“GREAT AND MARVELLOUS ARE THY WORKS, LORD GOD ALMIGHTY; JUST AND TRUE ARE THY WAYS, THOU KING OF SAINTS.” Rev. 15:3
“HE HATH SHOWED HIS PEOPLE THE POWER OF HIS WORKS, THAT HE MAY GIVE THEM THE HERITAGE OF THE HEATHEN [NATIONS].” Psa. 111:6
“WE GOT IT — AND IT IS AS CLEAR AS NBC!” Those historic words still ring in my ears 33 years later! You “old timers” who have long been partners in this miracle of TBN will know immediately what we are remembering. The question is — “DOES GOD REALLY MOVE MOUNTAINS?” Many Christians will believe that God moves spiritual mountains like fear, doubt and pain. But I know a God that can move real dirt and rock mountains! For the full story ask for my book, “HELLO WORLD.” But for a moment, let’s review the short version of this mighty miracle.
The date — May 27, 1973. The place: 111 Dyer Road, Santa Ana, California. We had finally made a deal with the owner of Channel 46, Mr. Bill Meyers. We later bought Channel 40, but that’s another whole story — as I said — read my book! We would buy two hours a night on a little, snowy picture TV station that was off the air because of financial problems. Under FCC rules, a TV station can only “go dark” or be off the air for a certain number of days. Mr. Meyers’ date to be back on the air was May 28. The engineers had worked that whole week trying to get our microwave TV picture up to Mount Wilson, where most of the stations were located. From that 6,000 foot mountain, TV stations cover (or were at least supposed to cover) the vast Los Angeles valley of over ten million souls! Again and again we tried checking the equipment every way possible.
Finally, the cigarette smoking engineers gave up. After calling the telephone company who told us to “forget it,” our hearts sank! They said that a portion of Mount Wilson was in the way from our angle of transmission! Jan and I, plus many volunteers, had worked for about three months, renting a small building for a TV studio and a few offices. I was not sure then, but now I know it was the Holy Spirit that inspired me to climb the ladder to the roof where the microwave dish was located. As I laid my hands on the cold steel dish, I made Mark 11:23 my prayer. “Lord, you said — ‘WHOSOEVER SHALL SAY UNTO THIS MOUNTAIN, BE THOU REMOVED AND BE CAST INTO THE SEA; AND SHALL NOT DOUBT IN HIS HEART, BUT SHALL BELIEVE THAT THOSE THINGS WHICH HE SAITH SHALL COME TO PASS, HE SHALL HAVE WHATSOEVER HE SAITH.’” Mark 11:23
WOW! It was time to “walk on water,” again! I knew in my spirit that my prayer had reached God’s throne! Somehow I knew that everything was going to be just fine! As I climbed back down the ladder, I bumped into a tearful Jan who was heading back to the car. I said, “Honey, it’s going to be okay.” In later testimony, Jan has often remarked that the glow of the Holy Spirit was all around me! I said, “Let’s go and speak to the engineers one more time.”
By now, the men had stowed their tools and were also preparing to leave. I pled with them to come back the next day which just happened to be a Sunday, the LORD’S DAY! The main smoker engineer did not like the thought of coming back on a Sunday — they had worked already through a long, dismal Saturday. Finally, with the promise of “overtime” they agreed to meet us at 8:00 AM — SUNDAY, MAY 28, 1973!
EVERYBODY was there on time that Sunday. Nothing had been changed or checked from the night before. As I heard the “ON SWITCHES” being thrown and the sound of the microwave warming up, my heart was pounding double time! We knew — THIS WAS IT— the last day or the FCC license would be lost.
The engineers were on the telephone with the lone engineer about 38 miles (by air) to the top of Mount Wilson. Suddenly — I could hear the voice of the Mount Wilson engineer, clear across the room, as he literally screamed — “WE GOT IT, AND IT IS AS CLEAR AS NBC!!!” WOW, WOW, WOW — ONE FOR THE FATHER, ONE FOR THE SON AND ONE FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT! By the way, the smoker dropped his cigarette to the floor — crushed it out and never smoked in the TBN building again!
As we signed the TV station on THAT NIGHT, the rejoicing all across Southern California was — well, there simply are not enough adjectives to express it! Our phone switch and ten telephones nearly had meltdown that night! How that many even knew to tune us in that evening is another miracle. Jan and I and some of our all volunteer staff had spoken at a few churches, and we had pled for all to pray on May 28 — AND THEY DID! Praise the Lord — yes,
“LET EVERY THING THAT HATH BREATH, PRAISE THE LORD”! Psa. 150:6
Ah, the memories of multiple miracles floods my soul as I recall all of the GREAT THINGS OUR GOD HAS DONE FOR US IN THESE 33 YEARS! Many called in to say, “We can’t see you (too snowy), but we can hear you — keep going and keep growing!”
Keep GROWING INDEED! In these 33 years and from the first seed that was planted on Mount Wilson, OUR GOD HAS RAISED TBN TO OVER 6,500 STATIONS, if we count all of our affiliated TV stations, cable stations, direct-to-home satellites, the Internet, and now, 53 great satellites that literally leave footprints over 90 percent of planet earth! “But that’s not all,” as the infomercials declare — how about the Church Channel network, JC-TV youth network, the Healing Channel network in Arabic, and the latest one, Jan’s “Smile of a Child” all children’s network. And, by the time you read this, it may be seven networks, as we work to get the Farsi language channel covering Iran and several other Middle East nations that speak the Farsi tongue. Praise the Lord, again!
Please join our great TBN team as we work hard to get on ALL the New York City cables; be sure to call, write, fax, or go see your U.S. Congressman or Congresswoman, and your U.S. Senators asking them to support MULTICAST EQUAL ACCESS so that all cable systems carry our newly formed free-to-the-home broadcast networks. Just call the Capitol Switchboard number: 202-224-3121 and ask for your Representative and Senator. You will be immediately connected.
Yes, Happy, Happy Birthday, dear TBN. Join with Jan, me and all your great TBN family in thanking God for TBN. On this we all agree
— “THIS IS THE LORD’S DOING; IT IS MARVELLOUS IN OUR EYES”! Psa. 118:23