|F. F. V. (Friends of Foy Valentine)|
|Issue: 59 Page No: 2 Updated: 12/27/2010 10:00 AM|
|Author:||Joe E. Trull|
F. F. V. (Friends of Foy Valentine)
Last December, as often he did, Foy Valentine called to ask, “How are the finances? Do you need some help?”
In 1995, Foy published the first volume of Christian Ethics Today. Pecking away on his ancient typewriter (he resisted computers with a passion) and keeping all records hand-written in proverbial blue-green ink on a yellow pad, he stated a basic principle of the bi-monthly Journal that has never changed: Christian Ethics Today will be sent free of charge to anyone requesting it, as long as money and energy permit.
Ten years and fifty-nine issues later, we have kept that promise without omitting a single issue! We have come close a few times, but always the needed funds arrived. At times, Foy himself would send $1000 or more out of his pocket to ensure the next issue.
Christian Ethics Today was Foy’s final dream, and many think his best. The Journal certainly is unique; it is indeed, in Foy’s words, “a prophetic voice for Christian social ethics.”
Foy wanted the Journal to endure; he knew the key was financial support. Only now can I share what he would not want me to share about his personal investment (I suspect he is frowning in heaven over this paragraph). In the early stages of planning the publication of Whatsoever Things Are Lovely, Foy insisted he pay out of his pocket every expense: the cost of 10,000 copies and the expense of packaging and mailing them to almost 4000 subscribers. A monumental sum, but he said, “I want this to be my gift to the Journal, to help raise money for CET.” To date, about 4000 were sent to all subscribers, and an additional 4000+ have been ordered!
From a few hundred readers in 1995, we now mail to over 4300 subscribers and distribute about 300 more each issue. We have published two significant books— Foy’s acclaimed work and one by Henlee Barnette and his son Jim (see ad in this issue). We have visited seven college and seminary campuses, speaking at chapel services, classes, and ministerial organizations. In February, we conducted our first conference at Truett Seminary (thanks to a special grant); Dean Paul Powell and attendants praised the meeting and the six speakers who discussed, “How To Be A Good Minister.
After the Memorial Service for Foy, Ross Coggins and Bob Mitchell pulled me aside. “How can we promote a Memorial Fund in Foy’s memory, to fulfill his dream for the future of the Journal?” Several others have written or called to express the same concern.
Recently I have met and talked with several of them about organizing a group of Foy’s friends—let’s call them the F. F. V. (Friends of Foy Valentine) Committee.
What is their dream? To mobilize a group to help raise at least $500,000 as an endowment for Christian Ethics Today—the interest from this fund would underwrite a significant part of the annual budget, which is now $80,000. (During the first weeks after the Memorial Service, without any appeal, seventeen memorial gifts came in totaling $9,375, including one for $5000 and one for $2500).
At a meeting with Ross and Bob, when the goal of $500,000 was proposed, I uttered words I would soon have to eat: “To raise that amount someone would have to donate $100,000. Who could do that?” The very next daya check arrived for $100,000 from a close friend whom Foy had known for fifty years (Foy was his pastor while in seminary).
God has a way of surprising us with joy, in spite of our lack of faith! Audra and I sat speechless in my office. Then I laughed, and then I cried a little. My only sorrow was that Foy could not be present to rejoice with me—but maybe he was. When I visited with Harold Simmons in his Dallas office, he expressed the hope that his gift might be matched to perpetuate the memory and the legacy of Foy Valentine.
So, soon we will begin the work of fulfilling Foy’s dream—the dream of the Journal continuing without the month-to-month stress of hoping enough is in the bank to publish the next issue.
Pray with us that God would bless our efforts and the $500,000 goal would be reached. Some on our CET Board urged us to aim for $1,000,000—that is very possible also. All size gifts are appreciated. Obviously, we will need a number of large gifts from those who can do so.
In my hand is a letter from Foy, dated January 5, 2006, sent to me by Susan who wrote: “I found this on my Dad’s desk . . . the last correspondence from my Dad’s hand. Thanks for all you have done for the Journal, all of which put his mind at rest in recent years.”
I treasure that letter in which Foy wrote, “I look forward to seeing you on your forthcoming trip to the Dallas area.” Yes, Foy, we will see you, but in a place even better than Dallas. Until then, your dream continues. JET
Note: Please remember the Memorial Fund Gift is in addition to your regular annual contribution, which supports our basic budget for each issue. Thanks
Cite This Page:
Trull, Joe E.. "F. F. V. (Friends of Foy Valentine)" ChristianEthicsToday.
The Christian Ethics Today Foundation. Spring 2006 (Issue 59 Page 2)