“AWAKE PSALTERY AND HARP: I MYSELF WILL AWAKE EARLY. I WILL PRAISE THEE, O LORD, AMONG THE PEOPLE: I WILL SING PRAISES UNTO THEE AMONG THE NATIONS.”Psalms 108:2, 3
The song that floods my soul today is a precious old hymn that I remember singing as a boy in church. Sing it with me as we praise the Lord for 29 years of awesome miracles—
“IN SHADY GREEN PASTURES, SO RICH AND SO SWEET,
GOD LEADS HIS DEAR CHILDREN ALONG.
WHERE THE WATERS COOL FLOW
BATHES THE WEARY ONE’S FEET,
GOD LEADS HIS DEAR CHILDREN ALONG.”
And now the great chorus – come on, if you don’t know it, learn it with us!
“SOME THROUGH THE WATER,
SOME THROUGH THE FLOOD,
SOME THROUGH THE FIRE,
BUT ALL THROUGH THE BLOOD.
SOME THROUGH GREAT SORROWS,
BUT GOD GIVES A SONG,
IN THE NIGHT SEASON,
AND ALL THE DAY LONG.”
I can even remember the look on some of those dear old saint’s faces: Brother Perkin, Sister Flowers, Brother Carmichael, and Sister Evans – battle-scarred, but triumphant – hands upraised, faces glowing with the glory of God! Yes, they too, had been “THROUGH IT ALL” and had “LEARNED TO TRUST IN JESUS, LEARNED TO TRUST IN GOD!” Thank you, Andrae Crouch for those anointed lyrics!
Dear Lord, I am in a song service mood today as we reflect on all the many miracles our God has done for us through HIS TBN! I could write another book, and by the way, God willing, I do plan to rewrite my book, “I HAD NO FATHER BUT GOD” and add several chapters telling of the last ten years in which God gave us the greatest miracle – the greatest deliverance of all: the Federal Court’s reversal of the FCC decision to revoke our TV station licenses. Ah, another great song comes to mind—
“HOW GREAT THOU ART, HOW GREAT THOU ART!”
It seems like every time I reminisce and get in a reflective mood, like today, my mind goes back to a precious saint of God, Hazel Bakewell. I have written about her before and how she offered Mother to give me free piano lessons. It is so interesting to look back and see so often how seemingly little things change the course of our whole lives. I didn’t learn piano – Dino does not have to fear competition – but since Hazel’s husband, Lawrence, was a amateur or “HAM” radio operator, I learned radio and became a “HAM” myself at 15 years of age. It was then that my romance with “electromagnetic waves” began! How my voice could leap off an antenna, into thin air, and be heard by a fellow “ham” halfway around the world was, and still is, absolutely fascinating to me! Little could anyone have imagined the future plan of God to literally cover the world with – not just our voice but, wonder of wonders, a full color picture as well!
I hope you will read my book next year as we celebrate 30 great years of God’s miracles, but for now help me remember a few of the mountain peaks (pun intended) of our journey through the “ether waves.”
May 28,1973, a snowy, flickering TV picture beamed across Los Angeles and southern California from high atop Mt. Wilson. God had literally “MOVED A MOUNTAIN” to get our picture up to Mt. Wilson from our little one-camera studio in Santa Ana. That’s a whole story in itself – it’s in the book!
We would have to note August 2, 1974, when the FCC finally approved our first TV station, Channel 40 KTBN-TV! I remember so well speeding up to the Western Union office in Santa Ana to personally pick up the telegram! Some of you “old timers” will remember the Praise The Lord program that night. Our joy knew no bounds as we wept, sang, shouted, and praised the Lord that night! It, too, will be in the book!
The journey from that one little station to over 3,000 stations would fill a hundred books and, by the way, we are working on a very special love gift for April 2003. A unique three-volume set will be a reprint of every TBN newsletter for 30 years! That’s about 360 newsletters, with all the pictures, love gifts, articles, and news of your TBN – about 2,160 pages of laughter, tears, trials, and triumphs; yes, “through it all!” Reinforce the coffee table – it will compete with the “YELLOW PAGES!”
