With the right message, one can broadcast to the world. For a local church, the message now has a larger national audience.
Milwaukee-based Time of Grace Ministry from St. Marcus Lutheran Church on the city’s near north side, announced last week that it now has a contract with the ABC Family network.
"There’s so much we all can learn from God’s Word," said Pastor Mark Jeske. "The timeless truths of the Bible are relevant in our everyday lives and are the key to our existence."
A little history may provide reason why a Milwaukee-based "Time of Grace" broadcast would make its way to the Disney-owned channel.
Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network launched in 1977 when satellite TV started becoming popular across the U.S. Later called CBN, the network aired "The 700 Club" among other original programming though the 1980s. By 1990, the network grew too profitable to maintain CBN’s non-profit status, and CBN spun off into a new company and network named The Family Channel. CBN broadcasting continued to air religious programming part of the day, and other programs targeting children, preteens, teens and adults aired in other day parts.
Fox Kids Worldwide bought the for-profit entertainment company that ran the channel and Fox Family Channel launched in 1998. As part of the deal, Robertson’s shows as part of CBN continued to air and the word "Family" had to be kept with the network. Flash forward to 2001, Disney bought out Fox Family Worldwide, and through a re-branding effort ABC Family was born. The deal outlining religious programming and the "Family" name came along for the ride.
Here in Milwaukee, over the past decade, Time of Grace Ministry has grown from a local program to a worldwide outreach.
"When ‘Time of Grace’ first aired, the predominant way in which people watched TV in the U.S. was via antenna," Bruce Becker of Time of Grace Ministry said in a statement. "Today, 60 percent of people watch TV by cable, 30 percent watch via satellite and 10 percent watch it via antenna. With the addition of ABC Family, we went from 35 national markets to 210 markets overnight."
The move brings the broadcast into literally every TV market in the nation. According to the ministry, the program is currently available internationally via satellite on the Daystar Network, National Religious Broadcasters Network, Christian Television Network and The Church Channel. "Time of Grace" also airs weekly on the American Forces Network.
"We believe that God has the answers," Jeske said. "It’s exciting to bring those answers to our viewers every week."
Find out more about the broadcast here.
RENEWED: John McGivern posted on Facebook last week that his Milwaukee Public Television show "Around the Corner with John McGivern" has been picked up for a third season. The half-hour show takes a look at different neighborhoods and communities throughout Wisconsin, and currently airs locally at 7 p.m. Thursday evenings on MPTV Ch. 10.
The show will soon start a winter filming schedule for the next round of visits of businesses, eateries, parks and shops that John and his crew find … around the corner.
Media is bombarding us everywhere.
Instead of sheltering his brain from the onslaught, Steve embraces the news stories, entertainment, billboards, blogs, talk shows and everything in between.
The former writer, editor and producer in TV, radio, Web and newspapers, will be talking about what media does in our community and how it shapes who we are and what we do.