Back in 1975 none of us had heard of fax machines, modems, cell phones or e-mail. In Charisma's earliest days, our editors wrote their articles on typewriters (remember the IBM Selectric?) and our production artists used a clunky typesetting machine to run out long galleys of text, which they then cut with scissors and glued to paste-up boards. When our readers renewed their subscriptions they did it the old-fashioned way by mailing a check in an envelope. The cost of a stamp was 13 cents.
Today our editors compile articles by collecting and verifying material that is sent to us electronically from reporters all over the world. Our designers and production artists send many of our pages digitally to our printer in Virginia by way of fiber-optic cable. And Charisma News Service, which was launched in March 1999, gives readers a daily e-mailed report that contains more up-to-date information in one week than we were able to offer in an entire issue of Charisma 25 years ago.
Times have changed. But the dizzying pace of technological progress hasn't altered our mission. Our goal today remains the same: We want to inform our readers about what God is doing in the world today, and about what He is saying to His church. We want this magazine--our print version as well as all the services we offer on the Internet--to connect you to a worldwide movement of the Holy Spirit that has been growing exponentially since Charisma began.
And as we celebrate 25 years of publishing, we want to ask you if we are doing our job well. We are inviting all of our readers to contact us, whether you are one of our founding subscribers or if you only started receiving the magazine a few months ago. There are several ways you can provide this valuable feedback:
Take our online survey. If you have Internet access, go to www.charismamag.com and click on the Charisma Anniversary Poll icon. We want to know what you love about Charisma, what you don't like about it and how it has aided your spiritual growth or expanded your horizons. When you complete the survey the results will be instantly e-mailed to our editors.
Drop in for a chat. We have planned two special online discussions in our chat room during the month of August. The first one, on August 6 at 9 p.m. (EST), will give our readers an opportunity to talk with our founding editor and publisher, Stephen Strang. Then on August 15, at 8 p.m. (EST), editor J. Lee Grady will host a discussion on issues in the church that you feel Charisma should tackle in the coming year. For either chat go to www.charismamag.com and click on Charisma Chat.
Go ahead, use a stamp. If you don't surf the Web, or if you just prefer the lost art of letter writing, send your comments to Charisma Feedback, 600 Rinehart Road, Lake Mary, FL 32746. Tell us how long you've been a subscriber and what we can do to improve our magazine. If you have a complaint we will take it seriously. If you have a testimony of how God has used Charisma to impact your life in a positive way, we might publish your story in a future issue.
Talk to us! You can even telephone us with your comments. Just call (407) 333-0600 and ask for the Charisma Feedback line. You can leave a lengthy voice mail, and our editors will listen to every message.
We hope you will choose to stay connected to Charisma for another 25 years. By 2025, it's possible that we may be sending you this magazine by satellite feed to a handheld digital device that allows you to see live video images from spiritual revivals in Uganda, China, inner-city Atlanta or the remotest regions above the Arctic Circle. You might even click on a keypad and download a hologram of a popular Bible teacher who will then stand in your living room and deliver his or her message in virtual reality.
We're full of expectancy about what we will be privileged to report on in the years to come. It's going to be an exciting ride. We hope you'll buckle your seat belt and enjoy the journey with us.
CELEBRATING 25 YEARS
Charisma Trivia Quiz
Have fun testing your memory of people and events reported in Charisma during the last 25 years.
1. In our cover story on worship leader Ron Kenoly in February 1994, he told how he was baptized in the Holy Spirit in 1975 while sitting in the front row of what famous Los Angeles church?
2. Christian songwriter Lynn DeShazo told Charisma in 1994 that she wrote a popular worship chorus after feeling ashamed for eating some French fries when she was supposed to be fasting. What is the name of that chorus?
3. This evangelist told Charisma that in 1989 he told the Lord that people were disrupting his meetings with laughing and crying. He said the Lord responded: "The way your meetings have been going lately, they deserve to be ruined. I will move if you will allow Me." Who was this evangelist?
4. During the height of the 1991 Persian Gulf War, thousands of copies of the books Courage and Maximized Manhood were shipped to soldiers on the front lines. What Texas-based author made the donation?
5. What popular evangelist purchased Jim Bakker's Heritage USA in 1990 with plans for a complete renovation and the addition of a golf course?
6. What well-known ministry was started in 1986 by Oral Roberts University graduates Ron and Katie Luce with the goals of world evangelization?
7. What groundbreaking film produced in 1990 by Trinity Broadcasting Network received acclaim from critics who called it "the strongest woman's role to come out of the movie industry in recent years"?
8. Actress Lauren Chapin played America's favorite kid sister from 1954 to 1962 on this popular television series. In 1979 she was saved in a charismatic church. What is the name of the TV show in which she starred?
9. Christian singer and author Stormie Omartian told Charisma in 1985 that when she got her start in show business in 1966 she regularly dated a comedian who is one of today's biggest film stars. Who was he?
10. Christian rock singer Mylon LeFevre told Charisma in 1985 that he was kicked out of his family's gospel singing group, The Singing LeFevres, in 1970 at the age of 24. What was his offense?
11. Assemblies of God pastor Karl Strader told Charisma in 1985 that the Christian university he attended asked him never to tell anyone he had been a student there. What school was it, and why did its leaders disavow him?
12. He is considered the "grandfather of the faith movement," but he began his ministry as a Baptist preacher in McKinney, Texas, in 1934. Who is he?
13. A childhood car crash left one of Cheryl Prewitt's legs badly injured and noticeably shorter than the other, but a charismatic preacher laid hands on her and she received total healing. In 1980, Cheryl went on to take one of the most famous walks of her life. What did she do?
14. In a 1980 issue of Charisma, conservative Baptist preacher Jerry Falwell said, "I think many churches have failed to recognize the potential of [this group]." What group was he referring to?
15. Jeannie C. Riley appeared in Charisma in 1980 because of her reconciliation with her husband after divorce. What was her most popular hit song?
16. Considered one of the most talented musicians in the 1980s, he was the first African American to appear on the cover of Charisma in 1981. Who is he?
17. This Assemblies of God pastor claimed to have been visited by more than 17 angels. He published a controversial book with Charles and Frances Hunter called Angels on Assignment. What is his name?
18. Before becoming a Christian, this famous faith preacher sang in nightclubs and recorded "Pledge of Love," which made the Top 10 charts and sold more than 300,000 copies. Who is he?
19. This singer never dreamed she would become part of the most famous husband-and-wife singing duos in Christian music history. In college she took a summer job sorting Corn Flakes and then became a teacher. Who is she?
20. What daytime soap opera produced by the Christian Broadcasting Network was regularly seen by about half a million viewers and was dropped in 1984 after a three-year run because it was too expensive to make?
21. What U.S. senator, famous in American politics, debated Moral Majority leader Jerry Falwell at the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Washington, D.C., in February 1984?
22. An attempt in 1984 to introduce "punk gospel music" fell flat but was considered an innovative attempt at music evangelism. Charisma reviewed the record in December 1984. What California band made the valiant though economically doomed effort?
23. Our November 1984 issue reported the purchase of what 32-acre tract of property in 1984 by Los Angeles pastor Fred Price?
24. Exercise took on a new twist with a "vinyl fashion doll" for ages 3 and up that was dubbed "the Christian alternative to Barbie." Sold complete with two exercise outfits, a jump rope and a "praise and exercise tape," the doll graced an ad in our August 1984 issue. Do you remember her name?