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October-November 2021

Celebrating 100 Issues of ONE Magazine


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The former executive secretary looks back at the origins of ONE Magazine...


From the Beginning

By Keith Burden


For decades, Free Will Baptist national ministries communicated with constituents primarily through print. Each department produced its own publication—some monthly, some bi-monthly, and some quarterly. Some within our ranks were convinced a unified publication would be more effective and a better use of resources. Thus, at the direction of the national association, a publications committee was formed. Members were appointed, and meetings with the departmental directors and editorial staff were scheduled.

Early in the process, a broad survey was conducted to determine the level of interest among Free Will Baptists regarding a unified publication. The results indicated people were open to the idea of a single denominational magazine. Not surprisingly, there were skeptics in some of the various agencies. They were fearful they would all lose editorial control; no one knew for sure how such a venture would be managed, or what it would look like.

Over the course of numerous meetings, the committee, with the assistance of a consultant, hammered out a variety of logistical details (a mission statement, editorial structure, how the contents of the magazine would be organized and allotted, and eventually, a suitable name). One issue, which surfaced early and often, was the matter of finances. How much would it cost?

A three-member subcommittee was charged with the task of carrying out a cost analysis to determine the feasibility of a unified publication. Once the subcommittee calculated the amount of revenue each department would contribute and projected a detailed list of expenses, a budget was formulated. That brought clarity to the process. It was no longer a question as to whether we could do it, but if we wanted to do it. The answer was a resounding yes!

That year, at the 2004 convention in Kansas City, Missouri, delegates overwhelmingly approved the Publication Committee’s recommendation to combine all denominational publications into a single periodical. In short order, a managing editor was hired and regular meetings with the members of the editorial staff were scheduled. In the spring of 2005, the first issue of a bi-monthly, 48-page, full-color magazine went to press, and more than 60,000 subscription-free copies were delivered to the mailboxes of Free Will Baptists.

Despite its success, ONE Magazine has faced formidable challenges over its life span. Dwindling resources and escalating costs have necessitated belt-tightening on several occasions. Today, the magazine stands as a testimony to God’s faithfulness and provision. Additionally, it illustrates what a diverse denomination like ours can accomplish if it lays aside its differences and works together to achieve a common goal.

Thank God for ONE Magazine. May it continue to communicate to Free Will Baptists a unifying vision of our role in the extension of God’s Kingdom for years to come.

About the Author: Keith Burden served as executive secretary of the National Association from 2002 to 2019. Serving as editor-in-chief of ONE Magazine became a significant part of his role.


About the Cover

Barrett Campbell, a junior at Pleasant View Christian School in Pleasant View, Tennessee, is 100 issues old, born in May 2005, days after the first issue of ONE Magazine hit mailboxes. Initially reluctant to have his face featured on a nationwide magazine, Barrett eventually agreed, with the stipulation that “no one tell Nonna (his grandmother, Donna Forrest), so it will surprise her when it shows up in her mailbox.”

Barrett was photographed at the family home in Chapmansboro, Tennesee. Be sure to read the article from Barrett's dad Rusty, Make the Right Choice.


About the Redesign

Lead Designer Marianne Stewart shares her thoughts about the design updates reflected in this issue.

We wanted to update the design while adhering to what readers already love about ONE Magazine. You regularly express appreciation for its readability, including the larger font sizes and use of white space, so we made sure the new look kept those features. News pages and columns were reworked to allow for more text, a request made abundantly clear in last year’s reader survey. Margins throughout the magazine shifted to the outer edges to allow for more photos and pull quotes without compromising article length. Additionally, the new cover design features an outlined, colored box around the masthead, a subtle nod to the original cover design from 2005. We are excited to see the new look take shape and anticipate many more years of serving Him and you through ONE Magazine.



©2021 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists