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Magazine has spread the word for 150 years

July 30, 1999

William JohnssonBy GREG SIMMONS / Staff Writer

photo: KEVIN G. GILBERT / staff photographer




Editors and other employees of the Review and Herald Publishing Association's Hagerstown printing headquarters on Thursday celebrated Adventist Review magazine's 150th year in publication.

First published in 1849, and published by the Review and Herald since 1855, the magazine has a readership of 750,000 worldwide, including 300,000 in the United States, said Adventist Review Editor William Johnsson.

"It's exciting to be part of something that's not really old, but fresh and expanding," Johnsson said.

The magazine is funded by the Seventh-day Adventist Church and its worldwide readership. The magazine has evolved into a check on the Seventh-day Adventist church by introducing more liberal policies, Johnsson said.

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The most important goal the Adventist Church should continue to strive for is diversity, Johnsson said.

He said women have most of the rights that men have, but cannot be ordained ministers. The church, which once had only white members, is branching out across the world and must shed its sectarian past, he said.

Johnsson has been the editor of Adventist Review since 1982. Before that, he taught and wrote for 20 years, he said.

He began his career as a chemist in Australia, but later decided to study for the ministry. He spent 15 years in India as a missionary, then taught at Andrews University in Michigan.

"I'm a compulsive writer. ... I never thought of myself as an editor," Johnsson said.

The Review and Herald employs 260 workers at its world headquarters in Hagerstown. The publisher has been in Hagerstown since 1983.

Ted Wilson, president of the publishing association, said he is proud of the tradition the magazine represents.

"It tells me we have a long heritage and it's something guided by other than human endeavor ... and obviously has a mission."

Linda Starkey, an employee at the Review and Herald, said the magazine is one of the main avenues the Adventist Church has to make its views known.

"I think this is a good celebration. (The magazine) is what started the movement," Starkey said.

The Review and Herald has 56 presses around the world and is distributed to 121 countries, according to a press release from the publishing company.

The Review and Herald publishes nine other magazines and numerous books. Its most widely distributed book is "The Bible Story" by Arthur Maxwell.

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