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Human Quest Records

Identification Number: 2010-001
Box Number: Boxes 109 A-C

This collection contains the records of The Churchman Company, Inc. from its incorporation in 2001 in the State of Missouri until its dissolution in 2009. The Churchman Company's sole business was to publish The Human Quest, an independent journal of religious humanism. The Human Quest was the continuation of The Churchman's Monthly begun in 1804 in Hartford, Connecticut. The final issue of the journal was the November/December 2008 issue. Includes correspondence, board of directors minutes, journals, books, and microfilm.

The Churchman Company, Inc.
Editorial Staff:
Lynn M. Cheatum, Editor
Jane Stoever, Associate Editor
Kris Cheatum, Assistant Editor

Board of Trustees:
Jim Eller, Interim Chair
John M. Swomley, Jr., Chair Emertus
Eloise Cranke
Glenn Dickson
Chester Guinn
Jim Kenney, Treasurer
J. Martin Kerr
1949-2010, bulk 2001-2008. Records 2001-2009. Journals 1994-2008. Books 1996-1999. Microfilm 2001, 2003, 2006.

The Churchman Company, Inc. was incorporated in the State of Missouri in 2001 to continue the publication of The Human Quest, which was the continuation of a publication begun in 1804. In 1804 the name of the periodical was The Churchman's Monthly, and it was published in Connecticut by the Episcopal Church. In 1831 the name was changed to The Churchman, which was published in Hartford and New York from 1873-1879, then by the Churchman Associates, Inc. in New York from 1880-1959. Later publishing was moved to St. Petersburg, Florida. In 1985 the journal was renamed The Churchman's Human Quest and in 1989, The Human Quest.
From 1968 to 1998 Edna Ruth Johnson was the editor. In 1998 she became ill and the editorial responsibilities passed to a couple of other people, and was in danger of being discontinued. In 2001 Dr. John M. Swomley Jr., Professor Emeritus of Christian Ethics at Saint Paul School of Theology, became chair of the board of directors. The Churchman Company Inc. was incorporated in Missouri, and publication of The Human Quest was moved to Kansas City.
Dr. Swomley resigned as chair and became Chair Emeritus in 2005 because of poor health and advanced age. A decreasing list of subscribers and the existence of online and print publications with similar focus led the board of directors to vote to discontinue publishing in August 2008.
The November-December 2008 issue was the last issue of The Human Quest. Subscribers were polled as to whether they wished to have their subscriptions refunded or transferred to Fellowship, a publication of the Fellowship of Reconciliation. After paying refunds and outstanding bills, the corporation filed Articles of Voluntary Dissolution with the Missouri Secretary of State on June 2, 2009 and assets of the corporation were dispersed to the Fellowship of Reconciliation. 
The records are arranged in 2 series:
  1. The Churchman Company, Inc. records
  2. books, journals, and microfilm.

The bulk of the records are from 2001 to 2009 while The Churchman Company, Inc. was operating in Missouri. Records include records on the HQ dissolution including subscribers wishes and surveys, correspondence and subscription service notices for libraries subscribed to Human Quest, marketing, board meeting minutes, and correspondence. Some older records that relate to problems with the HQ tax exempt status in the 1990s are included.

Series 1, The Churchman Company, Inc. records
Folder 1 HQ Dissolution
Folder 3 HQ Subscriber Wishes
Folder 5 HQ Tax Exempt Status
Folder 6 Business Info
Folder 7 Documents
Folder 8 HQ Survey
Folder 24 HQ Board Meetings 3-31-04 to 7-6-05
Folder 25 HQ Board Meetings 12-12-05 to 1-9-2009
Folder 26 Correspondence (sent)
Folder 27 Correspondence (received)
Series 2, Books, Journals, and Microfilm
Folder 1 Swomley, John M. (1998). Confronting systems of violence: Memoirs of a peace activist. Nyack, NY: Fellowship Publications.
Folder 2 Swomley, John M. (1997). Confronting church and state: Memoirs of an activist. Amherst, NY: Humanist Press.
Folder 3 Swomley, John M. (1999). Compulsory pregnancy: The war against American women. Amherst, NY: Humanist Press.
Folder 4 Doerr, Edd, Menendez, Albert J., & Swomley, John M. (1996). The case against school vouchers. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.
Folder 5 1949 issue of The Churchman, 145th Anniversary Issue
Folder 6 April 15, 1954 issue of The Churchman, 150th Anniversary Issue
Folder 7-18 1959 issues of The Churchman
Folder 19 July 1965 issue of The Churchman
Folder 20 May 1968 issue of The Churchman
Folder 21 The Human Quest, September-October 2008
Folder 22 The Human Quest, November-December 2008, Final Issue
Unfoldered 4 rolls of microfilm containing The Human Quest from 2001, 2003, 2006, 2008

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