The first issue of Spectrum, the journal of the Association of Adventist Forums, appeared in March 1969 under the editorial leadership of Molleurus Couperus, a physician in Loma Linda, California. Spectrum’s objectives were to print differing viewpoints about church-related issues not always discussed openly and to encourage communication among those willing to explore such issues. The founders hoped that by working toward these goals they would strengthen the Church. Many feel that Spectrum has accomplished its objectives over the years, but others have been appalled at controversial articles that have appeared in its pages—including some that have examined Ellen G. White, prophetess of the Church.
Couperus resigned in 1975 and turned over the editorship to Roy Branson, who had conceived of Spectrum in college and played a major role in starting it, and Charles Scriven, a former associate editor of Insight magazine. Branson became sole editor three years later and remained in that position for the next twenty years. During this time members of the Association of Adventist Forums found their voices, enjoyed fellowship, and established the standards and value of an independent responsible press. More than ever, Spectrum strengthened the concept that a truly lay Adventist press could be candid and loyal at the same time.
In 1998, the editorship passed to Bonnie Dwyer and Spectrum’s offices moved from Takoma Park, Maryland, to Granite Bay, California. Moving with the editorship were a large collection of back issues and a respected reputation that reached across three decades.