“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations... teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always” —Matt 28:19-20
“But when they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of man comes.” —Matt 10:23
The single greatest “witness” to the power of our Savior is the life he lives in us through the power of the holy spirit. More people have become interested in the truth because of personal contact with a believer than from any other source. Nevertheless, the apostles were commanded to go and teach all nations. And we are commanded to follow their commands (see verse at the top). Some people simply do not live near a converted person and must hear the Gospel some other way.
Radio is one of those ways. Ray Wooten began a half-hour radio program while he was still employed by the Worldwide Church of God. He took a few weeks off to help start the United Church of God (UCG), and has not missed a program since the middle of March. His program is named Hope for Humanity. He covers a variety of Biblical subjects including the law, the Sabbath, the purpose of man, prophecy, historical events, and the plan of salvation. He emphasizes the positive aspects of what our Savior has done for us and will do for us in the future.
The program airs at 10:30 A.M. every Sunday on station WFFX, 95.7 on the dial. The station is located between Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, Alabama and covers both of the cities. Costs have been kept to a minimum as one of the radio station employees attends the UCG congregation and another member has access to a recording studio free of charge.
The response to the program has been small, but significant considering the minimal cost. Mr. Wooten offers a free cassette copy of the current program to those that request it. Several people with no previous Sabbath-keeping background have requested one. The program encourages listeners to study on their own and we cannot know who the Eternal will be working with through this effort.
But there is more fruit! Nine people now attend the local congregation as a result of hearing this broadcast! Some of these people previously attended with the Worldwide Church of God but some did not. Yes, there are thousands of people that have repented and been baptized by ministers in many different Sabbath-keeping organizations. As most of our readers are well aware of the current upheaval among the congregations, we must also be aware that it is not new . It happened in the time of the Apostles (1Cor 11:18, 2Pet 2:1, 3Jn 9-10, Jude, Rev 2:2) and throughout this century. Teachers in good congregations have taught false doctrine and true believers have been put out or decided to leave. Other converted people were put our because of jealousies or political “power plays.” Also, members struggling with sins and problems have dropped out of their congregation and not returned.
Doctrinally sound radio programs are one good way to reach the tens of thousands of people that have stopped attending Sabbath-keeping organizations. If they do decide to attend our congregations, our approach must be one of service and concern, not “sign-up, sit down, shut-up, and send money.”
The WFFX radio program is not the UCG’s ultimate media effort. It is simply an example of what can be done on a local basis. Ron Laughland in Nashville, Tennessee has a similar program of his own. Other men in the UCG are working on television and radio programs. In many cases, using local public-access television or an empty time-slot on a friendly local radio station can reduce costs far below those associated with national media-time purchases.
If any person or group would like to air Mr. Wooten’s program on a local station, he would be happy to cooperate. The United Church of God is mentioned only at the beginning and end of the broadcast. You would need access to modest professional editing facilities to record your own “header” and “trailer,” on each tape—giving a local phone number. and address for interested listeners to contact you. Then, it is simply a matter of finding and paying (if necessary) a local station to air the program. “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work (John 9:4).
—Norman S. Edwards