The History of The Christadelphian Tidings Magazine

Bro. Robert J. Lloyd

Bib & Peggy Lloyd
Bro. Bob and Sis. Peggy Lloyd as they looked when I first remember them.

The person

The story of the second editor of The Christadelphian Tidings is the story of a man who decided very early in life that he wanted to serve God and then for the rest of his life gave that goal everything he had. I can confidently say this about Bro. Bob Lloyd because, unlike the other California Christadelphians I’ve written about over the last 10 years, I knew him personally. Everything I’ve recorded about brothers and sisters from the past came from information that I acquired from their descendants, ancestry websites, and various Christadelphian magazines. This article is a departure from writing about someone I’m only familiar with through the experience of others. Not only did I know Bro. Bob Lloyd, but I considered him a friend of mine and of my parents, as well as a mentor to me and my son, Jason. Of course, there’s nothing unique about that, as many brothers and sisters knew and loved Bob over the years. In fact, Bob Lloyd was one of the most beloved brothers in California Christadelphian history. He also played a large role in the history of The Christadelphian Tidings magazine, having a nearly life-long connection to it.

The magazine that is today known as “The Christadelphian Tidings of the Kingdom of God” was launched by Bro. Carl Wolfe in 1939 as a mimeographed newsletter for the Pomona, California ecclesia. Carl edited the magazine for 19 years and guided it from those simple beginnings to a full-fledged periodical for North American Central Fellowship Christadelphians. When he stepped down from that role in 1957, The Tidings committee (Richard Stone, Associate Editor; Robert Brinkerhoff, Chairman; Paul Phillips, Treasurer and John McConville, Subscriptions and News) chose the incumbent committee secretary, Bro. Lloyd, to be the new editor. Bob, who was 31 years old at the time, had already shown his leadership ability as a member of the first executive committee of the Idyllwild Bible School in 1955.1Jr. Christadelphian, January, February, 1955 Much earlier, in 1943, Bob had been elected President of the Southern California Christadelphian young people’s group.2Jr. Christadelphian, October 1943

While he didn’t personally vote on the issue of a new editor, Bro. Wolfe was definitely happy with the committee’s choice. He wrote the following to the subscribers of The Christadelphian Tidings in the September-October 1957 issue,

“Printed elsewhere in this issue will be my resignation as editor of ‘The Tidings’, and the appointment of brother Robert J. Lloyd to take my place. Although I was unable to attend the meeting at which the appointment was made, I would like to say that I am sincerely pleased with his appointment as editor. I feel sure that he will bring new life and fresh ideas to this work, and his soundness in the truth, and his willingness to work, make him an ideal choice to fill the vacancy.”
Young Bob Lloyd
Bob as he would have looked when he was baptized.

Bob’s Lloyd’s connection with the magazine actually began over 15 years earlier, when it was known as The Junior Christadelphian and he was only 13 years old. A number of people sent letters to The Junior Christadelphian in the early years, particularly brothers and sisters in Texas. There was an especially interesting letter sent from Midland Texas to the magazine in May of 1940. Addressed from “Mrs. J.H. Lloyd”, it said:

“The Junior Christadelphian for March and April received a few days ago. It is the first of these papers to reach us. I think their small articles very helpful and good to interest the young. Our young son, thirteen years of age, likes them. Enclosed please find check for one year’s subscription. Also would like to know if you could send us an Instructor. I gave our copy away and Robert is wanting to learn the first principles so he may be baptized this summer, the Lord willing.”

The thirteen year old named Robert (also known as Bobby Joe in those days) would, of course, become Bro. Bob Lloyd and a few years down the road, the second editor of that same magazine that he enjoyed reading as a boy. But reading The Junior Christadelphian wasn’t the only connection he had to the magazine in those early years.

In February, 1942, when Bob was only 15 years old, he wrote his first article for The Junior Christadelphian, entitled “Fear and the War”:

“Now that the war we have read so much about has come to our doors we stop and consider how it affects us of the household of faith. I am sure none of us are afraid of death for we have that confidence which Paul gives us in Rom 14:8, ‘For whether we live, we live unto the Lord, and whether we die, we die unto the Lord; whether we live therefore or die, we are the Lord’s.’ We get a faint glimpse of the great power of the Almighty and the insignificance of man in His sight when we read Isa 40:15, ‘The nations are as a drop of a bucket and counted as the small dust of the balance.’ Although the nations are so small in His sight we who are His children are ever in His care as the words of Jesus show in Matt 10:29-31, ‘Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father, but the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.’ The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all they that do His commandments. Now if we have begun to be wise and as this wisdom increases and we grow more Christ-like in our actions every day we have that perfect love which casteth out fear. So we see if we are the kind of persons we should be we will not be afraid of what ever may come.”

