It was 1948. The world had just recently emerged from WWII. “Normalcy,” in some form, was beginning to return to life in North America and to assembly life, possibly on a scale larger than what has been recently experienced post-COVID. A generation spared the horrors of a worldwide war can little appreciate what it must have meant to believers and assemblies to weather a trial of that magnitude.
Computers were not even in the vocabulary of many people, much less in homes. In the minds of most people, the term “internet” meant getting tangled in a spider’s web on leaving your home in the morning. Even telephones were not yet in every home, much less in every pocket. It was a different time, a different world.
It was in this atmosphere and with this level of technology that Truth and Tidings was born. In Canada, a group of far-seeing men led by a godly and wise Albert W. Joyce had a burden. His exercise was for a magazine that would circulate among the assemblies in Canada. There was already a magazine being published in the USA, Words in Season. Several magazines were available to believers in the UK. But a magazine that would highlight gospel work and events among assemblies in Canada would serve to bind assemblies together, encourage fellowship, and stimulate interest and prayer for the work of the Lord.
He gathered around himself men whose names are remembered by only a few of those classified as octogenarians. Names such as Jack Joyce, Norman Lorimer, G.G. Johnston, Hector Alves and Fred Watson are still revered as saintly men by an older generation of believers who sat under their ministry as very young believers.
Mr. Albert Joyce is remembered as a man of Christ-like character. His ministry was rich and Christ-centered, as was his gospel preaching. He exuded warmth and kindness in both his personal and written ministry. Mr. Hector Alves was the first individual to handle the Q and A section of the magazine. His handling of Scripture was highly valued and appreciated by all. Reflective of the high standard of the magazine is the book penned by Mervyn Paul entitled Training for Reigning, which appeared first as serialized articles in T and T.
Although begun with an exercise to be of help to the assemblies across Canada, the value of the magazine was quickly appreciated by believers in the USA and further afield, including the UK, New Zealand and Australia.
In July 1977, the editorial responsibility of the magazine passed to Mr. John Norris, who carried this responsibility until health-related issues led to Mr. Norman Crawford’s assuming leadership in February 1979. He held this position until 1998, shepherding the magazine through the changes in technology and more modern printing methods. I still recall his delight when the first Word Processing typewriter was available which enabled correction of one or two lines of typing if you caught the error early enough! Under the auspices of Mr. Crawford, the magazine did, in truth, become a magazine for all of N. America. A board of Associate Editors was recruited, representing both sides of the border, and reflecting the differing geographic areas. He had the assistance of his life-long friend, Mr. Sidney Maxwell, who undertook the answering of the Q and A section. Mr. Crawford’s penchant for perfectionism was reflected in the standard which he established for the magazine at the close of the 20th century. He truly brought the magazine into the current age on his shoulders.
When Mr. Joyce began the magazine, it was long before the advent of the technology we enjoy today. In those long-ago days, manuscripts would be submitted, either typewritten or, worse still, handwritten. Entries would have to be made on a truly historic instrument known as a typewriter. This ancient artifact was unforgiving if typographical errors were made or corrections needed to be made. Entire pages would need to be retyped. The labor involved in producing a final printable edition was ponderous and time-consuming. Add to this the time involved in the transmitting of news and information to be submitted to the magazine. There was no internet to facilitate instant dispatches of reports. The only means of communication at the time was a telephone that might accommodate your need or a letter which might take a week to arrive. Everything was very time consuming. We owe a tremendous debt to those who “pioneered” in this fashion.
In 2001, with the help of Shawn St. Clair, the magazine went online, making its content available to a larger audience. His effort in doing this and in adding back issues broadened the value of the magazine for users all over the world. Mention should be made of the support of the Jackson, Michigan, assembly who for many years undertook the monthly mailing of the magazine, a responsibility now handled by Paul and Tal Wielenga.
The magazine also spawned two “offspring” which have since become independent in their functioning: Gospel Trust Canada, and Truth and Tidings Gospel Trust. These agencies have facilitated the support of work both at home and abroad.
In 2019, David Petterson assumed responsibility as editor of T and T and continues to the present time. As was true of former editors, he is assisted by Associate Editors who work from month to month facing inflexible deadlines yet producing a magazine with both scriptural content and spiritual relevancy.
Though the current staff of T and T does not labor under the technological limitations which the original editorial board faced, those challenges are equaled by the issues which face the current editorial staff. The complexity of issues confronting believers and assemblies, the challenges from a secular society, and the constant attack of Satan on assemblies across N. America impose as formidable a demand on the current staff as those the originators faced. We would solicit your prayerful support for David Petterson and the Associate Editors as they move forward with T and T, seeking to provide relevant and scriptural ministry for the upbuilding of the people of God and preservation of assemblies.