As we celebrate -- and contemplate -- the first 20 years of this magazine, it seems incredible to look at how far we've come, how much we've changed. Despite the thousands of readers and considerable international reputation and influence it now enjoys, Sojourners magazine had far more humble roots. It seems appropriate, as we begin our third decade, to reflect on those roots, those fragile beginnings, that eventually led to a movement.
In the beginning there was only a man and a dream ... and a small inheritance from a rich relative. The man with that dream was me, Ed Spivey Jr. The inheritance was gambled away in Las Vegas ... BUT, getting back to that dream ... it was a dream of publishing a magazine. And at the heart of this magazine would be a humor column, a place where a reader could take a break from life's humdrum and maybe shed a tear of laughter to make it all better.
And alongside this humor column (the dream went on) would be ... oh, a bunch of other stuff about politics, or maybe religion or culture or something else, but the main thing would be this humor column.
I knew I couldn't do it alone. To achieve this ambitious plan would require the finest minds of the day, so I contacted the giants of publishing: award-winning journalists, top-flight publication managers, experienced marketing and circulation experts.
Their response was enthusiastic and unanimous. "Hey! Do you know what time it is? It's the middle of the night! Who gave you my home number?" And so on.
So then I called Jim Wallis.
Well, Jim was driving a school bus at the time, not doing anything in particular, so he said, "Sure," and the rest is history. A lot of other people joined in my dream, but we've forgotten their names because they really weren't all that important ... I mean, whose dream was this in the first place?!