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The Evangelical Beacon was the official magazine of the Evangelical Free Church of America. Containing news articles, biographies, editorials, testimonials, and more, the Beacon sought to inform its readers about the world through the perspective of the Free Church—from the activities of Free Church missionaries in foreign lands, the state of the denomination's official school, Trinity College (later Trinity International University), to the state of Evangelical Protestantism in the United States and abroad.

 

The Evangelical Beacon started publication in 1931 as the organ of the Swedish Evangelical Free Church. It was conceived as a way of reaching out to the denomination's English-speaking members, while the Swedish language predecessor, the Chicago-Bladet, was published from 1877 to 1952. After the Swedish Free Church and the Norwegian-Danish Free Church Association merged in 1950, the Beacon was combined with the Norwegian newspaper, the Evangelist (originally Evangelisten), which had started in 1930. The paper was called the Evangelical Beacon and Evangelist before becoming the Evangelical Beacon once more in 1958. At that time circulation numbered about 9,000, but by the 80s the paper approached a circulation of nearly 40,000. In 2004 the Beacon was rebranded as EFCAToday.

 

A note about the issue numbering: When the Beacon and Evangelist combined into the Beacon & Evangelist in the 1950s, the editors decided to restart the number series for the publication. At certain times over the next few years, the editors either made numerical or typographic errors in the sequence, or stopped noting the volume and issue numbers altogether. When the magazine was changed back into the Beacon in 1958, the volume number was "corrected" to Volume 32, seemingly skipping a few numbers in between. We have tried to make the chronological flow of the magazine as comprehensible as possible noting errors and changes, and recommend people to refer to the "Browse by Year" search if there is any confusion with the volume numbering for this period.

 

This collection provides users with access to a selection of issues from the print run of the Beacon. Users can learn about the activities of various congregations across the United States, and get a better sense of the issues that concerned the Free Church over time.

 

The EFCA Archives and the staff at TIU's Rolfing Library will periodically add more issues to this collection as time and resources allow. Currently, near-complete runs of the Beacon are held both at Rolfing and the EFCA archives in Minneapolis. If you are interested in visiting to conduct research with the Beacon, please contact either the staff at Rolfing Library at 847-317-4001 or email at libref@tiu.edu, or contact the EFCA staff at archives@efca.org, 800-745-2202.

 

Questions about this collection? Contact: libref@tiu.edu or call 847-317-4001.

 
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