It is at the close of this another year of printing The Standard Bearer that we the board come to you to report on our activities of the past year. We must first express our thankfulness to our Covenant Father who has kept us through this past year and given us a year wherein we might once more witness of His glory by means of the printed page. We must never be ashamed of proclaiming, through the printed page, the glorious truth which has so graciously been given to us as Protestant Reformed Churches.
The Standard Bearer has now been printed for fifty-nine years and, the Lord willing, we go on into the sixtieth year of printing. A committee of the board has been busy looking into ways to commemorate this milestone.
This past year the board has spent some time looking into purchasing a new Address-O-Graph machine. Our old one is over forty years old and is not in very good condition any more. It is also rather expensive to repair when it does break down. New machines were looked at and found to be very expensive. The Beacon Lights informed us that we could have the Address-O-Graph they no longer use. It is now at Wobbema Printing Company ready to be used.
The board has also spent some time looking into a place to store all of our Standard Bearer material. For years we have used First Protestant Reformed Church, but now that the church is sold our place of free storage is gone. The day is soon approaching that all the material must be moved.
The board was approached by a committee from one of our churches to see if there was a way in which they could use The Standard Bearer to inform others about the materials we as churches have to offer. This material consists of books, tapes, pamphlets, etc. The postal service will not allow us to put or staple any loose paper in our magazine, so we looked into a way of getting the last page of The Standard Bearer made so one could tear it out without ruining the rest of the magazine. We were informed by the printing company that this would be possible, but the cost of this project would add another third to the cost of printing each issue. We came to the conclusion that this idea was too expensive to take on.
Our business manager reports that we are now printing 1900 copies each printing, of which 775 copies go in and around the Grand Rapids area, 753 copies go to the rest of the state and all the other states combined, and 150 copies go to foreign countries. The Standard Bearer itself keeps 150 copies to be used in the yearly bound volumes. Our manager also reports that there are 20 new subscriptions being sent to Northern Ireland this year.
While we are reporting on our business manager we would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Vander Wal for his faithful service. He has now been the business manager of The Standard Bearer for fifteen years. We as board and subscribers do not see the work that this brother does. He gives hours every day and many more hours when it is mailing time to the cause of this printed page. It is our prayer that God will continue to care for this brother and, if it be His will, to give him strength to continue his labors.
We also thank our Editor-in-Chief, Prof. Hoeksema, for his diligent labors and thought-provoking editorials in each issue, and our ministers who prepare articles for our magazine. We thank our God for giving us the truth in His Word and also for servants who are faithful to proclaim that truth.
The members of the board who retire this year are. Mr. Arnold Haveman and Mr. George DeVries. Mr. Bill Lafferty would be retiring this year also, but for reasons of health he resigned earlier. We are grateful to these men for their years of labors, and our prayer is that God will continue to watch over them.
We as board ask that you as individuals and as churches continue to remember the cause of The Standard Bearer and continue to support it in the year ahead as you have so kindly done in the year gone by. May we as children of God of the church militant never take this great privilege for granted.
With you in Christ,
James Koole, Secretary