This restoration project for my pictures that I made on assignment for TOGETHER/
CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE (TOG/CA) is my effort to place these on public view.  It also a testimony  and thanks to all those wonderful Methodists who allowed me to record their daily lives, I hope with sincerity and integrity.  

        I never had formal training in photography and even though these mentors are long gone each one contributed to my success.  My journalism career began in the Presbyterian church choir where my English teacher, Cleo Johnson, overheard me asking commercial photographer, Paul Davis, questions about photography.  She suggested that I work with George Schade, Science teacher, probably the least popular of all my HS teachers in Blue Earth, MN, who patiently taught me the essentials of photography for publication.  At Macalester College in St. Paul it was Ivan Burg who taught me journalism,  and in my professional life,  until his death in 2009, Angus McDougall, a photographer I met at the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL who ended his career as  “Professor Emeritus of Journalism at the University of Missouri.”   Angus opened many  doors for me and was my constant friend and critic.  He sent me a copy of his book, “Picture Editing and Layout” and inscribed on the flyleaf       
                  “For George Miller- a long-time friend and staunch advocate of 
                   credible visual communication. Angus McDougall 11/11/91”

       This archive, one of the highlights of my  career would not be possible without  the contribution of those 200 fellow TOGETHER /CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE  staffers who worked with us during our short history.  They include  Leland D. Case, our founder, to Sandra Laneau Brown, who packed up the last scraps of all our editorial papers along with my pictures for shipment to the United Methodist Publishing House in Nashville.  Those original pictures as I have learned from UMPH [main] are gone forever. 

       I cannot possibly name every TOG/CA staffer in this space except highlight some of the principal members for shaping the magazines.  Leland D. Case, chosen to serve as founder of TOGETHER, was hired as a magazine consultant by the then Methodist Publishing House.  He  headed  up a team authorized by the 1952 General Conference for the MPH to study the future of its General Publications.  Approved at the 1956 General Conference, the first issues of TOGETHER for Church families and CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE for pastors were in Methodist mail boxes in Mid-September (Case called it the “Mid-Monthly Magazine for Methodist families” - most magazines arrive near the 1st of the month, TOGETHER was designated to arrive in mid month when other magazines had been read!)!  [TIME Magazine]  called it,     
      “ of the most ambitious ventures in the history of church publishing...”
       They were preceded by the major denominations who had already brought out single family magazines, PRESBYTERIAN LIFE, THE EPISCOPALIAN, UC CHURCH HERALD, EUB CHURCH AND HOME and THIS DAY by the Missouri Synod  Lutherans in four color. The Roman Catholics also produced a cutting edge magazine, JUBILEE where young Charlie Harbutt was blazing a trail of innovation in B&W that set the goal posts for photojournalism in church magazines.

       Leland D. Case was born into a Methodist preacher’s home in Iowa and grew up in South Dakota.  He graduated from Macalester, a Presbyterian College in St. Paul, MN.  He worked in newspapers notably the International Herald Tribune in Paris (his biggest scoop was an interview with Charles Lindbergh just on arrival in Paris on his history making flight across the Atlantic).   Leland had been editor of small newspapers, a Professor of Journalism, the editor of the ROTARIAN from 1935 to 1950.  When he was called upon by MPH he was a magazine consultant giving advice to magazine creators.  His most recent client before MPH was FARM JOURNAL who hired him to found a new magazine, TOWN JOURNAL (which failed in 1957).

       He loved the bi-play of new ideas.  Yet it was hard to really know him.  After a couple years of trying, I read James Thurber’s book, “The Years with Ross” in which Harold Ross was the founder of the NEW YORKER was Leland’s twin.   Leland wanted every employee to be like him completely - he hired great talent but they didn’t want to be micro managed.  Only three of us survived.  Art director, Floyd Johnson chief writer Herman Teeter and myself.   My survival was assured by the public relations I had with our story subjects and because Leland needed someone who knew modern photojournalism - I knew less about writing!

