April 16, 2008

1511 Church News--Religious Broadcasters

Religious Broadcasters Honor 
Adventist Media Pioneer
National convention draws many Adventist ministries
BY MARK A. KELLNER, News Editor, reporting from Nashville, Tennessee
capOnce scorned by evangelicals, broadcast ministries representing and/or supporting the Seventh-day Adventist Church and its mission were prominent among those receiving top honors, and attention, at the 2008 National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville, Tennessee. An estimated 6,000 people attended the four-day event, held from March 8-11.
The Quiet Hour,” a pioneering Adventist radio ministry now focused on television and overseas evangelistic campaigns, received a “Milestone Award” from the NRB for 70 years of gospel ministry. Adventist pastor Bill Tucker, third generation of his family to head the organization, accepted the award during the NRB banquet after a video presentation was shown highlighting The Quiet Hour’s contributions not only to Christian broadcasting, but also to worldwide evangelism and mission projects. The ministry’s Web site is www.thequiethour.org.
Tucker said, “I want to express deep appreciation for NRB’s recognition of The Quiet Hour during the annual banquet. I am honored to receive the 2008 NRB Milestone Award for [our] 70 years of continuous broadcast ministry.”
In an interview, Tucker said The Quiet Hour had christened its 50th small aircraft donated to mission service, and that the organization’s annual presence at NRB offered an opportunity to “rub shoulders” with other broadcasters and promote understanding of the ministry’s message.

GIFTED HANDS: Dr. Ben Carson is one of the world's most respected neurosurgeons and a devout Seventh-day Adventist. Carson, 56, said he prays for guidance before every surgery. [Photo courtesy Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly/RNS]

DEEP APPRECIATION: Seventh-day Adventist pastor Bill Tucker, the third generation of his family to lead The Quiet Hour, accepts National Religious Broadcasters’ “Milestone Award” during 2008 convention banquet in Nashville, Tennessee, March 11. [Photo: Patti Edwards/MasterWorks/The Quiet Hour]

“Our mandate is to bring back a knowledge of the true God as we embrace the world,” Tucker said. “There are four billion people on Earth that need to hear the Good News.”

Tucker said that the ministry seeks to advance “an understanding of Adventism; whenever we get an opportunity, we like to share,” as happened at NRB.
Most important, he said, was the chance “to uplift Jesus and what He represents,” which Tucker said brought the ministry to a previously unentered area of India, Tiruvannam Alai, where more than 1,200 people were baptized in the shadow of the nation’s fourth-largest Hindu temple. A former Hindu priest was among the converts, Tucker said.
The NRB event also played host to a wide range of Adventist ministries, many of whom had exhibits. The Adventist Development and Relief Agency, ADRA, promoted its humanitarian work as well as its radio program. Kara Watkins, the group’s assistant marketing and development director, said, “people are very positive” about ADRA.
“It’s nice to know we are well respected and well acknowledged,” Watkins said. “It’s good for ADRA to be here. We’re getting good pickup for our radio program.”
Linda Walter, director for The AMS Agency, which buys airtime for Seventh-day Adventist media ministries including It Is Written, Voice of Prophecy, Breath of Life and Faith for Today, said Christian broadcasters, in general, appreciate these productions.
“Our programming has a very good reputation,” Walter said. “We get a lot of interest from stations” at the NRB event.
“One of the things we do here is form closer relationships with the stations we broadcast on. Relationships are everything: people who know us aren’t afraid of Adventists.”
Doug Batchelor, president/speaker of Amazing Facts, a supporting ministry, said NRB attendance was “a wonderful opportunity to meet with Christians and Jews from many different perspectives. This is a ‘crash course’ in the current state of religious affairs in North America.”
He said several other Christian broadcasters expressed interest in what Amazing Facts teaches, and noted, “we’re having an impact on the panorama of Christianity in North America, and it’s a positive one.”
Though not exhibiting at the show, Adventist World Radio,  the world church’s shortwave ministry, sent vice president for advancement Jim Ayer to the event to promote AWR’s “Making Waves” telecast. Ayer reported interest from several broadcasters in the program.
One of the more crowded booths at the NRB event was that of Loma Linda Broadcasting Network, another supporting ministry based in California. LLBN, which recently launched a streaming Internet Arabic channel it hopes to expand to direct satellite transmission in the Middle East, was well received at the convention, network president Ganim Hanna said.

“This year was record breaking in terms of contacts and public demand for our programming,” Hanna told Adventist Review. “This was one of our most successful years yet. … A lot of attendees inquired about the Arabic channel, picked up 10 different partners alone. The result is our program selection and lineup will greatly expand in the next six months.”