Unlike its predecessor the Home and Foreign Journal, the FMJ was published solely by the Foreign Mission Board. Until August 1890 it retained HFJ’s 4-page broadsheet format, but afterwards expanded to a longer journal format. Its standard publication year was July to June, but this schedule was not consistently followed. In 1895 the FMJ began to feature photographs, the first being a group photo of missionaries at the Madero Institute in Saltillo, Mexico. “We trust that seeing the faces of these workers will cause each reader to pray more for them and their work.” Photography—whether amateur photos submitted by missionaries or images sourced from other publications—grew to be more and more of a component of the FMJ as the years passed.
Editors of the FMJ over time were Corresponding Secretaries Henry A. Tupper (1874-75, 1878-80) and Robert J. Willingham (1893-1906), as well as H. H. Harris (1877-78, 1880-86), T. P. Bell (1886-93), and W. H. Smith (1907-1916).