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As it made its first appearance in 1896, Word & Way was introduced this way:
"It is our desire that the Word & Way shall be an outstanding instrumentality for disseminating interesting and inspiring news of Baptist doing at home and abroad."
Word & Way has covered the growth and diversification of Baptists, celebrating advances, milestones and victories, while also highlighting tragedy and human failure. Our ministry of communication has helped keep readers informed and connected to local and world news.
Times have changed, but the original purpose of Word & Way? No. Today's mission statement is "to accurately inform Baptists and others of relevant news, promote the work of Christ and encourage inspirational living." Over the years, the newspaper has evolved in adding photography and color, while communication has expanded to include the Internet, electronic newsletters and social networking.
In 1945, retiring editor Joseph E. Brown made the statement:
"It is fundamental to a cooperative democracy from which Baptists, if they are true to their principles, will never depart, that the denominational press shall be free."
One of the underlying strengths of Word & Way throughout its history is that remain free to be a teller of truth without becoming a mouthpiece for any person or group.
That freedom has come at a cost. As an independent news organization, Word & Way is solely dependent on subscriptions, advertising and donations from supports as revenue streams.
In the fall of 2010, Word & Way launched "Truth Matters," an ambitious 5-year capital campaign to build up both our reserves and to build up an endowment to continue this ministry to serve future generations.
And in 2012 our trustees approved an expansion plan to reach a goal of becoming the news source of choice among Baptists across the Midwest.