December 1999 Issue
Sowing Seeds by Satellite
At the dawning of the new millennium, Southern Baptists
are broadcasting the Good News twenty-four hours each day to millions of
North American homes. Life-changing testimonies abound, such as:
"Last night on Swan's Place, Dr. Swanberg explained
how I could accept Jesus as my Savior. I want you to know that I did ask
Jesus into my heart. Thank you so much for caring for my family and me."
"Thanks to COPE on FamilyNet, when my sister told
me she was thinking about taking her life, I didn't panic. As I learned
from the program, I asked her calmly if she had a plan, if she had a timetable,
and if she would make a contract with me not to hurt herself or anyone else
without talking with me first. She told me up until then she really didn't
think anyone cared if she lived or died. And, she agreed to make a contract
with me. She is now getting professional help and is beginning to enjoy
The morning after a lone gunman killed seven youth and adults
before taking his own life in the sanctuary of Wedgwood Baptist Church in
Fort Worth, FamilyNet television was broadcasting COPE nationwide
to millions of homes. The program offered a Christian perspective for viewers
in agony over the tragic loss of life and enabled them to call in their
questions. FamilyNet also aired a two-hour memorial tribute to the slain
youth and adults. Many testified as to how their lives had been changed
through the powerful witness of the slain youth and adults. And, when a
shooting occurred in another Southern Baptist church on a Wednesday night
just two weeks later, FamilyNet was on the air "live" the next
morning with Wedgwood pastor Dr. Al Meredith offering counsel, prayer, and
a word of hope to the Baptist church family in California.
Well over 20,000 persons have made inquiring calls to the 1-800-NEED
HIM response line after learning about it on FamilyNet. Over 2,000 of these
callers accepted Christ. (The number of calls will dramatically increase
as the North American Mission Board's Evangelism Response Center links thousands
of encouragers from SBC "covenant" churches to seekers when they
call 888-JESUS 2000.)
One young lady called the NEED HIM response line and identified
herself as Wiccan. She claimed to know nothing about Jesus or the Bible,
and told the phone counselor, "I don't know who Jesus is really or
what He did, but I just know I want Him." She asked the counselor to
explain all about Him, all the while sneaking around to make the call because
her parents - also Wiccans - would have been very angry with her. The counselor
led her to the Lord.
Tens of millions of Americans are hearing a clear proclamation
of the gospel message because of documentaries being produced annually by
Over 2.7 million persons are listening each week to five radio
programs produced by Southern Baptists for nationwide distribution. Scores
of individuals respond each week in search of spiritual help.
These are just a few examples of how Southern Baptists are utilizing
broadcast radio and television for evangelism and ministry. This programming
is being produced by the Broadcast Communications Group (BCG) of the North
American Mission Board in Fort Worth. In keeping with the challenge of SBC
President Paige Patterson to intensify the use of broadcasting to impact
the continent for Christ, the BCG is seeking to deliver broadcast/cablecast
programming to even more communities.
As another form of outreach through television, the BCG airs Gospel
Jubilee and Swan's Place on the Odyssey Network. In addition,
BCG arranges for placement of prominent SBC ministry programs on Odyssey,
such as Invitation to Life, Baptist Hour, Love Worth Finding,
In Touch, and Winning Walk.
Individuals and churches throughout the United States and Canada can
help multiply these broadcasting efforts in the following ways:
o Ask the local cable television system manager to carry FamilyNet television,
Southern Baptists' 24-hour-per-day Christian network. FamilyNet is already
available at some time each week to over 40 million homes via cable television
as well as low and full power broadcast stations. Programs like COPE,
Gospel Jubilee, Swan's Place, Nana Puddin', and The
Call are designed to reach into American homes with a clear presentation
of the gospel. Plus, FamilyNet airs programming from some of Southern Baptists'
greatest pulpits. Free media kits, which include specific guidance on how
to secure cable carriage of FamilyNet, are available from the BCG.
o Contact local radio stations to express a desire to hear one or more
of the five FamilyNet radio programs. Each of the programs is targeted to
a different radio station format: Baptist Hour (Southern Baptists'
longest-running radio show at over fifty-eight continuous years is aimed
at a general audience), Powerline (adult contemporary), Country
Crossroads (country), On Track (contemporary Christian), and
Master Control (talk/variety). Powerline and Country Crossroads
are celebrating their thirtieth anniversaries this year.
o Ask ABC, NBC, and CBS station managers to carry the annual documentaries
produced by the Broadcast Communications Group of NAMB in cooperation with
the networks. Examples of recent productions on ABC are Common Ground
(the life and ministry of Dr. Billy Graham) and Valor (life-changing
stories of Medal of Honor recipients from the Korean and Vietnam Wars).
NBC specials Driving Force (NASCAR) and Hoop Heroes (National
Basketball Association) are filled with moving testimonies of Christian
athletes. BCG staff members also serve as consultants for CBS Television's
Religion and Culture Series.
Southern Baptists are positively impacting lives through television and
radio airwaves. There is something good available for television and radio
- Southern Baptists' FamilyNet. For more information on how to help and
to secure a free FamilyNet program guide, call 800/832-6638 or visit the
FamilyNet web site at http://www.familynet.org.
On the Air
All program times are Eastern Standard Time. Local affiliates may
air some programs at different times.
Host Dr. Karen Hayter and guests offer biblical advice on a variety
of topics via a toll-free telephone number. This "live," daily
program celebrated its 15th anniversary in October. The program will add
new elements in January. (Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. & 7 p.m.)
Gary McSpadden hosts this hour of gospel favorites in the amphitheater
of Silver Dollar City in Branson, Mo., featuring many of the today's most
popular Christian artists. Over 30,000 enthusiastic attendees participated
in this season's tapings in Missouri where they heard great music and a
clear presentation of the gospel. (Tuesday, 11 p.m.; Thursday, 8 p.m.;
Friday, 1 a.m.; Saturday, 5 p.m.)
Christian humorist Dennis Swanberg, along with other comedians and musicians,
delight viewers and share their faith each week. (Tuesday, 9:30 a.m.;
Wednesday, 8 p.m.; Thursday, 1 a.m.; Saturday, 4:30 & 9 p.m.)
This lively children's series is colorful and full of action. Award-winning
ventriloquist Dennis Lee hosts this half-hour of fast-moving skits, songs,
and special guests. Interwoven with the good times is a solid message teaching
children how to make the best choices in life. (Friday, 4:30 p.m.; Saturday,
© 2015 Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee
This new NAMB flagship program is a series which shows God at work. Real
people tell their own stories of how they truly experience God Who created
everything. Sometimes they get a call from God in a quiet, intimate encounter;
sometimes it's in a major event.
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