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The Church Compass title page, May 2021

From the Church Compass, May 2021.

Church Compass

By Hyo Jun Kim

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Hyo Jun Kim, B.A. and M.Th. (Sahmyook University, Seoul, Korea), served as a local church pastor from 1998 to 2012 in West Central Korean Conference. Currently, he is managing editor of Church Compass magazine in Korean Publishing House.

Church Compass [Korean, Kyohoi Jinam] is a monthly periodical published by the Korean Publishing House in Seoul, Korea. It was launched on July 20, 1916, as the official monthly magazine of the Korean Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Background

The origin of this monthly periodical can be traced back to the magazine titled Malse Bogeumbo (The Gospel of the Last day)1, which was first printed in September 1910, and then retitled as Se Choensaui Guibyeol (The Three Angels Message) from the October 1910 issue.2 The purpose of this magazine was to “alert people to the end-time message and strengthen the faithfulness of the church members.”3

Later in 1916 Korean church leaders agreed to separate Se choensaui Guibyeol into two major issues, and the Church Compass magazine has been founded exclusively for church members.

Foundation

The first issue was printed on July 20, 1916. Mimi Scharffenberg, who was in charge of publishing ministry in Korea became the first editor.4 C. L. Butterfield, the president of Korean Mission at that time stated that “the purpose of the publication of Church Compass is to lead the church members one step further in spiritual goodness and divine direction.”5 The preface of the first issue was Ellen White’s quotation beginning as follows, “Before the setting of the sun let the members of the family assemble to read God's word, to sing and pray.”6

History

Over one hundred years Church Compass has served as an instrument for communication among the churches in Korea and featured stories of local churches almost every month for decades. In addition, it has taught the theology of Adventists and played a strong role as a living witness of the history of the Korean Seventh-day Adventist Church. It is also one of the longest-running religious magazines in Korea.7

In the early years it had eight pages, composed of detailed explanations for Sabbath School lessons, articles from the church administrators, accounting reports of colporteur missionaries, and church news.8 The first publisher was B. R. Owen, and the price was 15 jun (Korean monetary unit) per month.

The average number of pages per issue increased to about thirty-two by 1924. It was printed in the Korean Publishing House [Sijosa] located in Seoul.9

In December 1941, during the period of Japanese colonial rule, the publication was discontinued after the April issue, and the title of the August and December edition of the year was changed to Church Guide [Kyohoi Jichim]. Since then the publication has been stopped for a few years. In December 1945, soon after the Japanese occupation ceased, the publication has been resumed, and the title became Church Compass again.10

From 1950 to 1954 the Korean Publishing House had to be closed due to the Korean War, but editors kept publishing it in the Japan Publishing House [Fukuinsha] and other printing factories in Seoul. It could not be published every month during that time. After the war the Korean Publishing House restarted printing from the December issue of 1954. Color photographs were published from the July 1982 issue.11

The present format was adopted in September 2002. This 108-page Korean-language magazine contains general articles, church news, and two types of morning devotionals for adults and children.12

From September 2006 the Korean translation of Adventist World magazine of the General Conference has been published in the Korean Publishing House and combined in Church Compass every month.13

The Korean Publishing House published the October issue of 2007 of Church Compass as a special 1,000th edition and the July issue of 2016 as an edition for the one-hundredth anniversary of publishing this magazine.14

Outlook

Today, Church Compass has a circulation of 12,700 (as of December 31, 2020), and recent issues are also available free online at sijosa.com.15 The Church Compass consecutive numbers are no. 1 through no. 1,163 by May 2021.

As it has been, Church Compass should continue to play the role of a compass pointing to the way to go. In addition, it is necessary to diversify media formats to suit the age of access, try a plan that attracts young people's attention, and develop contents that can revive the strengths of the monthly magazine.

Lists

Titles: Kyohoi Jinam [Church Compass] (1916-1941); Kyohoi Jichim [Church Guide] (1941); Kyohoi Jinam [Church Compass] (1945-).

Editors in chief: Mimi Scharffenberg (1916-1918); E. J. Urqhart (1919-1923); Theodora Wangerin (1923, 1924); E. J. Urqhart (1924-1931); Theodora Wangerin (1931-1940); Chang Jip Kim (1941); Young Soon Yoo (1941); Dong Shim Chung (1945-1947); Theodora Wangerin (1947-1952); Young Soon Yoo (1952-1955); Young Seop Oh (1955-1963); Seok Youg Oh (1963-1967); Sang Do Kim (1967-1969); Jeong Wan Cho (1969); Yoon Hee Lee (1969-1972); Dong Ki Kim (1973-1980); Se Won Chun (1980-1996); Young Cheol Chang (1997-2001); Yoon Ho Sohn (2001-2005); Jeong Kwon Chun (2005-2013); Jae Man Park (2013-)

Managing Editors16: Kyoung Sik Kim (1955-1962); Sang Do Kim (1962-1969); Jeong Wan Cho (1969-1970); Jong Ki Park (1971, 1972); Dae Ik Kang (1972-1976); Soon Tae Song (1976-1978); Ui Kun Lee (1978-1987); Young Cheol Chang (1988, 1989); Cheon Soo Park (1990-1993); Yoon Ho Sohn (1993-1998); Byoung In Yoon (1999-2001); Seung Woo Lim (2002-2004); Seok Hee Han (2004-2006); Jeong Kwan Choi (2006-2011); Jae Man Park (2011-2013); Hyo Jun Kim (2013-).

Sources

Korean Publishing House. Centennial Commemoration of Korean Publishing House. Seoul: Korean Publishing House, 2011.

Kyohoi Jinam [Church Compass]. July 1916.

___________. January 1924.

___________. January 1992.

___________. September 2002.

___________. July 2016.

Malse Bogeumbo [The Gospel of the Last day]. September 1910.

Oh, Man Kyu. History of One Hundred Years of Korean Seventh-day Adventists 1904-1945. Seoul: Korean Publishing House, 2010.

Se Choensaui Guibyeol [The Three Angels Message]. October 1910.

http://ch21.sijosa.com/sub_ebook.html?sca=1&pay=.

Notes

  1. Malse Bogeumbo, September 1910, 1.

  2. Se Choensaui Guibyeol, October 1910.

  3. Malse Bogeumbo, September 1910, 1.

  4. Church Compass, July 1916, 1.

  5. Ibid., 2.

  6. Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 356.

  7. Church Compass, July 2016, 11-12.

  8. Man Kyu Oh, History of One Hundred Years of Korean Seventh-day Adventists 1904-1945 (Seoul: Korean Publishing House, 2010), 350.

  9. Church Compass, January 1924, 32.

  10. Church Compass, January 1992, 12.

  11. Ibid., 12-13.

  12. See Church Compass, September 2002.

  13. Church Compass, January 1992, 12.

  14. Korean Publishing House, Centennial Commemoration of Korean Publishing House (Seoul: Korean Publishing House, 2011), 77; See also Church Compass, July 2016.

  15. See http://ch21.sijosa.com/sub_ebook.html?sca=1&pay=.

  16. Church Compass, July 2016, 14. Until July 1955, the same person served as editor-in-chief and managing editor.

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Kim, Hyo Jun. "Church Compass." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. May 17, 2021. Accessed October 16, 2021. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=D8BD.

Kim, Hyo Jun. "Church Compass." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. May 17, 2021. Date of access October 16, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=D8BD.

Kim, Hyo Jun (2021, May 17). Church Compass. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved October 16, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=D8BD.