“AFA Journal is a great ministry tool,” says Ed Beard. “You don’t have to learn how to operate it – unlike a power tool or computer. All you have to do is deliver it.”
And deliver it he does. Furthermore, the Rossville, Indiana, man is not alone in his magazine delivery service.
A host of subscribers faithfully read each issue of AFAJ (AFA Journal), sharing relevant information from its pages with friends and family. Beyond that, an elite group of activists order bulk quantities of the magazine each month. AFAJ contacted several of those bulk subscribers to determine exactly how they utilize AFA Journal in local churches, communities, and corporations.
Beard discovered American Family Radio six years ago. Since then, he and his wife have been faithful AFA supporters and AFAJ readers. Beard describes AFA Journal as Bible-based and educational, with a Christian worldview.
In 2016, one impactful article by AFA president Tim Wildmon made Beard stop and think, My church family should read this!
So began Beard’s ministry outreach of distributing AFAJ at church and door-to-door in his neighborhood – with his local AFR station number added to the back cover with a permanent marker.
The waiting room
Sam Sliker of Tionesta, Pennsylvania, orders 50 copies monthly, placing them inside church bulletins and in businesses or facilities with a waiting room. Sliker encouraged friends to do likewise, forming what they call their “Magazine Ministry.”
“I had noticed on a doctor’s visit that reading material in the waiting room was a sad lot, so I decided to bring in AFA Journal to improve it,” explained Sliker. “It is a joy to see waiting room occupants reading the Journal instead of other secular magazines.”
As a Gideon, Sliker understands a magazine, tract, or testament can lie unread for months. But he believes they are like seeds the Holy Spirit germinates for reading when the time is right.
Pastor Bruce LeGates of Joy Christian Center in Oxford, North Carolina, concurs with Sliker. That is why LeGates orders in bulk to give away at church, as well as at businesses, bookstores, and especially clinics – with church contact information attached. Recently, another pastor found a copy of AFAJ in Duke University Eye Clinic and reached out to LeGates for other ministry resources.
LeGates says the physical and spiritual quality of AFAJ and the cover artwork are excellent and intriguing, drawing one to want to read the cover story. Once inside the magazine, LeGates believes the Issues@Hand section, a collection of short news items, keeps people reading and learning.
A subscriber since 1989, LeGates says today’s magazine is so aesthetically pleasing that it makes for great sharing, especially in hospitals.
“I’ve found that AFA Journal looks like it could be a medical journal, so I leave them in hospital waiting rooms,” states LeGates. “I feel confident that many get introduced to AFA simply by thinking they are selecting a medical journal to read – and perhaps find Jesus as Lord!”
Across three states
Pastor Tod Salts of Tyler, Texas, is equally passionate about using AFA Journal evangelistically. When Salts first began listening to AFR in 2012, he grew troubled with the direction our country was headed. Through American Family Radio and the pages of AFAJ, Salts also began to learn things the mainstream media was not reporting, such as the severity of Christian persecution worldwide.
Feeling betrayed and lied to by media and his own political party, Salts changed party affiliations, but that was not enough. He cried out to God to raise up someone locally to truthfully warn people of ever-growing attacks on religious liberty.
Salts heard God say, “I raised you up to do this.” Unsure how to get the truth outside the walls of the two assisted living facilities in which he ministered at the time, Salts was a man with a mandated message, but no platform.
Then, God nudged Salts to strategically place copies of AFAJ in break rooms of large businesses in the area. He currently travels across Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas doing just that.
Calling his ministry Salt With a Mission, he places magazines in around 100 businesses, grocery stores, and hotels per month, a monumental task for most – but not for Salts.
“I remember my mom saying to me as a child, ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way.’ And I have learned when it comes to God’s will, He always makes a way,” he says. “If you’re a willing participant, God will use you.”
The hardware store
Raymond Fachko is more than willing for God to use him and his business, Brandies Ace Hardware in Callahan, Florida. Fachko’s customers can pick up a complimentary copy of AFAJ any day of the work week.
Supporting AFA since the early 1980s, Fachko first shared articles with his Sunday school class; he still does. But his support shifted several years back after reading an article, written from a definitely Christian perspective, about a certain television program.
Fachko realized he had watched the show before, without ever noticing the things brought out by the Journal article. Now, he thinks discernment must walk hand in hand with conviction and repentance.
“This [article] heightened my sensitivity to the things that are threading through my mind and helped me to be more discerning,” Fachko explains. “As our culture has become increasingly hyper-sensitive, it has become increasingly challenging to show the love of Christ and still be able to shed light on sin.”
Due to the advent of social media, Fachko also believes people will continue gravitating away from print media. So, he sees his role as a “mailman,” simply putting a hard copy of the Journal in someone’s hand to offer a chance to be positively impacted for Christ.
Mailman, delivery man, clergyman, or layman – whatever the title – Ed Beard, Sam Sliker, Bruce LeGates, Tod Salts, and Raymond Fachko, all use AFAJ in their own unique, creative ways to minister in churches, communities, and corporations throughout America. Likewise, they challenge readers to use it as, in the words of Ed Beard, “a great ministry tool.”
“Most any craftsman will tell you that the right tools are important for a quality job,” says Beard. “I believe a young carpenter down in Nazareth back a couple of millennia ago would have agreed.”
Editor’s Note: The main story above originally appeared in the AFA Journal print edition and online edition in May 2018. The section below was a sidebar.
More about AFAJ bulk subscriptions
Jo Tolly of Rogers City, Michigan, supports AFA and thoroughly enjoys reading AFA Journal. From a Christian perspective, she says it helps her to keep in front of news and topics.
Her love of AFAJ prompted her to gather annual bulk subscriptions from church friends and family, and participate in the Journal’s Church Group Plan. At a reduced rate of $7.50 per person (for ten or more subscribers), Journals are mailed in bulk to the church or to each subscriber. Currently, 24 individual homes in Tolly’s congregation receive AFA Journal’s Church Group Plan subscriptions.
Several church members later purchased gift subscriptions for adult children, while many members read and then pass it on to others. In fact, Tolly sends her personal copy on to her pastor’s son, a Hillsdale College sophomore.
To give a special college student a subscription, or to participate in AFA Journal’s Church Group Plan, contact Joy Lucius at email@example.com or 662-844-5036 x294.