Monthly Ministry News and Reviews
April 12 marks a very special anniversary for The Word And The World – 49 years on the air! By our calculations, the program airing this weekend (April 14) is our 2,549th consecutive broadcast.
In Old Testament times in Israel, the 50th year was to be a special one of rejoicing (Leviticus 25). Rejoice with us as we begin our 50th year of radio outreach. It is a significant milestone in our ministry and a thrilling testament to the faithfulness of God and the support of His people.
A BRIEF HISTORY
When David Virkler founded Dedication Evangelism in 1961, his ministry vision included Gospel broadcasting. While holding evangelistic meetings in the small town of Coudersport, Pa. in the fall of 1963, Dave was asked by the pastor to speak on a daily radio program shared by the local ministerium on a commercial AM station. The opportunity piqued Dave’s interest in the possibility of seeing the vision for radio outreach become a reality. He contacted station management, and they agreed to sell him 30 minutes on Sunday morning.
The half-hour broadcasts were divided into three segments: Current Commentary (a biblical perspective on the news), Personal Parenthesis (an interview) and Memory Moment (a unique or stirring story). The broadcast also featured its own music with original piano, organ and vocal arrangements by our own staff of musicians. In 1974, the program was shortened to its current length of 15 minutes of commentary on current events and issues.
Interviews with outstanding Christians from all walks of life have remained as an occasional feature of the broadcast. Among our memorable guests have been Christian leaders, missionaries, politicians, sports figures, musicians, and newsmakers.
Many of our audio and print resource materials have been a result of the radio outreach. Copies of broadcasts and interviews have been available since the ’70s. One of the most popular and meaningful is the annual Year In Review, which has been offered every year since 1984. A number of songs from the half-hour broadcast have been compiled in two volumes of Sing Them Over Again. (Click here for a listing of our print and audio materials.)
For a time, each month’s radio programs were compiled on one cassette and sent out to people who supported that aspect of the ministry as well as to missionaries serving overseas. One missionary used them to help teach English in South America. A student at a university in Michigan requested the cassettes to use in his teaching when he returned to his home in Kenya. Prisoners also requested tapes for use in personal and group Bible studies while in jail. This aspect of the ministry was phased out with the advent of the Internet, which gave anyone anywhere the ability to hear the broadcast.
Today, The Word And The World is heard on over 65 outlets reaching 14 states and Ontario, Canada. Among our long-time broadcasting partners are WCHR (PA/NJ), WPEL (PA), WMHR (NY) and WIHS (CT), all of which have been airing the broadcast for over 40 years. WPGM (PA) is our oldest station and has been airing the broadcast since 1965. The Word And The World is also heard globally via the Internet at our website and live streaming on stations’ websites. For nearly 48 years, Dave Virkler was the host, speaker and producer for the broadcast. Our Media Manager, Bill Breckenridge, has been heard on the broadcast as co-host for 20 years. Following Dave’s unexpected Homegoing.
A SPECIAL GIFT
Please consider a contribution to help us meet our financial obligations and stay on the air. A gift to help us begin our 50th year of radio outreach would be so very appreciated! All gifts are tax-deductible.
As always, we are grateful for your prayer and financial support, which enables us to maintain our ministry of radio broadcasting, print and audio resource materials and Internet outreach. Go to our website for nine weeks of broadcasts and a list of materials available, and read our NEWSpoint blog for more biblical perspective on the news.
Several months later, Dave used the studio of a mission organization located near Towaco for recording and production. On Sunday morning, April 12, 1964, the first broadcast of The Word And The World aired over WFRM in Coudersport, Pa.
The Word And The World was one of few Christian radio programs that even talked about current events. In order to stay as current as possible, The Word And The World was – and still is – produced early each week for broadcast the following weekend.
In January 2012, Bill stepped into the role of host and producer. The Word And The World continues to focus on current issues and events with a blend of new commentary by Bill and timeless commentary from Dave.
As evidenced by comments we receive from listeners and station managers, the broadcast continues to effectively meet the need for a Christian perspective on the news. Just this week, a listener from Pa. wrote, “Thank you for being there.” Another from Tenn. wrote, “I always enjoy listening to your program. …Thank you for your ministry.”
The first listener to write in response to the broadcast in 1964 declared that The Word And The World was a good program and he thought God would bless it. He certainly has!
CONTINUING A TRADITION
For a number of years, Dave Virkler was invited to lead the National Day of Prayer service at our local town hall. This year, local organizers asked Bill Breckenridge to lead the time of prayer. A good number of people gathered near the flag pole on a beautiful sunny day to intercede for America and its leaders. A local newspaper representative was there and took some photos.
Bill read two Scripture passages:
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.” (1 Timothy 2:1-3)
He reminded the group that Christians ought to pray for our nation every day, not just the first Thursday in May.