How could we forget the day we hoisted Jan and Dad Billheimer up on the big 10-meter satellite dish, and dedicated the first “ANGEL” that beamed TBN over the whole North American continent! Today, 21 great satellites literally place a footprint over the whole wide world! Surely God will bless you faithful Partners that loved, prayed, and gave to make it happen.
I suppose the greatest turning point was the first “FOREIGN” TV station on the little Caribbean island nation of Nevis and St. Kitts. Sir Charles Vlaun, a Christian businessman, and Premier Simeon Daniel of Nevis, worked to grant our very first foreign nation station, Channel 13, that covers many of the islands of the eastern Caribbean. Today, over 2,000 of the TBN stations are in foreign lands and continue to grow the fastest, since most of the USA is covered. By last count 89% of USA households can now receive TBN! Praise the Lord!
Time and space do not permit many of the awesome miracles we have seen our Lord do for us these 29 years, but the last one I’ll mention here is perhaps the greatest one God has given us. For over eight long years, we fought a horrible battle to preserve the licenses of your TBN. The issue was very complex and I will deal with it simply, but fully, in my new book rewrite. While at issue was the license of Channel 45 Miami, if we had lost, it would only have been a matter of time till all TBN TV licenses would have been lost. Yes, “SOME THROUGH THE FIRE….” But, praise God, the “FOURTH MAN” was with us in our fiery furnace! And on May 5, 2000, the Federal Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. reversed a decision by the FCC to revoke our Miami license! Praise the Lord God Most High! Five days later the FCC granted us 21 new TV stations, doubling our number of big full power TV stations in the USA! As I wrote to you, truly the year 2000 was TBN’s Year of Jubilee!
And finally, one of my personal greatest miracles has been the support through the years of a beautiful, strong, and anointed helpmate, a sweet Georgia girl named Jan! More than once I would have given up, but for her love, encouragement, and support. Don’t ever tangle with her – she is one tough mother and grandmother! Just ask Brandon Paul Crouch III!
Yes, Happy, Happy 29th Birthday, dear Trinity Broadcasting Network! Will you sing one last song with me as we rejoice this month of May? Sweet Dottie Rambo gave us this one:
“TOO MANY SUNSETS LIE BEHIND THE MOUNTAINS,
TOO MANY RIVERS, MY FEET HAVE WALKED THROUGH,
TOO MANY TREASURES AWAIT ME OVER YONDER,
THERE’S TOO MUCH TO GAIN TO LOSE!”
From a borrowed camera, in a rented studio with a blue shower curtain for a backdrop – to a Mighty Voice called Trinity Broadcasting Network, that covers the earth with the Good News of Jesus Christ – Glory to God
In 1952 I convinced the board at Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri, to let me form a “Ham” or “Amateur Radio Club.” We signed KCBI ON THE AIR with “HELLO WORLD!” (The 50-watt radio station we built covered the campus!) Little could anyone hav
Before TBN could sign on the air, we had to get a clear signal from the station to the TV tower atop MT. WILSON. Both the phone company and engineers told us “IMPOSSIBLE – there’s a mountain in the way!” PRAYER WORKS! God MOVED that mountain and TBN is st
TBN’s first FOREIGN TV station was on the Caribbean island nation of Nevis and St. Kitts. Sir Charles Vlaun, a Christian businessman, and Premier Simeon Daniel of Nevis, worked to grant our very first foreign nation station, Channel 13, that covers many o
Of all the miracles we have seen our Lord do for us these 29 years, the greatest one God gave us was the VICTORY in the Federal Court of Appeals, on May 5, 2000, that reversed a decision by the FCC to revoke TBN’s Miami license. At issue was the license o