An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Western Episcopalian

This journal was published from Aug. 11, 1853, until June 25, 1868. It had various changes in ownership, editorship, name, and frequency of publication. It was succeeded and continued by the Standard of the Cross. Witness, The. Monthly journal published by the Episcopal Church Publishing Company. It was founded in 1917 as an organization financially independent from the Episcopal Church. The first issue appeared on Jan. 6, 1917. At first it was edited by Bishop Irving Peake Johnson (1866-1947) of Colorado. It was a weekly publication until June 10, 1937. Johnson envisioned a publication that was accessible to the working class. In the earlier years, The Witness combined traditional church news and advertising with impassioned editorials concerning workers' rights and other issues of religious and social consequence. Under the Rev. William Benjamin Spofford (1892-1972), who succeeded Johnson as editor, the periodical became embroiled in the Industrial Democracy movement. The activist nature of The Witness was thus established. Although it has undergone changes in frequency of publication and appearance, it retains its emphasis on social action and justice in light of the gospel. Its roots remain Episcopal, but its readership is ecumenical.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.