The Finishing Touch

Albert E. Farley

The production of a monthly newspaper requires the labors and contributions of many people. From the writers to the printer from the folders, addressers, and sorters, to the mailmen many people are involved in getting the paper into the hands of those who will hopefully read and benefit from it.

One of the very important jobs in this production is what is termed the "layout" or the "composition." After all of the articles have been written and received, they, often with pictures, must be selected and edited and, then, must be placed on the various pages. How they are placed in their particular spaces on the pages is the work of the composer or the layout person. There are several variables involved in doing this, and the skill in which this is done gives each page and the entire paper its attractiveness and readability.

We have been blessed by one of the best composers anywhere. His name is Bobby Jennings of The Mountain Statesman, in Grafton. Brother Bobby has been composing our paper for many years, and I want you, our readers, to know more about him. He is a wonderful and remarkable young man. I asked him for some information about himself (several times before I finally received it), and I want him to tell you about himself in his own words.

"I graduated from Grafton High School in 1989. I went from there to Fairmont State and earned a degree in Elementary Education. It was at that time that I started at the newspaper, working as a darkroom tech/photographer on a part-time basis to help support myself while going to school. Not wanting to leave the state to teach, I took the job of Production Manager at the paper upon my graduation. I worked at the paper for several years until company down-sizing cost me my job.

"I felt then that I was tired of just reporting on the news and all that was going on and I wanted to make a difference, so I went to work as a dispatcher for MECCA 9-1-1 in Morgantown. I really liked the job there but felt that it wasn't what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

"I had been working with the church for years, doing various things with the youth group at Wilson Ridge and abroad. The church meeting at Wilson Ridge was always a very special group of people to me since I had been with them from the late 80's when the church was still worshipping in my grandmother's garage. On many occasions, the men, many of whom were my Bible class teachers as a youth, would ask me to fill in and preach when our regular preacher was away. I guess that is what prompted my desire when I decided to leave MECCA to seek a way of life that was going to be even more productive and helpful to others preaching the word.

"I then attended the West Virginia School of Preaching at Moundsville and graduated in the spring of 1999 10 years after my graduation from high school. While attending the school, I had the honor to preach in several locations but, most of that time, I spent my Sundays bouncing between the New Freeport Church of Christ near Hundred and Wilson Ridge. On Wednesday nights I would find myself traveling down from Moundsville to attend Bible study with a group of really close friends at the Proctor Church of Christ. "Upon my graduation from the school of preaching, I returned to Wilson Ridge and began preaching full-time in June, 1999. I am still here working as full-time minister with a group of highly devoted, loving brethren who have been a tremendous inspiration and help to me and to the cause of Christ. I am also back at The Mountain Statesman, working on a part-time basis in the composing department to supplement my income and to be able to afford health insurance."

Now, dear readers, you know something about the man who puts the finishing touches to our paper every month. He is a humble man, but he is a person with great faith. Of our work together, he said, "Thank the Lord that I was able to meet you and Nancy and that we have been able to work together the way we have through it all." I asked Bobby once why he always seems to be so happy and smiling. He laughed and said, "I read the last chapter in the Bible and WE WON!"

We are thankful for Bobby and for the many, many other faithful young people who are active and busy in the work of the Lord throughout our brotherhood.


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