History of the Beacon Lights

Many of you have received the Beacon Lights for a long time. However, some of you are new sub­scribers. Here is a bit of the history of the Beacon Lights for those who didn’t know.

In the late 1930’s, an organization was started in the Chicago area by young people of the Protestant Reformed Churches. This organization was called the Federation of Protestant Reformed Young People’s Societies. The purpose was to unite and provide spiri­tual edification for the members and to promote and maintain the doctrinal standards of the PRC. One of the means proposed to fulfill their objectives was the publication of a paper targeted towards the young peo­ple. In 1941, the first issue of the Beacon Lights was published. This was followed by four more, and was met with so great a response that Rev. C. Hanko, the first editor-in-chief, proclaimed, “The Beacon Lights is here to stay!”

Through World War II, the Beacon Lights was a source of comfort for 400 or more servicemen and remained in our churches through the trials in 1953. The magazine has seen many changes and yet is still very much the same. Many revisions in technology have taken place, yet the magazine is printed on a 40-year old printing press. We have had 16 different edi­tors, from ministers to teachers to lay people. Our cur­rent issues contain many of the same topics and arti­cles as were found in the first issue – editorials, cur­rent events, Bible outlines, and book reviews. Other topics no longer apply, such as Military Mailbag. Our subscriptions total about 930 copies, and the maga­zine is sent to young people in at least 7 different countries.

Currently, we are in our 52nd volume. A new edi­tor, and a few new staff members, as well as dedicated work from “old” members, has brought about a new format, new ideas and a renewed zeal to carry on the Lord’s work. We feel that the Beacon Lights has, and the Lord willing will continue to spread the Word of God and strengthen Reformed believers in the midst of the world.