        Case did a masterful job of giving our readers as sense of Methodism’s rich history - with so many new suburban churches opening, many new members coming from other denominations, I felt it was one of his strengths.   This caused him to research and assign many original water colors on Methodist History to be generated by our gifted artist/art director, Floyd Johnson.  These reside in a vault at UMPH in Nashville and should be recognized for their value to the history of the church. 

        He created the story concept of People Called Methodists which in the end morphed into those changes that families were undergoing.   He also believed in publishing both sides of a issue, controversy for every story that he ran on one side of a concept, he also ran another on the other side.  

        He was a genius who put together a research office for producing a magazine, he meant to leave a historical record to withstand the years of publication but was lost to that warehouse leak at UMPH. Those files would have been a gold mine of research for any historians who would happen on them later.  I can’t replace them but these pictures are only a token of the grand history of that period that was lost. 
        Leland would recruit a staff of professional journalists, not ministers for his “Bold Adventure!” (meaning Together would be different than conventional church magazines) :  Floyd Johnson from the world of Advertising and the Cowles Publications in Des Moines as Art Director, Herman B, Teeter writer from the Nashville Tennesseean, to work next to the old CA staff at 740 Rush St.   When they prepared a new magazine to be introduced at GC in 1956 they added Paul Friggens from Town Journal, Executive editor; Fred Zepp from the wire services, Managing Editor; Chuck Keysor, Managing Editor (and Picture Editor) from a big Chicago advertising agency; Peg Keilholtz, Woman’s Editor from Country Gentleman; and Bruce Williams, Nashville Tennesseean,  News Editor.  Only H. B. Teeter would be left of the original staff to contribute to every issue when it was closed down in December 1973.

       Rev. T. Otto Nall the man whom the church much loved as editor of the old general family  magazine  The Christian Advocate, would serve as the first Executive Editor of the new pastor’s magazine CA.  In 1960 he was elected a Bishop of the Methodist Church and James Wall was named Executive Editor.

       One by one these originals left.  I replaced Chuck Keysor as the first picture editor because his replacement, Fred Zepp was color blind and later quit to re-join the United Press!  Paul Friggens became a roving editor for READER’S DIGEST.

       Together’s initial circulation goal was 1,000,000 subscriptions which was only reached for one time, the November 1959 175th anniversary of Methodism in the United States issue.   By the time it was closed down in December 1973 circulation had dwindled to roughly 250,000.   

      Colleagues of my age during what I term “our golden years” Dick Underwood, named Executive Editor in 1963 left for Boston University in 1967 and then the newly created Environment offices of Virginia before he died of cancer in 1974. Paige Carlin left after becoming acting editor of TODAY which was published for a short time after our magazine closed in 1973, went on to achieve his dream to be owner, publisher of his own small town paper in Nebraska, before he moved back to Evanston to work for Will White one of our last News Editors who became editor of THE ROTARIAN which coincidentally was founded by Leland Case!  Jim Wall went from CA to the CHRISTIAN CENTURY in 1972 to later be its editor and is retired and now writes his own [Internet blog] on many various subjects that interest him -  film, religion, politics and the middle east.   

     That makes only two of the 200 staffers that I knew that I am still in contact with - Jim Wall and Sandra Laneau Brown.  With so few left, this was also my  goal  to build  this website.  

    Finally I’d like to thank my long suffering wife, Judy, who asked this adventure prone traveller to marry her, found her self snowbound with our children in Chicagoland while I chased down stories in California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida (you can see my motives!)…to  and who has  read every word I’ve written here to correct my awful spelling run-on sentences, and add punctuation, a skill I never really learned!   My excuse is I was a photographer, contributing with a camera rather than first a typewriter and now a computer, but, I will always be a visual person.   Also a special thanks to my children, Karen and Tom who were cooperative in appearing in so many pictures. 

    I wish you all God’s grace and peace!
                                                                            George P. Miller
                                                                            May 2011

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