History of the Methodist News
The first issue of July 1951 was entitled ‘Here It Is’ with Rev. John Devries as editor. A quote from the first issue which is still true today, “The purpose of this paper will be to pass information from one another in order to further the cause of our church and our God’s Kingdom.”
Rev. Devries asked the readers to suggest a name for the paper and if your name was selected you would get a lollipop! The Methodist News was the name suggested by Alma Chaplin and she consented to become the Editor of the News in Jan. 1952. Reading the January 1960 issue, it was noted that the town Methodist News were delivered by Margaret Patten and Sharon Goehring. Margaret was the minister’s daughter and of course Sharon is now Sharon Tschetter and was the 1996 President of the UMW which proves that Sharon has been involved with the church for quite a few years.
Alice Van Buskirk was selected editor of the News in Sept. 1961 and retired at the age of 88, thirteen years later in 1974 when Helen Mortimer took over as chief editor. In a memorial tribute to Alice it was said ”to the staff she was net only quite a superb editor in every way but she was a walking dictionary.” Two of us would be typing and you could just stop and ask her how to spell any word and she would tell you immediately so you could go on typing.
Marguerite Mortimer was a dedicated worker on the News staff since its beginning in 1951 and until the month of her death, May 1995.
The Methodist News has always been self-supporting because of generous donations received and if new equipment was needed, the money always came in to pay those costs.
The process of publication has changed tremendously throughout the existence of the paper, from hand mimeographs and messy ink loaded stencils to the present copier that does two sides in one setting.
The staff consists of Carol Carlson and Ellen Kay Haigh and sends 370 Methodist Newsletters to 21 different states and 40 South Dakota towns.