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A force for goodwill, encouragement, unity

Lynn McMillon looks back — and forward — with gratefulness after two decades with The Christian Chronicle.

How can I be anything but grateful for the 23 years I’ve had with The Christian Chronicle? 

From the beginning, I have prayerfully sought to shape the paper as a force for goodwill, encouragement and unity. In the earlier years of my life, I saw too much wrangling between brotherhood papers. So when I came to the Chronicle in 1996, I envisioned positive, encouraging stories of Christians and churches that would inspire greater service to the Lord.

Lynn McMillon

I have always wanted to help draw together our diverse and non-centralized fellowship in ways that will honor God and strengthen his church. You have been a key part of that goal. Clearly, you understand that The Christian Chronicle is a newspaper and not a teaching paper. There is a place for both. 

You have answered many times when I have requested financial support in the face of rising production costs and postal rates. You have given generously, and your many letters of encouragement reflect that you understand and wholeheartedly support our mission.

The Chronicle came to me at the request of Kevin Jacobs, president of Oklahoma Christian University in the mid-1990s. He charged me with putting the Chronicle on sound financial footing and making it into a force for good. I am grateful to President Jacobs for his vision and his commitment to making this an uplifting, viable newspaper. 

My wife Joy has advised and supported me through these years from her depth of knowledge and experience. She first joined the Chronicle in 1983, soon after Oklahoma Christian received ownership of the paper at the bequest of John and Dottie Beckloff, the previous publishers. 

Joy served as managing editor for several years and wrote many stories. In those days, hundreds of church bulletins and the phone were her main sources of news gathering. She and Scott LaMascus made the Chronicle into a true newspaper.

Each time I hired a staffer, I asked that they help move the Chronicle to the next level. They have, earning top honors repeatedly from Christian press organizations. 

• Bobby Ross Jr., who came to us from The Associated Press, has served as an outstanding writer, winning many individual awards. 

• Erik Tryggestad came to us from daily newspapers in Georgia and served as a reporter and editor. Now he moves into the position of president and CEO of this publication.

• Chellie Ison, a former NBC affiliate anchor and Emmy Award winner, leads our online and digital services and expertly coordinates our social media presence, bringing a host of new readers to our website.

"This is the worst month ever!" This cartoon by Scott Horton, one of Lynn McMillon's favorites, depicts the stresses endured by Joy McMillon and Scott LaMascus as they produced The Christian Chronicle in the 1980s.

“This is the worst month ever!” This cartoon by Scott Horton, one of Lynn McMillon’s favorites, depicts the stresses endured by Joy McMillon and Scott LaMascus as they produced The Christian Chronicle in the 1980s.

• Tonya Patton, our dedicated ad manager, repeatedly has risen to the challenges of sales and design — even in an economy that’s seen steep declines in print advertising revenue among daily newspapers.

• Louise Beyer is our faithful accountant who makes sure our numbers always add up.

• Lynda Sheehan is our highly capable lead administrative assistant who heads the many behind-the-scenes endeavors necessary to make the organization work. 

• Melinda Wilson processes our donation checks and works with Tonya to make sure our ad clients have the best possible products. She contributes greatly to our Milestones section.

• Emily Henderson just finished her fourth and final year as our student worker. She was vital to the expansion of our mailing list and did countless tasks around the office. 

• Elise Miller has served as our talented, award-winning student intern. 

Every one of these wonderful people is a faithful, dedicated Christian who sees their work as a ministry to the Lord and to you. 

How could I not be grateful to have such a wonderful team of Christian colleagues?

The Chronicle has grown over these years from about 175,000 readers to more than 260,000 (We have a circulation of more than 135,000, and many papers are seen by multiple sets of eyes.) 

Today the paper receives support from more than 600 churches and many thousands of you. 

For the past 20 years, our professional marketing survey shows a consistent, 95-plus percent reader satisfaction rating. That has helped me and all of us to gauge the work we do, making sure we accomplish our stated mission.

Thank you, Chronicle readers and supporters. With all of this, how can I be anything but grateful?

And then there is the Chronicle’s Board of Trustees. You can have confidence that these women and men provide the best supervision to the Chronicle. Chairman Deon Fair has been a dream to work with, as was his predecessor, Dale Brown. Both men are deeply spiritual as well as gifted and superb leaders. Space does not allow me the pleasure of extolling the Christian qualities of each trustee. Their names are listed on the “About” page. 

How could I not be grateful to have worked with such exemplary people? 

My plans? If the Lord wills, I will continue teaching Bible full time at Oklahoma Christian University. I am a classroom teacher at heart. I love the Lord, his word and the many students who I am blessed to study with. Please pray that I can bring them closer to the Lord and his word.

Thank you, Chronicle readers and supporters. With all of this, how can I be anything but grateful?

CONTACT: [email protected]

Filed under: CEO CEO and president Insight Lynn McMillon Lynn McMillon what's next News Opinion Top Stories

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