Ministry is an international periodical edited and published bimonthly by the Brazil Publishing House, hosted in Tatuí, SP, under the supervision of the Ministerial Association of the South American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, located in Brasília, DF. The magazine is aimed at pastors and workers from all denominational categories, besides also reaching theology students, pastors’ wives, volunteer leaders from local churches, and ministers of other religious beliefs.
In the Adventist context, the production of periodicals focused specifically on the pastoral public dates to 1928, when the Ministerial Association of the General Conference released the monthly review Ministry. According to L. E. Froom, such publishing attempts to meet the needs of a ministry engaged in world evangelism, in church leadership regarding Christian service and spiritual life, in the development of the youth, and in support of all branches of Adventist mission.1
This objective was adopted in South America a few years later. In 1934, the Ministerial Association of the South American Division, at the time located in Montevideo, Uruguay, published a bimonthly periodical in Spanish and Portuguese entitled O Pregador Adventista [The Adventist Preacher]. This review sponsored by the Division and printed in Portuguese by the Brazil Publishing House, at the time hosted in Santo André, state of São Paulo, featured articles about evangelism, theology and pastoral work, Bible studies, and illustrations and sketches for sermons. For years its target audience was pastors and certified workers of the denomination. It limited its print run to around 500 issues. However, in 1953, the Executive Board of the South-American Division approved the availability of subscriptions for “elders of churches, volunteer preachers and certified canvassers.”2 As a means of recognizing the important role of canvassers, the recommendation was that their subscriptions would be subsidized by the local fields.3
In July of the same year (1953), R. A. Anderson announced in the pages of Ministry that the Inter-American and South American Divisions would jointly produce El Ministerio Adventista [The Adventist Ministry]. Each Division already had its own supporting periodical for pastors and workers. To minimize expenses and expand the sphere range of publishing, the entities decided to work together on one material that would meet the demands of Adventist ministry in Latin America. Once the English-speaking countries were granted with the North American publishing made in the world church headquarters, the idea was that the Hispanic countries would also have the periodical in their own language. Walter Schubert, Ministerial Secretary of the South American Division, would be the editor, working with associates Arthur H. Roth, ministerial secretary of the Inter-American Division, W. E. Murray, and Glenn Calkins, presidents of their respective divisions.4
Although the periodical’s production was originally published in Spanish, the South American Division immediately provided for the El Ministerio Adventista [The Adventist Ministry] to also be published in Portuguese. Thus, in the first two months of 1954 its first issue was released. Notably, there were two identical impressions of the same edition. In one, the counting started from year 1, the other from year 20, giving sequence to the publishing of O Pregador Adventista [The Adventist Preacher]. This was likely due to an apparent divergence of how to consider the new material. In the second edition, higher counting prevailed, enhancing the idea that the review was only a “new attire” for the work previously carried out.5
Soon the appointed team would be evident on the front page of by The Ministry. Walter E. Murray, president of the South American Division, and Walter Schubert, Ministerial Secretary, were both special collaborators, although the latter was the director of the review. Walter Schubert was to guide each edition and provide articles. On behalf of the Brazil Publishing House, Luiz Waldvogel, editor-in-chief, was the main writer for publishing, along with Rafael de Azambuja Butler, associate writer. It was the writers’ responsibility to deal with the text only in editorial terms, not interfering in the guidance of each edition. The presence of a director bound to the Division and of a writer continued for many years. The figure of the director was no longer evident in 1983, and the role of the writer, now editor, changed significantly in the 1990s.
In its editorial, Walter Schubert claimed that the review would specialize “in fostering the fivefold manner of evangelizing in Brazil,” through public evangelism, laity evangelism, printed page evangelism, educational work evangelism, and medical evangelism. Although the periodical would retain the practical character of its predecessor, focused on preaching and evangelism, it would also approach “the problems of the workers’ homes,” as well as other matters that could serve as “inspiration and orientation in achieving the brief victory of the threefold message.”6
The review, printed in black and white on 16 x 23.6 cm format, started with 20 pages in a real print run of 488 issues. Format, colors, number of pages, and print run underwent amendments throughout the years. In 1998, the size rose to 20.6 x 27 cm. In that year, the periodical also added a colored front page. Full color issues were published from the third bimester of 2005. The number of pages varied between the first 20 pages, then 16, 24, 32, and the current 32 pages, that were implemented from the third bimester of 2001. The increase in print run was considerable, as shown in the graphic (see the photo gallery).