Right up until his death in 2015 (73 years later), Bro. Bob was still writing for the magazine. His final “Minute Meditation” was published in the same issue that announced his death. But before looking at the end of Bob’s life, and more importantly at what he brought to The Tidings magazine, let’s go back to the beginning of his life.

Bob Lloyd at five years old
Bob Lloyd at five years old.

Family background

Robert Joseph Lloyd was born on December 11, 1926, in Houston Texas. He was baptized in the same city on July 14, 1940 at age 13.3Berean Magazine, February, 1941 Later that same year, after Bob had turned 14, his family moved to California. Just like his Tidings editor predecessor (Carl Wolfe), Bob immigrated to the Golden State as a teenager.

Bob’s parents were Joseph and Zana Lloyd. Joe Lloyd and Zana Carney were married on January 25, 1926, and the newlyweds established their first home in Grand Prairie, Texas.4Berean Magazine, June, 1926 In 1929 Bro. Joe Lloyd formed the Houston Texas ecclesia and was the first Recording Brother.5Berean Magazine, October, 1929 One of the other original members of that ecclesia, according to The Berean magazine, was “sister Hatcher of Texarkana”. Sister Jessie Hatcher, President Lyndon Johnson’s aunt, would later become Bro. George Booker’s grandmother. Bro. Booker, in turn, would become the fourth editor of The Tidings magazine.

The newly formed Houston ecclesia organized a Sunday school in 1933.6Berean Magazine, August, 1933 Bob’s connection with my family began at that time, as both my father (beginning in 1934)7Berean Magazine, February, 1934 and Bob were members of that Sunday school. Many years later my Dad (John Hensley) would occasionally refer to Bob as “Bobby Joe”, the name he knew Bob by when they were young.

Bob with his parents
Bob with his parents. He was about 18 years old at the time.

In 1935, during the height of the Great Depression, the Lloyds moved to Denver, Colorado with the assistance of Bro. Henry and Sis. Ada Corbin. The Lloyd family moved to Denver because of a health issue that plagued Bob, their only child.8Berean Magazine, August, 1935 Their hope was that the higher altitude in Denver would be beneficial to their son’s heath, but they couldn’t stay there because Joe was unable to find permanent employment.9Berean Magazine, January 1936 They next moved to Midland, Texas thinking it was at least higher in altitude than Houston, but this left the family in isolation. Bob’s heath problem was the asthma he would suffer with all his life. Bro. Bob once told me that he wouldn’t wish asthma on his worst enemy. For those of us who knew Bob, it’s hard to imagine he could have ever had an enemy.

Like his son, Bro. Joe Lloyd was a leader, first holding the position of Recording Bro. of the Hebron Texas ecclesia in 192310Christadelphian Magazine, 1923, six years prior to having the same role in Houston. In 1939 a notice in The Berean magazine stated that an Executive Committee, composed of bro. Joe Lloyd (Midland, Texas), bro. John Eastman (Grit, Texas), and bro. Bob Carney (Lufkin, Texas) was elected to take care of all business arrangements for the Christadelphians of the State in the future.11Berean Magazine, 1939

Bob’s heath problem was the asthma he would suffer with all his life. Bro. Bob once told me that he wouldn’t wish asthma on his worst enemy. For those of us who knew Bob, it’s hard to imagine he could have ever had an enemy.It was in the September 1941 issue of The Berean magazine that Bro. B.A. Warrender announced that Bob Lloyd, along with his parents, moved from Texas to California, joining the Glendale, California Ecclesia. Bob would remain a member of that ecclesia for the rest of his life:

“We also rejoice in the coming of Bro. and Sis. J. H. Lloyd and their son, Bro. Robert Lloyd, from Midland, Texas. These are a welcome addition to our ecclesial family, especially as Bro. Lloyd helps very acceptably in the important work of exhortation. We have also been glad to add to our number Bro. and Sis. Howard Wade and Sis. Betty Wade, from Los Angeles, as it is more convenient for them to come to the Glendale meeting.”
Bob and Peggy Lloyd on their wedding day.
Bob and Peggy Lloyd on their wedding day.

Betty Wade was my mother, so Bob knew both of my parents by the time he (and they) were teenagers. From time to time he would remind me of that fact.

