Twenty Years of Aletheia
by Rick Shrader
My parents were school teachers so reading and writing was a given in the Shrader household. Participation was also expected in the often protracted, sometimes volatile, but usually hilarious, dinner discussions. My siblings are far more gifted in these things than I which caused me to have to work at school a lot harder. Nevertheless God called me into the ministry and blessed me with wonderful opportunities in Bible colleges and fundamental churches over my early ministry years.
In 1993 I began to see a need to speak out about a failing culture. Returning to the great state of Colorado, I started writing my thoughts and convictions in a small monthly paper and including short reviews of books I had read that month. I chose the name “Aletheia” because it means “truth” in Greek, and because I had seen it used as a society name and liked it. Second John verse two seemed to fit well, “For the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever.” And so I began. I’ve never expected more from these writings than to be a blessing or encouragement to God’s people. I hope I have at least accomplished that. At the same time I started collecting quotations from those books and saving them in computer programs which my daughter Rebekah and son Michael have written. Articles and book reviews have become the major part of my website which has been managed by Rebekah for all these years.
By far the smartest thing I’ve done in life is marry Ann. Her father, Peter Slobodian, was a Ukrainian immigrant first to Argentina, where Ann and Sam were born, and then to the United States where Debbie was born. He was one of those original short-wave radio broadcasters from the 70s and 80s who sent gospel messages across eleven time zones and helped crack the Iron Curtain and allow the gospel to spread across that dark land. His greatest accomplishment was to start BIEM (Baptist International Evangelistic Ministries) of which Sam now is president and which is responsible for hundreds of churches, church buildings, and other ministries from Russia and Ukraine to Turkey and the Middle East.
Late in life, having retired from BIEM, Peter started Baptist Global Mission to help manage his ongoing retirement ministries. I was the first Secretary of that ministry and when Dad passed away (June 24, 2005) I became the president. From the beginning, Terry Conley has been with the board and is now the chairman of the board of Aletheia Baptist Ministries. Dad’s vision was always for his homeland and countries behind the old Curtain. He never met a young missionary that he didn’t try to convert to Russia or Ukraine. But that couldn’t be my vision (and BIEM is still doing a tremendous job of it) so we changed our objective to helping churches in the USA and eventually changed the legal name to Aletheia Baptist Ministries. Having written this paper for quite a few years as my own project, I continued writing under the common name. Churches I have pastored have been gracious in allowing this ministry to continue with their kind help. With my sister’s (Debra Conley) help we also began Discovering Baptist History Tours in England and Scotland. We have completed ten trips so far. For the last few years my youngest son Matthew has been our Educational Consultant as we have developed Bible Institute classes, helped start churches, and expanded our web site. We are hoping that we can offer Institute classes online in the future.
My original goal was to write for at least twenty years. Having come to that mark I think I may have a few years left to continue with God’s help. We hope to print more materials, have a Bible Institute curriculum ready for use, and expand our website to include more access to things that will help the local churches. Thank you for your interest in this ministry. Your prayers are greatly appreciated.