Q: When did you and Dr. Gray begin working together in ministry?
A: We began working closely together in early 2016.
Q: What drew you to Dr. Gray and made you want to go into this endeavor with him?
A: I have been acquainted with Dr. Gray for many years but did not know him well. He and my dad travelled together with Dr. Jack Hyles, but it was not until the past few years that I began to get to know him on a personal level. After his last major back surgery I felt impressed to reach out to encourage him. Shortly after that he came to our church and we spent a few days together. I believe that during this time the Lord “knit” our hearts together.
Q: I noticed that you recently closed Berean Baptist college and are moving forward in Christian publishing. What led to these decisions?
A: We recently relocated to thirty-five acres in Jacksonville. I am excited about the opportunity God has given our church. I am grateful for God’s blessings on Berean Baptist College and those graduates who are serving around the world. However, the Lord made obvious His direction about the college, and at the same time gave me a burden to propagate Bible Truth through the printed page. Not only am I working with others, but I am personally writing books on several subjects. Lord willing, in 2017 we will be releasing more than twelve new books. We will also be publishing Sunday School lessons and material.
Q: What led your decision to work with Dr. Gray in relaunching the Baptist magazine?
A: I have always wanted to be a part of a periodical. God gave me the desire and ability to write. However, I had not considered the Baptist Magazine until one day Dr. Gray asked me to consider taking the magazine as a part of our Publications ministry. Of course, my only stipulation was that he be a major part of it.
Q: What sets the Baptist magazine apart from other Christian publications?
A: First, I would say purpose. The goal of the magazine is not to duplicate what other periodicals are doing. Our purpose is to propagate biblical principles through stories and features. The truths we hold to are not just theory but are illustrated in the lives and stories of people. We want to tell those stories.
Second, I would say content. This is not to say our content is superior to other periodicals but our content is different. This is an article driven magazine. We are not featuring sermons or “tips on growing”. There are periodicals that do that. Our goal is to provide well written articles by a variety of like minded writers.
Third, I would say style. While we hold to timeless truths our magazine is cutting edge. The layout and style would be comparable to any magazine, secular or Christian. The sharp, modern style makes the magazine easy to read and attractive to any reader.
Q: What are some new features that we can expect with the “relaunching” of the Baptist Magazine?
A: Along with its cutting edge design we are printing bonus issues. These issues will be in addition to the regular subscriptions and will deal with specific topics. For example, the first bonus issue deals with the recent election and the issues that drove it. A regular feature in the magazine that I am excited about is “What We Are Reading”. This is a section that highlights books that the magazine staff is currently reading. There will also be book specials exclusively for subscription holders.
Q: Will the Baptist magazine be accepting advertisements?
A: At this time the Magazine will not be taking advertisements outside of its scope of ministry. Meaning there will be limited promotion of things Dr. Gray & I are involved in, mainly the printing of books.
Q: How will the Baptist magazine help Christians and churches?
A: It will edify the believer. Each article will be Scriptural, thought provoking and challenging. More than anything else, it will encourage the reader. Each issue will be a reminder of what God is doing in the lives of Christians in America and around the world.
Q: How will you select articles for the Baptist magazine?
A: We are blessed to have a team of great writers already in place. They will be writing on a number of subjects. We are also looking for writers. There are many who have a story that needs to be heard. Many whom God has taught them through experience or their own particular trial. You do not have to be well known to be a blessing to others. We want to encourage people to write. Our website will have a location where others can submit articles.
Q: What can we do to help expand the outreach of the Baptist magazine?
A: First, subscribe for yourself, your church and/or your business. Then spread the word to others. Then, follow us on social media. Oh, and you could also purchase a subscription for someone else.
Q: How often will the Baptist magazine be published?
A: The magazine is bi-monthly with the addition of bonus issues. A subscriber can expect to receive an issue every other month plus any bonus issues we publish.
Q: When will the first issue be published?
A: The first issue will be the March/April issue. However, the bonus issue will be available in January. Whenever you subscribe, you will automatically receive the bonus issue.
Q: How can I subscribe to the Baptist magazine?
A: You can subscribe online at thebaptistonline.com.
Q: How can I promote the Baptist magazine in my church and are there any promotional materials that I can use to do so?
A: There are a couple of ways to do this. You can send your people to thebaptistonline.com, or you can request a packet of information. Included with this information will be subscription envelopes which can be distributed to your church or Sunday school class.
Q: Brother Neal, you have friends who are involved with other publications do you feel that this in any way will be in competition with them? If not why not?
A: While I do have dear friends involved with other publications, we are not in competition with them, nor are they with us. The Baptist Magazine is different. It fills a specific niche that needs to be filled. There is nothing like it. We are a compliment not competition. We will also be doing features on different ministries and publications. As a pastor, I will continue promoting these other publications to the members of the Immanuel Baptist Church. With the bombardment of secular and humanistic ideology facing Christians today, the more sound material we put into the hands of Christians, the better.