As mentioned in the previous article on the history of The Tidings, it was at the Glendale Ecclesia that Bob met his future wife, Peggy Carter. On July 31, 1946 Bob and Peggy were married by Bro. Warrender.12Berean Magazine, January, 1950 The announcement of their marriage was sent to The Berean magazine by Bro. Joe Lloyd, who was now the Assistant Recording Brother of the ecclesia. The young couple would spend 69 years together and have three children: Bro. David, Sis. Cheryl (Robinson) and Sis. Linda (Wilson).

A changing of the guard

The Junior Christadelphian magazine (as The Tidings was called at the time) was only a couple of years old when Bob Lloyd came to California. The early issues of the magazine had contained much information on the War and the plight of young brethren in their quest for conscientious objection deferment. There were articles entitled “Unified Action Needed in Seeking Deferment” and “Brethren in C.O. Camps Should Not Be Overlooked”. Each month a list of all the brothers in Civilian Public Service (C.P.S.) Camps was included in the magazine. The August 1942 issue listed the following brothers:

Elkridge MD.: Leonard Rankin, Curtis Hugh Rankin, David Sommerville, James Ernest Cramer; Petersham, MA.: Ernest T. Owens, William A. Hamlin, Jr; Cascade Locks, OR: Jesse A. Hirst, James Parker, Arthur D. Seagoe; Lyndhurst, VA: Ross R. Wolfe; Santa Barbara, CA.: Robert Cochran; Glendora, CA.: John Hensley.

Bro. Robert Cochran, who had been an assistant editor when the magazine first began, wrote an article in the September 1942 issue in which he spoke about life in the conscientious objector camp pointing out the following: “All in all we feel that a country that gives us such kindness and consideration should receive in return from us the very best that we can conscientiously give, and that we should thank our Heavenly Father each day for this provision.”

Another popular topic at the time was the CYC Conferences which had just begun in California. There were also articles on how to live the Truth, news from the California and Texas ecclesias and a number of commentaries about the Jews and Palestine.

While the content of the magazine changed somewhat after the war, the look remained much the same. However, just before Bob became editor, the magazine began to change a great deal. Beginning In 1956 it took on a new form, becoming much less like a news letter and much more like a magazine. The name was changed to “The Christadelphian Tidings of the Kingdom of God” and there was a real cover for the first time with a nice graphic of the earth and a Bible. Bro. John Randall became the Chairman. The rest of the staff included Richard Stone as Assistant Editor, Paul Phillips as Treasurer and John McConville in charge of Subscriptions and News. Bob Lloyd had now become the Secretary. Bob was also the Assistant Recording Bro. for the Glendale ecclesia at the time.

In 1957, Bro. Carl Wolfe stepped down as editor of The Christadelphian Tidings and Bro. Bob Lloyd became the new editor the following year. Bro. Wolfe continued as Chairman of the Board for the magazine, and Bro. Bob Brinkerhoff assumed Bro. Lloyd’s previous role as secretary. Carl Wolfe would retain his position as Chairman until 1962.

Bro. Wolfe wrote the following letter to the Tidings Committee on July 22, 1957 making his retirement as editor official:

“Please accept herewith my resignation as editor of The Christadelphian Tidings. This, as you perhaps know is not a sudden decision on my part, but has been my desire and intention for several years.
“Individuals do not count in the work and service of the truth, but rather the progress and welfare of the great cause we have been privileged to represent. I sincerely believe that the work will prosper to a greater degree with someone else as editor.
“I wish to express my deepest gratitude to each one of you for your wonderful support and co-operation, and I assure you that I will still help in any way possible to keep the paper going and to make it a success.”

In the September-October 1957 Christadelphian Tidings, Bro. Wolfe wrote the following to the subscribers of the magazine:

“I would like at this time to thank each brother and sister who have so warmly supported my work during almost 19 years as editor. There have been many wonderful words of encouragement, especially from those in isolation. We have tried to conduct the paper faithfully, yet temperately. I feel it has an important place in the work of the truth in the United States and Canada.
“I would like to urge each and every one to support brother Lloyd and the other members of the staff in this very important, yet also difficult task. In my appointment on the staff as chairman, I will do my best to fulfill that duty to the best of my ability.
“To each and every reader I would say, if you want the paper improved, do something yourself to help. Constructive criticism is always needed in any work of this kind. Let us go forward together, for in unity there is to be found the strength to win the race and to receive the prize, even life eternal in the kingdom of God.”

In the next section, we’ll look at Bob Lloyd’s work as editor, Bible school teacher and inspiration to thousands of Christadelphians around the world.

Tidings Magazine old covers

The History of The Christadelphian Tidings Magazine

NEXT: Bro. Robert J. Lloyd, continued >>

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