Christian Chronicle begins publication at OC

1980

In June 1943, The Christian Chroniclewas first published amidst World War II. Olan L. Hicks began the paper in Abilene, Texas, with a “militantly evangelistic” mission, according to one of his 1944 editorials. The paper was published regularly from 1943 to 1972, but financial and management difficulties beset the paper until it died in January 1980.

The paper changed hands and locations several times over the years in an effort to find financial support, and it was finally moved to Oklahoma City. The strong efforts and faith of John Beckloff and his wife, the last to publish the paper, convinced the administration and board of trustees at Oklahoma Christian to undertake publication of the newspaper based on Hicks’ ideals.

“History has proven the role played by The Christian Chronicle ... of encouraging and inspiring mission efforts at home and abroad,” OC president J. Terry Johnson said.

James O. Baird, a longtime contributor and past member of the Chronicle‘s board of directors, was asked to serve as publisher. He and J. Terry Johnson then appointed Howard Norton as editor. After several months of planning, theChronicle reappeared in September 1981. The next decade was marked by continuous improvement. The Chronicle made journalism history as the circulation grew from less than 3,500 to more than 112,000. The paper also made, and continues to make, history by its success in remaining a moderate voice during a time marked by extremes within the church.

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