A Brief History

Evangelical Action, Volume 103, No. 5. April-May 1989.

The history of The Australian Evangelical is both rich and diverse, but is a consistent testament to both the strong evangelical character of the periodical over the 130 years of its existence, and the abundant graciousness of God. Founded as ‘Glad Tidings‘ by the Methodist Holiness Association in 1886, it was the initial intent of the paper to facilitate the renewed interest in holiness, which marked latter 19th and early 20th century Australia, and act as a channel for the “spreading the good news of a present, free, and full salvation.” Under the helmsmanship of W. G. Taylor, the paper rapidly grew to a circulation of 15,000 copies per month.

Between the years of 1939 and 1941, the paper was acquired by W. J. Beasley and transferred to the Bible Union of Australia. An organisation dedicated to the ‘fundamentals of the faith‘, and specifically the promotion of Scriptural inerrancy at a time when Higher Criticism and Modernism was prominent in many churches and training colleges. In 1944, the name of the paper was changed from ‘Glad Tidings‘ to ‘Evangelical Action‘ in the hope that the publication “might become a mouthpiece of a united witness for the truth, and lead to definite evangelical action.”

From then onwards, and under the guidance of its then Editor, William Reid McEwen, a Minister of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Action was to become a publication devoted to the standing on, and proclaiming of, God’s Word as it spoke into a myriad of different and multifaceted issues. Contributors included T.C. Hammond, Leon L. Morris, and many others. The publication became disaffiliated with the Bible Union of Australia in the 1990s, and changed its name to The Australian Evangelical in 2023. However, despite these changes, it continues on in this aim — promoting the Historical Christian Faith.



Timeline of Editors:

  • William Reid McEwen [1944-1985]
  • Barry Horner [1986-1988]
  • Jeff Kendall [1988-?]
  • Donald Bell [1995-2008]
  • R. Todd Stanton [2009-Present]