Pioneering in Television


TV evangelism in the 50s

Elder Libby, pastor of Baltimore Central church, has set forth in the following article the first inside story of the religious telecaster's problem. It has been my privilege to associate with him in his technical problems nearly every week since he began on February 5. Few men would attempt what he has attempted under similar circumstances. He has no production budget, no paid musical director, no paid staff ; musical talent, and he depends upon voluntary help for most of his program at a distance of some forty miles. Despite all this, he has been creating and presenting a successful telecast from week to week with increasing results. No money and time expended on the part of Pastor Libby and the Chesapeake Conference has been better spent than that on this program called The Bible Heralds.

It is well at this stage of TV that a few men may be chosen to explore the new medium rather than for many to experiment. As time goes on, television prices will increase considerably, and lessons to be learned will cost more.

General Sarnoff, president of R.C.A., predicted last week, while speaking to the National Association of Broadcasters in Chicago, that there would be nine million receivers by the end of 1950, and "at least twenty million sets and about eighty million viewers by the end of 1952." Since TV time is charged on the basis of available audience, one can appreciate that by 1952 we should be established "in business," and not just be getting into it. Just as it makes every home a "potential theater" for industry and commerce, it also makes every home our potential Bible study circle.

Sunday night, May 21, W. A. Fagal began a weekly telecast in New York City. We have been blessed with favorable time and a good working format. While Baltimore has 158,089 sets, New York has 1,145,000, or better than one fifth of the nation's total sets. In later issues of THE MINISTRY reports will come to you of the combined efforts of our Seventh-day Adventist telecasters.

With more than 49,000 receivers in San Francisco, J. L. Tucker is pioneering the West in this field. The results of his experience in • this area have not as yet come to us. The rules for telecasting at the moment are very general. What pleases the East may not please the West, and vice versa

We join our three worthies in their pioneer- venture, and pray that out of it all we can intelligently plan for the TV future.



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