Sometimes April 14, 1979, seems like a long time ago. But then there are those moments when it was just the other day. How can that be? Memories that are really vivid never seem old, though years may pass in the interim. When Channel 20 — known as Christian Cable Ministries — began in 1979, there were no cameras, no experienced TV people on staff, one engineer waiting to be called and no money. However on that date of April 14, a group of people met for breakfast in a local restaurant and stepped out in faith that this area needed a Christian TV ministry over a local station — and put up the starting monies to help it get going.
Within a year, programming had been found from around the U.S. that filled the hours from 9 a.m. until midnight daily. The staff called 415 W. Wishkah home, in the old Olympic Bakery building. At that time live programs, and some taped local programs were a part of the weekly schedule. Newt Rasor’s teaching program was voted “most popular.” By the end of the following year, TBN of California had contracted with the cable system locally to trade our channel for a Scientific Atlanta earth station. When I contacted TBN, they assured me that they did not wish to control our channel, but that if we would play their programs when we did not have local programming running — that would be satisfactory. We did that for five years when the agreement was officially ended.
Since that time we have sought to provide balanced Christian and community programming that gives local pastors and churches a way to reach out to our two counties — Grays Harbor and Pacific — with the message of Christ Jesus and His redemptive love.
FINANCING THE MINISTRY
Our way of financing Channel 20 is through donations from people who value having Christian ministry available 24 hours every day, seven days every week of the year. For these 33 years, we have gone “live” for one week, from 7 to 10 p.m., in the spring and fall of the year in an attempt to raise enough finances to continue for another six months. Some funds have been raised as local ministries support their own programs, usually taped in our own studio.
In all these years, every bill has been paid, and rent, taxes and salaries have been brought up to date through this method. There have been many challenges. When things have seemed impossible, prayer has been answered though a large gift, a will being probated with us as beneficiary or jewelry donated that we were able to sell for just the amount we needed to carry on. We are grateful. God has surely been good and His people generous.
This fall, our fundraiser that we call a “Shareathon” will operate from Monday, Oct. 1 through Friday, Oct. 5. The time is the same — live from 7 to 10 each evening and repeated the following day at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
It is during the Shareathon that we invite local musicians from area churches to sing and play favorite songs to a live audience and to our viewers. Those two weeks are certainly our most delightful seasons of the year. Viewers are invited to support the work by calling in one-time gifts or make a monthly pledge. We try to keep everything low-key and fun.Our long-time partnership with the Daily World has been a key component in presenting new programs for our viewing audience, and in announcing each fund-raising effort. I’m not sure we would still be operating without so many people stepping up over the years to team with us — the newspaper, each of the cable systems, the phone companies, the PUD, the City of Aberdeen, volunteers, prayer warriors and every donor.
We are thankful to God for the privilege of serving Him in this manner. Should readers want to contact me, our station is located at 601 W. Heron in Aberdeen, our mailing address is P.O. Box 690, and our phone number is 533-8600. We give tours, and we usually keep the coffee pot going! God bless you — and thank you for your prayers and wonderful support these many years.
Brad Gill is president of Christian Cable Ministries.