Choice Gleanings

Keith Clayton

Category: Organisations

Precious Seed

A Calendar with a difference

This morning, as believers around the globe lift up their hearts to God to begin their day, a familiar component of that process will be the Choice Gleanings calendar. The history of this much loved day-by-day devotional calendar is an interesting one and a testimony to the faithfulness of the Lord. It began in 1922, when the Lord burdened young William J. Pell of Grand Rapids, Michigan, to begin a ministry of printing quality Christian literature. He started in his mother’s parlour with a John 3. 16 verse card, but soon moved to the basement of the building next door, printing gospel tracts and Sunday School curriculum. He called the print shop Gospel Folio Press, assuming it would only ever produce a little folio of four pages.

Gospel Folio Press had been functioning for almost twenty years when William became exercised about producing a daily devotional calendar. In the home of his parents hung a believers’ calendar printed in the Netherlands by the Voorhowven brothers. For many years William’s mother, who emigrated from the Netherlands at age eleven, made sure such a calendar was sent to her. Seeing the effects that the devotional calendar had on his mother gave William a strong desire to compile one of his own for the Lord’s people.

In spite of discouraging remarks from some who said it wasn’t feasible in North America, the calendar (initially named The Remembrancer but soon changed to Choice Gleanings) was launched in 1940. It was decided to print 800 the first year, as William figured he had that many friends to give them to if the sales did not go well. He need not have worried, as the calendar was an immediate success. Within a few years, the workers at Gospel Folio Press found themselves with the mammoth undertaking of producing 40,000 calendars annually.

The process of production did not vary for many years. Selecting the devotionals and finding coordinating poetry was the first step. The next job was planning which meditations would be used on which date. This ‘distribution’ of the devotionals throughout the calendar involved much thought and prayer as the goal was to ensure that the readers would receive a balance of comfort, challenge, doctrine, and encouragement throughout the year. Once placed in the calendar, the meditations were edited and then after several rounds of proofreading, came the typesetting, printing and assembly.

Originally material for the calendars was gleaned from books, but as time went by Mr. Pell began asking more brethren to contribute short devotionals and eventually the calendar included more original writing than ‘gleanings’. Today, almost sixty writers from around the world contribute meditations to the Choice Gleanings calendar.

When William went home to heaven in 1970, his sister Grace stepped into the role of editor. Grace carried the responsibility for about ten years with the help of her sisters and Jabe Nicholson. Since he was a teen Jabe had been helping at Gospel Folio Press and under his leadership the calendar continued through the 1980’s.

During the 1990’s, he worked closely with Sandy McEachern, not only selecting, arranging, and editing the devotions but passing on the vision and passion for the work that Jabe had learned first from William and later from the Pell sisters. By the end of the decade, the Choice Gleanings legacy was passed into Sandy McEachern’s care.

In 2001, Gospel Folio Press moved to Port Colborne, Ontario. The production of the calendar has evolved from mountains of paper to hundreds of electronic files exchanged via cyberspace. Contributors email their documents, which are maintained in a database throughout the year and arranged in a desktop publishing program. From here, the calendar is edited, proofread, and corrections entered. The workers rarely see each other face to face, but are bound by a shared dedication to this work for the Lord.

The calendars are also now produced in the Afrikaans language for South Africa and discussions are under way about producing translations into Spanish and Manadarin.

The 2005 Choice Gleanings was printed in China for the first time and were shipped back to Canada, and from there the calendar will be mailed worldwide so that as each morning dawns around the globe, thousands of people will once again begin their day with the Choice Gleanings calendar. As has so often been done over the last sixty-five years, the prayer for the 2005 calendar is that once again, the Lord will use just the right verse and just the right thought, for just the right circumstance to be a comfort and encouragement to someone in a way that only He can do.

There are 26 articles in
ISSUE (2004, Volume 59 Issue 4)

Biblical Forgiveness

Celebrating 100 years of service for The Western Counties and South Wales Evangelisation Trust

Choice Gleanings


An Experience in Open Air Gospel Testimony

Heroes of the Faith

The Fruit of the Spirit is

The God of all Comfort - Reflections on Isaiah

The God of all Grace

Who made God?

Gospel Work and other Activities

Has life always been good to you or do you live in quiet desperation?

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. Psalm 23. 2

He Opened to us the Scripture

Hezekiah’s Confession

Is it right for a Christian to drink alcohol?

A Life of Faith and Works

A History of the Assembly atManor Road Hall, Guildford, England

Peter’s ‘Precious Points’

The Poetry

Power and Freedom by the Spirit

Red Sky at Night

Reverence in the Local Assembly - An Important and Increasing Need

Studies in 2 Thessalonians

Windows on Worship

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

This article is not part of a series

There are 91 articles by this author

We Consider Blessed Those Who Have Persevered

Travelling On My Knees - 2 Corinthians 1.11.

The Teignmouth Gospel Hall

An Appreciation OfIvan Steeds

We Count Them Happy That Endure

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. Psalm 23. 2

Celebrating 100 years of service for The Western Counties and South Wales Evangelisation Trust

Choice Gleanings

Bethany Residental Home

Who says the Word of God is not important?

Winshill Gospel Hall

Mill Green Gospel Hall


Look for God’s Look for God’s hand in it!

The UK Assembly Address Book

The Benefits of Belonging

Deep-Water Faith!

Emptied to be Filled

Empty Chairs

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Report of Gospel Work & Other Assembly Activity

A Family

A Body

Reports of Gospel Work and other Assembly Activity

A Hospital

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Priter Way, Bermondsey - A Story of Dockside London

Be Neighbourly

Nursing a Grievance

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In a Devon Coastal Town (Seaton)


Is this your Gospel Meeting?

Special Notice

A Situation we must face

Crediton - from 1850 to 1956

New Hall for Lynmouth

Why and Wherefore?


Spending and being Spent

Canley - Coventry

Dwindling Assemblies

Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility

Income and Expenditure

Resignation of Mr L. F. Morice

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Musbury, Devon - 2

Please Don’t Forget This Time

New Committee Members

Income and Expenditure

Holiday Evangelism

Home for Elderly Believers

Eastern Counties Missionary Home

The Holy Spirit

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Accounts of the Year ended August 31st, 1959

Our Future Programme

A Library for Biblical Research

Homecall of A. C. Hinton

Our Programme for 1961

Tell Yorkshire

Statement of Accounts for Year End August 1960

Dr John Heading


Home Workers Fund

The Indispensable Man

If God should go on strike

Scripture text posters

Denis Clapham

Views from the News

Copimg with difficulties within a marriage

Bexley Christian Assembly


Slow Down

Golden Bells

Bethel Gospel Chapel

Are you hooked on logic?

I cannot understand

The Bow Assembly, Devon, England

What is Relational Evangelism?

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Matthew 24. 42

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