LITTLE ROCK, ARK. (July 13, 2018) – The Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church announced at its Annual Conference last month that the Arkansas United Methodist newspaper will discontinue being printed following the July 2018 issue.
The newspaper was first published in 1880, as the Arkansas Methodist by Rev. John W. Boswell of Morrilton, Arkansas. His intentions were to create an influential religious publication that also included national, state and world news, as well as “field” reporting from pastors, and railway schedules for those traveling to Annual Conferences.
In 1891, it is reported that this publication issued more than 10,000 copies each week and preachers were expected to sell subscriptions.
Over the years, the newspaper has featured an abundance of topics that consistently offered direct opinions and inspirational stories that have served to strengthen the faith of its readers.
The Arkansas United Methodist will carry on, and beginning in August 2018, an all-digital, interactive magazine will make its entrance.
“The decision to shift from a monthly newspaper to an online magazine has not been taken lightly,” said Amy Ezell, Director of the Conference Center for Communication. “Our goal is to use this publication as a ministry tool to equip disciples for Jesus Christ. The number of subscriptions for the print publication were dwindling and an overwhelming majority of our audience uses email to communicate. It was a natural choice to update to an interactive publication that can be easily shared and is mobile-friendly.”
Caleb Hennington is serving as the Digital Content Editor and will manage the editing, layout, story gathering, and publication of the new online magazine.
“I’m excited to be able to have the opportunity to share the stories of the amazing folks who live in our state, as well as the wonderful work that is being done by the Arkansas Conference,” stated Hennington. “I think people will be really pleased with how we are introducing some new features but also keeping several of the original covered topics from more than 100 years ago.”