Initially, the periodical would follow a thematic structure of O Pregador Adventista [The Adventist Preacher]. In time, however, more subjects referring to biblical theology and historical systematics were incorporated, without sacrificing support material for practical ministry. Articles included excerpts from the work Questões sobre Doutrina [Doctrine Matters] in the 1960s and 1970s, articles in response to the criticism of Desmond Ford regarding the sanctuary doctrine, and Walter Rea to the ministry of Ellen G. White in the 1980s. This approach to balance distinct areas of theology has been continued to the present.
As previously stated, The Ministry was created out of a partnership between the Inter-American and South American Divisions, each alternating in preparing content for the review. Given the church’s expansion and the increased number of pastors in the South-American territory, it was decided that the content sent by the Inter-American Division would meet the needs of the South-American’s Division Hispanic wing, while the Brazilian wing would have its review produced in Brazil.7
However, in the 1990s, important changes occurred in the production of The Ministry. Beginning in 1993 the review was called Ministry. With a more general name, it could not only reach Adventist pastors and workers, but other denominational leaders, in accordance with the proposal of project Preach, driven by the Ministerial Association of the General Conference of the Adventist Church.
Another amendment took place regarding production of the periodical. The growth of the South American and Inter-American territories led the ministerial leadership of both Divisions to the consensus that the review should attend, more particularly, to local needs. Thus, each region took over the production of its own Ministry review. From January 2000, under the supervision of the Ministerial Association of the South-American Division, at the time conducted by Alejandro Bullón and José Vianna, the editor, Zinaldo Santos, partnered with the editors of the Spanish periodical published by the Buenos Aires Publishing House.8 This important partnership between the editorial teams still continues.
Although with the passing of time structures have changed and resources have increased, the initial purpose for creating a review focused on Adventist ministers remains the same. Commitment to the spiritual, ministerial, academic, and personal development of pastors is still the guiding compass that moves the Ministry’s editorial team in preparing relevant, profound, and practical editions to meet the needs of its readers.
O Pregador Adventista [The Adventist Preacher] (1934 – 1953); O Ministério Adventista [The Adventist Ministry] (1954 – 1992); Ministério [Ministry] (1993 –).
Unknown (1934 – 1944); H. Olson (1945); W. Schubert (1946 – 1953); W. Schubert/L. Waldvogel (1954); W. Murray/L. Waldvogel (1955-1957); W. Murray, J. J. Aitken/L. Waldvogel (1958); J. J. Aitken/L. Waldvogel (1959); E. Oliveira/A. Christianini (1960 – 1962); E. Oliveira/N. Conrado (1963-1969); E. Oliveira/C. Trezza (1970); R. Pereyra/C. Trezza (1971-1975); R. Pereyra, A. Valle/C. Trezza, O. Joas (1976); A. Valle/N. Conrado (1977-1983); N. Conrado (1984-1985); A. Fonseca (1986-1992); Z. Santos (1992-2010); Z. Santos/M. Nastrini (2011-2015); W. Barbosa/M. Nastrini (2016-).
Anderson, Roy Allan. “El Ministerio Adventista.” The Ministry, (July 1953): 14.
Froom, L. E. “Our Apology and Authorization,” The Ministry, (January 1928): 2.
Santos, Zinaldo. “A Revista dos Pastores” [“Pastor’s Review”], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], n. 6 (June 2000): 36.
Santos, Zinaldo. E-mail sent to the author, December 5, 2017.
Schubert, Walter. “A Serviço de um Melhor Ministério” [“At Service for a Better Ministry “], O Ministério Adventista [The Adventist Ministry], (January/February 1954): 4.
Schubert, Walter. “Boa Notícia” [“Good News”]. O Pregador Adventista [The Adventist Preacher] (September/October 1953): 32.
L. E. Froom, “Our Apology and Authorization,” The Ministry, (January 1928): 2.↩
Walter Schubert, “Boa Notícia” [“Good News”], O Pregador Adventista [The Adventist Preacher] (September/October 1953): 32.↩
Roy Allan Anderson, “El Ministerio Adventista,” The Ministry, (July 1953): 14.↩
Walter Schubert, “A Serviço de um Melhor Ministério” [“At Service for a Better Ministry “], O Ministério Adventista [The Adventist Ministry], (January/February 1954): 4.↩
Zinaldo Santos, “A Revista dos Pastores” [“Pastors’ Review”], Revista Adventista, n. 6 (June 2000): 36.↩
Zinaldo Santos, e-mail sent to the author, December 5, 2017.↩