team constituted by these three members of our editorial staff. They come from different parts of the world and share an international outlook.

All have pastored. Between them they have a total of 27 years of pastoral experience, all of it in multiple-church districts. They understand well the frustrations of a pastor who must try to spread his wings over several congregations at once. One has also had local conference departmental and administrative experience.

All have been trained in biblical studies. One has gone on to specialize in management, one in theology, one in science and computer skills. 

All are busy raising families, experiencing together the joys and frustrations of parenting. Newman and Jarnes are "preacher's kids" and understand the minister's family from the viewpoint of both child and parent. Each of the three sees the minister's spouse and family as a significant part of the ministry.

All were trained by Bob Spangler. Each has spent six years or more under leadership of the "old pro."

All love our Lord and His church and long to see Christ's work finished.

As "pastor's pastor" I say farewell on behalf of all of us to Bob Spangler. We praise him for his tremendous contribution to Ministry and the Ministerial Association. Not only has he edited an out standing journal; he has carefully prepared three outstanding men to carry on. The magazine has made a great contribution to the cause of Christ, but as Bob would be quick to say, its best years are yet to come!

Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

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Floyd Bresee, Ph.D., is a former secretary of the General Conference Ministerial Association, and continues to pastor and preach in Oregon, where he and his wife, Ellen, live in retirement.

July 1990

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