More Than Just An Editor

More Than Just An Editor

May 23, 2014

More Than Just An Editor

by Kevin Butler



Before coming here to the SDB Center, I had the privilege of working in a number of different occupations.

Each summer during high school and college I was employed at a local telephone company, working my way up from trimming branches off the lines to installing new phones. After college I got security clearance to work at a regional computer center for GE’s Aerospace and Defense Division.

Deciding that the big company was a bit too impersonal, I went back to the little phone company and tried my hand at sales. (Didn’t do so well.) Next came Radio Shack, where I got into store management and won a sales contest to Acapulco.

The “call” to ministry had been tugging at my heart for years, so we left everything and everybody we knew and went off to seminary. I continued to work at a Radio Shack near the school, then did campus maintenance, then got a dream job being in charge of the audio-visual equipment for the seminary library and classrooms.

Following seminary I accepted the call to pastor our new church in Madison, Wis. In an attempt to promote our church, I recorded a series of short Bible commentaries for the local Christian radio station. Not long after, I wound up using my college radio experience and worked there as a part-time announcer, mostly Sunday mornings—allowing the other staff members to go to their churches.


My “Walter Mitty” experience of different careers got enhanced when it came to creating and performing the Tract Council presentation at Conference. Wanting to convey our information in an entertaining and memorable way, I got to play the role of a game show host (several times with different vintage games), TV newscaster, talk show host, lawyer and detective.

“Hats off” to the TCC members who played along in those skits, plus a string of cameo guests including Jim Skaggs, Paul Manuel and the recurring role of “Barbie Dull” played by Cheri Appel. Thanks so much!


Another facet to this communication ministry involved many meetings and much travel. I was blessed to be on the ground floor of the MORE 2000 vision plan formulated by Rod Henry—our Ministry of Revival and Evangelism. That was followed by the “Invitation to Conversation” series spearheaded by Ernest Bee.

Other church events and General Council meetings kept me on the move, not to mention our annual General Conference meetings. I also represented SDBs on the Baptist Joint Committee, sending me to Washington twice a year for a decade.

Some of the trips went beyond our borders. Thanks to a generous benefactor, Janet and I were able to attend Baptist World Congress conventions in Australia and England, and an SDB World Federation gathering in Brazil. Wonderful experiences!


While I spent more than my fair share of time editing and doing layout on the computer, the Lord expanded my horizons and life experiences in so many awesome ways over this quarter-century.

In most ministries, it’s hard to have tangible evidence of how you affect or change lives. With the Recorder, I can have my pic snapped next to a stack of printed copies, saying, “This is what I’ve done!”

But I am also grateful for the innumerable intangibles—the church visits, the gracious hosts, and the loving family that is Seventh Day Baptists.

Next month, Lord willing, I’ll share about what’s next.

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