Coming Changes in Radio

From a chapel talk at the Theological Seminary.

By H. M. S. RICHARDS, The Voice of Prophecy, Los Angeles

There are no frontiers in radio today. Radio is developing all the time. It has a world-wide coverage. It goes over conference and national boundaries. It is being developed until one sta­tion over which we broadcast, in Lourenco Mar­ques, down in East Africa, is heard in London and practically all over. We have received let­ters from Beirut, from Jerusalem, England, France, and from Africa about that station.

A new short-wave station which has been erected in Cincinnati will be a world-wide station, the most powerful in the world, with probably 5oo,000 wattage. ' I am glad to tell you that we have an option for time on that station—an option, but no money to pay for it. We hope that will come. They will broadcast in various languages —Chinese, Russian, Arabic, and others. A pro­gram can be put on there for a half hour, or fif­teen minutes, and beamed to all parts of the world. That is a great possibility.

We understand that the Chinese Government is negotiating with some of the big radio companies in this country to provide stations in China. Mil­lions will hear these stations. And in this country also plans are being pushed to branch out in broad­casting to other countries, where millions cannot read their own language. We understand that the whole world is going to be deluged with propa­ganda. So we ought to be doing our part while the privilege is ours. We should be ready to spend a thousand dollars a broadcast on such pow­erful outlets as these world-wide stations, for they can spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to great areas of the world. No one on earth can keep it out; it can go anywhere.

It is just as Dr. Nussbaum told us : In Paris during the terror there, when the German Ges­tapo had charge, doors and windows were kept closed, but one night he found that he could listen to a radio through a certain crack in his bathroom. The BBC news broadcast was coming through, and the Gestapo, as well as other people, liked to listen, although I believe there sometimes was a death penalty. But the doctor listened a few nights and got the news himself. Then in a friendly, cas­ual way, he said to the owner of the radio, who, by the way, happened to be one of the Gestapo, "My, that news was wonderful last night, wasn't it?" The man's face went white. "Why—why­could you hear it ?" "Yes, we have been hearing it. I wish you would tune it down a bit. It is disturbing our sleep." After that he didn't have to worry, for he had that man where he wanted him. Radio has tremendous political and religious implications.

Just a word about the new FM plans. Frequency modulation is one of the coming things in radio. It has no static; it does not follow the curvature of the earth as does ordinary radio. It goes in a straight line to nobody knows where. The radio stations now have to pay great sums to the Ameri­can Telephone and Telegraph Company to hook up their wires for connection. A whole coast-to-coast network of stations can be tuned in on the same wave length.

Tentative plans call for fourteen broadcasting stations which will be based on airplanes flying at 30,000 feet. These fourteen planes would fly in eight-hour shifts above the weather, carrying five stations—three frequency modulation and two tele­vision stations. Standardized bands are to blanket the nation. The planes would fly in twenty-mile circles, and by doing this the increased circle of frequency modulation would be from fifty to four hundred miles. Fourteen of these planes could be used, leaving only a few regions uncared for. A few large stations on standard bands like WOR, WHN, and KFI would be left to fill in for people in country districts. The planes would cover all great metropolitan areas. A company has been formed, and just as soon as the Government gives the word, they are ready to go ahead with their plan.

Great things in radio are being planned now, and we must be ready to take advantage of them. We have plans made—everything except the fi­nances. We could use a hundred more stations that have asked for our program, if only we had the money. We are now on 512 stations in the Western Hemisphere, but we could have seven or eight hundred stations if we had the money—or the faith ! I believe if we had the faith, the money would come.

The King's Heralds sing in Spanish and Portuguese. We have the help of Brother Perez, who was born in Spain and speaks beautiful Spanish, as the speaker on the Spanish program; and Brother Sauza from Mexico as announcer. They take our Voice of Prophecy talks and addresses, reduce them about one third, translate them, and then make the program on NBC transcripts.

The King's Heralds learn songs in these various languages and make a whole year's programs at one time. When we get back to Glendale the quar­tet will be working night and day making a whole year's records in Spanish for Central and South America. Then Brother Rabello will come up from Brazil, and they will do the same thing over again in Portuguese. Besides that, they have the work of the English coast-to-coast program and, our own transcripts for a hundred stations. What do they do? Just sing once a week? It is a won­der they do not have nervous "pestoration," as one man called it.

We should be happy to have you visit the Voice of Prophecy headquarters. We want to co-oper­ate with you. The whole world should be one great grid, with the message on the air—the mes­sage of Christ for this old sin-sick, wicked world.

God brings souls every week. Our daily mail av­erages sixteen hundred letters, and every day, with­out exception, the mail brings letters from people who have given their hearts to Christ, and from backsliders who have returned to the Lord. We get messages every day from people who have been baptized into full church membership as a result of our radio work. We have a large chart on which we record the names of all those who are baptized, and the names of the ministers reporting the baptisms. When you get out into the field, I hope we shall have reports like that from many of you. We like to feel that we are one big fam­ily together.

Now I am going to throw in a revolutionary suggestion. We have never more than touched the field with the radio. We have but touched it with literature. We have never had a national program of literature distribution, for instance, in our book work. Why not take some book—any book, like Daniel and the Revelation, or Bible Readings—and go on the radio and mention that book, quote from it, and finally tell the people that there is a national campaign on to put that book in the hands of all interested people? Tell them that we are going to start on a certain date and continue for four weeks. We could advertise also in thousands of farmers' magazines and local newspapers. We have men and women who could write the copy.

We should publicize the campaign from coast to coast, not just in one territory. Then all our colporteurs could go out with that one book for a month or so, and all the preachers could talk about it. What a tremendous thing it would be ! It would stir the whole nation, and stir our own church. We must do things in a big way.

I believe the time has come for this. We must get away from provincialism, and begin to do something. We need both a national and a world vision of evangelism. We might think of the Voice of Prophecy as the strategic air force of the denomination; the broadcasters as the tactical air force ; the evangelists as the panzer divisions ; and our people as the infantry that goes in and holds the territory. We want to work with you and all our people throughout the world, and may God bless every one of us as we continue to proclaim Jesus daily and weekly, as long as we can, to all people who possibly can hear.


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By H. M. S. RICHARDS, The Voice of Prophecy, Los Angeles

December 1946

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