The Presbyterian Guardian, 1935-1979

"…there should be one clear journalistic voice serving Machen's hope for American Presbyterianism."

On August 30, 1979, the Board of Trustees of the Presbyterian Guardian voted to merge the magazine with the Presbyterian Journal.    


Frustrated with a subscription base of about 3,500, the Trustees joined with the Presbyterian Journal in order to “reach a wider audience (well over 20,000) with the Reformed faith.”    

In his article, “Toward the Future of the Presbyterian Church” in the Guardian’s final issue, Edmund Clowney wrote, “there is no good reason for [the two magazines] to remain separate, and every good reason why there should be one clear journalistic voice serving Machen’s hope for American Presbyterianism.”    

For many, the merger was a precursor of a denominational union that was perceived on the horizon. In Clowney’s words, the merger “marks the growing unity of Bible-believing Presbyterians in the United States.” The anticipated church union, however, would not take place. The Presbyterian Journal, even with a united voice and expanded subscription base, would cease publication in 1987, with its Board of Trustees transferring its assets to World magazine.  

The 1979 merger ended the remarkable 44-year life of a magazine founded by J. Gresham Machen in 1935, an independent monthly dedicated to a predominantly Orthodox Presbyterian readership. Numbered among its editors were Ned B. Stonehouse, Paul Woolley, Leslie Sloat, Robert Nicholas, and John Mitchell.  

@2012 OPC – used with permission

(Editor’s Note:  All is not lost, The Guardian is available online!  Here is the story from the OPC website)

Presbyterian Guardian Now Available

We are happy to announce that the entire corpus of the Presbyterian Guardian (1935-1979) is now available on the OPC website. It is displayed so that the user can access any one of the 611 individual issues. There is also a single PDF portfolio file (aprox. 1 GB), for those who want the entire collection on their computer, so they can access and search it. This will serve as a powerful reference tool for those researching the history of the OPC.  

There is a new link to the Presbyterian Guardian on the right side of the page under the OPC Historian link.  

At the top of the page you will see a graphic clipped from an old issue of the Guardian. By hitting Refresh on your browser you can see different designs that were used throughout the years. There is also an issue of the day feature at the bottom of the page.  

To go to the Presbyterian Guardian, click here.