* Unlike Christmas, Easter comes and goes very quickly, and it deserves more attention than it receives. The April 7 broadcast extended the season to give it its rightful due.
* The world marked the passing of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and reviewed her political career. On the April 14 broadcast, we considered the little-known spiritual aspect of her life,
and we also observed our 49th anniversary on the air.
* Polls on church attendance in America reveal that 4 of every 10 Americans attend some sort of religious service each week. On April 21, we examined at the statistics and the true trends involved.
* The Boston Marathon bombing was a tragic example that we never know what a day may bring forth. The April 28 broadcast looked at the terrible event from a biblical perspective. Listen to these broadcasts at our website.
May 30 would have been Dave Virkler’s 79th birthday. Although he is with the Savior he loved and served, you can still listen to Dave speak on a variety of topics including messages on prophetic issues, Christian living and patriotic themes and in interviews with outstanding Christians. Our website lists the messages and interviews that are available on CD. You can also listen to several messages and a prophecy series on-line.
Your prayer support is vital to the ministry. Please pray… * for the ministry staff: Bill Breckenridge (Director of Outreach), Gayle Virkler (Ministry Administrator/Editor), Thelma Virkler (Office Support)
* that The Word And The World, our resource materials, and our Internet outreach will continue to bless and challenge people in the U.S. and around the world
* that our finances will be sufficient to meet our obligations
THANK YOU for your part in our ministry outreach. Your support through financial gifts and prayer is vital to the continued ministry of radio broadcasting, Internet, and print and audio resource materials. May the Lord richly bless you for sharing in His work!
The May 5 broadcast considered the National Day of Prayer and the importance of prayer and Christian values as well as the vital role prayer played in the founding of the Unites States of America.
Statistics on Bible-reading and lack of interest in Scripture were examined on the May 12 broadcast. It was the third in a series in which Bill Breckenridge looked at the spiritual habits and lives of Americans, including church attendance and prayer. The trends are discouraging, but is there still hope?
Israel’s 65th anniversary of its re-birth was celebrated this month. That event in 1948 had spiritual, prophetic and eternal significance. The May 19 program featured commentary by David Virkler on the birth, existence and purpose of modern Israel from a biblical viewpoint.
Memorial Day is much more than barbecues, sales and the unofficial beginning of summer. The May 26 broadcast shared reflections and insights on the real significance of the holiday.
All of our broadcasts can be heard at our website and are available for eight weeks following the original air date.
A NEW PAGE
In addition to a website, social media has become increasingly important for expanding outreach and promoting ministry. Dedication Evangelism now has a Facebook page where we share links for The Word And The World and our NEWSpoint blog along with inspiring quotes and Scripture.
Visit our page, “like” us, and share our updates and links! If you’re not on Facebook, tell your friends, family and church.
We are also happy to announce that The Word And The World is now available on podcast. This expands our outreach beyond radio stations and our website to portable media technology. For those who don’t know, podcasts can be downloaded online to a computer or mobile device such as a phone or media player. Pray that this new aspect of our outreach will help us to reach a broader audience with a biblical perspective on the news and the Good News of the Gospel.
PATRIOTIC-THEMED RESOURCE MATERIALS
As we approach our nation’s birthday, we are highlighting some of our resource items related to America and its Judeo-Christian heritage. These are available for a tax-deductible contribution to help cover our costs for materials and postage. To order materials, write to us at the address below.
America’s Foundation and Future – Dave Virkler presents a stirring message on America’s Christian foundation, its problems, and the ultimate solution. Also included is a radio broadcast featuring some of America’s beloved patriotic songs. ($6.00)
America, the Bible and Politics – Dave relates the uniqueness of America and outlines the Biblical principles for political responsibility. ($6.00)
A Capitol Tour – This “guided tour” with Rev. Tim Crater describes America’s Christian heritage depicted in the U.S. Capitol Building including various paintings and statues and the House Chamber. ($6.00)
A Philadelphia Tour – Dr. Peter Lillback, author of George Washington’s Sacred Fire, describes 12 historic sites in Philadelphia (including the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall) with an emphasis on America’s Judeo/Christian heritage. (2 CDs – $8.00)
The Story of “The Star-Spangled Banner” – Francis Scott Key was a devout believer in Jesus Christ. Dave tells how that aspect of his life is seen in our national anthem. (Pamphlet $1.50)
Is America in Prophecy? – How does America fit into prophetic events? Dave explores the different views on this topic and offers a stirring challenge for Christians on how national revival could play an important role in America’s future. (11 pgs. $3.00)
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Your financial and prayer support of Dedication Evangelism is vital and enables us to continue challenging believers and reaching the lost through radio, resource materials and Internet outreach. Please consider a contribution to help us continue to serve.