Guideposts is a faith-based non-profit organization founded in 1945 by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, Raymond Thornburg, and Peale's wife, Ruth Stafford Peale. The inaugural issue of Guideposts magazine, which was printed and distributed to 10,000 Americans, was a four-page leaflet meant to encourage and uplift individuals, particularly soldiers returning home from the war. The inaugural issue also contained a story by World War I Ace, Eddie Rickenbacker.
Although a fire destroyed the magazine's circulation files in 1947, the publication was saved thanks to publicity from radio broadcaster Lowell Thomas, and an article in Reader's Digest. Over the years, the magazine size has increased considerably and is today among the top 30 largest magazines in the United States, with a circulation of 2 million. The Guideposts Organization, which also maintains an outreach ministry service, is currently headquartered in Danbury, Connecticut, with additional offices in New York City and Nashville, Tennessee.
The magazine today
Each monthly issue of Guideposts magazine contains numerous articles by people of all ages, races, and backgrounds, recounting how their faith in God, or the wisdom of an older relative or mentor, helped them through personal challenges. These can include grief, poverty, relocation, serious personal or family illness, unemployment, and strained personal relationships. Surviving natural disasters, accidents, and becoming stranded on wilderness adventures are also frequent topics. Most articles contain a snapshot of the author, along with an artistic illustration showing the situation. Monthly lead cover articles often feature the story of a noted entertainer, professional athlete, or other celebrity who rose from poverty. The magazine also judges and awards monetary awards for stories by teenage authors. Guideposts is nonsectarian and welcomes Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish writers. A separate youth edition was published for several years but discontinued.
Guidepost Military Outreach
Since its founding in 1945, Guideposts has worked to support the military. At the request of President Richard M. Nixon, Dr. Peale visited troops in Vietnam. Today, the Military Outreach Ministry shares the powerful and inspiring messages of hope, faith and resiliency that are part of the materials Guideposts, to Chaplains in the military and the Veteran’s Administration.
To mark the 70th year of helping veterans, Guideposts is declaring November “Veterans Awareness Month” in an effort to bring the tremendous sacrifices of those who serve our country to the forefront of national attention. As an organization, Guideposts believes one day is simply not enough to honor those who have given so much to our country.