, news editor, Adventist Review
Three Angels Broadcasting Network is gearing up for its first major evangelistic outreach outside the United States in a decade after a management shuffle that saw founder Danny Shelton elected president and CEO.
The international broadcaster, an independent ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church based in West Frankfort, Illinois, will focus on Europe with a huge public evangelistic campaign early next year, Shelton said Friday.
“London will be our target city to begin with as we continue to take the gospel to the world,” Shelton told the Adventist Review.
Details about the London campaign, including the dates, are still being worked out, he said.
3ABN’s last major foreign evangelistic campaign took place in India about 10 years ago and was organized with Maranatha Volunteers International. 3ABN also worked with evangelist John Carter in Russia in 1992.
Shelton, who previously served as 3ABN’s president for nearly 24 years and most recently held the post of board co-chair, said evangelism would be an even bigger focus as the network looked to streamline costs.
“Sitting at the helm again at 3ABN, I believe the best way to receive God’s blessing on our ministry is to cut costs anywhere we can except evangelism,” he said. “We are going to beef up our evangelism efforts worldwide.”
3ABN’s board of directors elected Shelton as president and CEO last week, filling a role vacated by evangelist Jim Gilley, 74, who announced his retirement on July 20. Gilley nominated Shelton as his replacement, and the board unanimously agreed.
The board also backed a proposal by Gilley to elect Bruce Fjarli as its chair, a position that had been held jointly by Gilley and Shelton.
3ABN thanked Gilley and his wife, Camille, for their seven and a half years of service, saying in a statement: “All of us here appreciate the years of service given to 3ABN by Jim and Camille Gilley, but as Jim so eloquently said as he addressed the staff, ‘To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven,’(Ecclesiastes 3:1), and it is time for me to step down as president.’”
Fjarli, the new board chair, and his family have been instrumental in bringing thousands of people to Christ through their lay evangelism efforts in India over the past decade, Shelton said. His father, Merlin Fjarli, was a long-time 3ABN board member and financial supporter. At his death, 3ABN invited Bruce Fjarli, of Medford, Oregon,to fill the board position.
Shelton, a gospel-singing carpenter, founded 3ABN in 1984 after growing frustrated with unbiblical teachings popularized on evangelical television shows. 3ABN has since grown to broadcast 24 hours a day through a television and radio satellite network that circles the globe and includes production centers in Australia, New Guinea, the Philippines, Russia, and the United States. The Adventist Review has partnered with 3ABN on various projects, most recently when editor Bill Knott appeared on a program providing daily updates from the Adventist world church’s July 2-11 General Conference session in San Antonio, Texas.
Shelton said in the interview that he intended to keep 3ABN focused on its core mission of sharing the three angels’ message about Jesus’ soon coming from Revelation 14.
“My vision for going forward is to keep to the original vision for this ministry, and that is ‘to take the undiluted three angels’ message, one that would counteract the counterfeit, into all the world,’” Shelton said.
He also said 3ABN has been actively preparing younger people for leadership positions at the network and identified Greg and Jill Morikone, who joined 3ABN as a young couple 16 years ago, as well equipped to take the presidency.
Greg Morikone, who was hired to work in 3ABN’s studios half way through his college internship, was promoted to production manager last year. Jill Morikone is an author, 3ABN host, and administrative assistant to the network’s president. She also is a columnist for the Adventist Review.
“I don’t have any plans to sit in this position for another 10 or 12 years,” said Shelton, who turned 64 last May.
“This ministry is bigger than any one person,” he said. “I’ve never seen it as my ministry. It has always been the Lord’s ministry, and I feel blessed to have been a part of this for the last nearly 31 years.”