SPEAK, 'TAD' Founder Retires

Episcopal News Service. May 8, 1980 [80171]

Eureka Springs, Ark. -- The Rev. Howard Lane Foland, 71, retired in late April as Director of the Society for Preserving and Encouraging the Arts and Knowledge (of the Church) (SPEAK) and the Episcopal Book Club and as editor of The Anglican Digest.

From its original 80 members, his Episcopal Book Club has grown to almost 5, 000 and the venture which began, and has continued, without either ecclesiastical or publishers' support, has distributed more than three-quarters of a million books to its members at an estimated savings to them of almost $400,000.

In 1958, The Anglican Digest, a "quarterly miscellany reflecting the words and work of the faithful throughout the Anglican Communion," came into being as an outgrowth of the bookclub. After 20 years plus its circulation is well over 100,000 and it goes into all 50 states, all Canadian provinces and almost all foreign countries.

A Kansan by birth, Father Foland studied architecture at Washington University, St. Louis, then went on to Kenyon College, Gambler, Ohio. His seminary was Seabury-Western in Evanston, Ill,, which awarded him an honorary doctorate in divinity in 1965. Eight years later, the Episcopal Theological School in Kentucky, at Lexington, awarded him an honorary Doctor of Letters. In between those two, the American Church Union voted him its annual Keble Award "in recognition of distinguished service to God and the Church."

He was a founding member and director of the Fellowship of Concerned Churchmen and saw it through to its St. Louis Congress in 1977.

In an article written for The Bulletin of Seabury-Western several years ago, Father Foland was described as "that rarest of men; a visionary who specializes in making dreams come true." "Today," said the Rev. E.W. Salmon, chairman of the SPEAK board, "as he sits in his study in the big old farm house on Grindstone Mountain he can see that some of those dreams -- the Episcopal Book Club, TAD, Operation Pass Along, Hillspeak itself -- have come true, and that the others are a lot closer to fruition than if there had not been a Howard Lane Foland, priest, defender of the Faith, hard-working servant of the Church."