Editorial: The Long Journey Back Home -- By: Timothy Paul Jones

Journal: Journal of Discipleship and Family Ministry
Volume: JDFM 01:1 (Fall 2010)
Article: Editorial: The Long Journey Back Home
Author: Timothy Paul Jones

Editorial: The Long Journey Back Home

Timothy Paul Jones

Timothy Paul Jones (Ph.D., the Southern Baptist theological Seminary) is Associate Professor of Discipleship and Family ministry at the Southern Baptist theological Seminary, where he coordinates family ministry programs and edits The Journal of Family Ministry. Timothy lives in St. Matthews with his wife RayAnn and daughters Hannah and Skylar. He enjoys hiking, playing games with his family, and drinking French-pressed coffee. the Jones family is involved in Sojourn Kids ministry at the east campus of Sojourn Community Church.

The Journal of Family Ministry has spent twenty-three years migrating back and forth between Texas and Kentucky. With this issue, the journal returns to “The Beeches,” this verdant expanse of foliage and flora and early twentieth-century brick work in Louisville where students and faculty of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary “meet to part and part to meet.”1 The Journal of Family Ministry has sojourned here before—and not only here, but also in two other locations in the Louisville community, both within a few blocks of The Beeches.

Given the many twists and turns in this journal’s journey, it will be helpful to take a trip back in time, to the genesis of the journal in the latter years of the Reagan Administration. When those first photostatically-reproduced copies of The Journal of Family Ministry slipped unheralded into a few dozen mailboxes across the United States, Jim Bakker had recently resigned his role at PTL, Three Men and a Baby was the highest-grossing film in the United States, NBC was still producing new episodes of the The Cosby Show, Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” was rocketing to the top of the charts, and U2’s self-imposed reinvention in the shadow of The Joshua Tree was still incomplete.

The Journey Begins In Abilene (1987-1992)

The first issue of The Journal of Family Ministry was a twelve-page publication of the Texas Baptist Family Ministers Association (TBFMA). In the inaugural issue, J. Paul Sorrels, professor at Hardin-Simmons University and president of TBFMA, described “spiritual issues,” “sociological and psychological issues as well as systemic or relational issues” as separate “colonies” that must be brought together in this journal “to serve the field of family ministry.”2 Within a few months, Sorrels and TBFMA had partnered with Hardin-Simmons University to continue publication of the journal. By 1989, the Southern Baptist Association of Family Ministers had joined the list of sponsors. During these first few years, issue...

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