GOD Channel name change
Monday, October 9 2000, 21:46 BST — by Neil Wilkes AND EDITS BY EDITOR NAME PROTECTED*
“Sit tight in your seats saints”, GOD Channel co-founder Rory Alec, urged viewers across 58 nations, two hours into the ministry\’s LIVE fifth birthday edition of Behind the Screens, which happened to be coinciding with the Jewish New Year. At 10.07pm exactly, the computer generated graphics superimposed The Dream Family Network\’s new digital identity onto the blue floor to ceiling chroma key background behind Rory -and GOD Digital was born.
The Network announced the name change to its 129 staff last week in an internal bulletin, explaining \’the name The Dream Family Network has served its season well, in helping to clearly establish our Christian multi-channel package as the one digital platform specifically tailored to offer safe family viewing for Europe. Now as the ministry looks forward to the next five years of development, it is apparent from the last five, that new wineskins will be needed to contain the breadth of God\’s vision for this ministry.\’
Fellow co-founder Wendy Alec commented during the live show “if you\’re going to reach this generation, sometimes you have to adopt an in your face approach. As soon as channel surfers see the GOD bug in the right corner of the screen, they know exactly what this channel is all about. The last year has clearly demonstrated that the level of brand awareness generated by The GOD Channel name has been very high, and it makes sense for us to extend that brand awareness to include all areas of the ministry, as this is the name viewers mainly associate us with.”
First use of Studio One for Live Show
Two new channel launches, three operational firsts, and three awards firsts were announced during the three hour birthday celebration. On the operational side, although the Network has transmitted conferences live from around the world since last year, it was the first such occasion the main Studio One facility at their 16,000sq ft Stonehills studio complex in Gateshead had been used to film a live show. This was then transmitted to the Sirius 2 satellite via the Network\’s earth station uplink, the only one of its kind in North East England. MATES IN UK WHERE BETTER TO SITUATE YOUR STUDIO BUT AT STONEHILLS A BREATH AWAY FROM MANCHESTER….
Phone-in and prayer lines result in hundreds of calls and strong testimonies
This was the first and ONLY show during which the Network had run live phone interviews with viewers, and that the prayer line service had been fully operational. Engineers were on standby the whole night, but in the event, there were no major problems. The night yielded some moving “on air” testimonies. “Maria” from Holland commented “I have grown up watching your channel, God bless you, and thank you for being obedient to God”. A young man from Glasgow added “I have discovered realms of Christianity through you, I didn\’t know even existed.” “Philippa” from Galway in western Ireland moved many staff close to tears as she poured out her gratitude saying “thank you, thank you, thank you, for letting us see how big, broad and wonderful the Church of Jesus Christ is, for showing us the variety. Things can be so insular sometimes here in Ireland.” The prayer lines too drew a strong response with hundreds of calls being received by 1am, many from viewers who had backslidden and wanted to recommit, or ask Jesus into their lives for the first time. Call staff were surprised that although the Network\’s programming is focused on the under 35s, an unexpectedly high percentage of calls were from pensioners, many saying the Network was a lifeline to them.(WHO PRAY FOR THEM THEY ARE A SUPER-VULNERABLE GROUP WHO NO DOUBT GIVE AWAY PENSIONS FOR HUCKSTERS LIKE THESE)
Launch of multi-language television service Revival Europe
On the launches front, the Alecs announced the addition of two services to the multi-channel line up, transmitted via Sirius 2, and received via free digital set top boxes that the Network has been giving out since last year, in a similar move to SKY and On Digital. The existing television line up currently includes Dream One, similar in nature to GOD Channel, The Revival Channel featuring live conferences -and in the mornings The Worship Channel, The Travel Channel, and Euronews which alternates at ninety minute intervals with The Money Channel. From this month, The Revival Channel will feature between 6 & 9am a new channel, Revival Europe, offering native language programming in a number of European and Arabic languages.
Launch of Dream Radio
On the radio side, the multi-channel already offers three 24hr services, The Talking Bible, United Christian Broadcasters, and UCB Cross Rhythms. Having recently been granted a fourth \’satellite service licence\’ by the Radio Authority, the Network wasted no time in launching its own radio station called “The Dream”, -in fact using the launch as a \’fireworks finale\’ at the end of the live birthday show. The output is based on the highly successful Christian contemporary music and chat formula developed by the radio team who produced The Dream on TV from their radio studio while awaiting the radio licence.
Broadcasting Awards (WHICH ARE FRAUDELENT AND GIVE APPEARANCE OF SUCCESS YOU CAN’T GIVE AWARDS TO YOUR OWN COMPANY ALECS BREAK RULES OF SUCCESSFUL CHRISTIAN TV)
On the awards front, viewers learnt of how hot on the heels of the Angel Award presentations (equivalents of the Dove Music Awards) earlier this year for the children\’s weekend show DK Extreme , The Heart of David Conference with Rick Joyner, and testimony series Holy Ground, GOD Digital\’s production team had done it again, this time their skills receiving recognition from the British based CBC -Christian Broadcasting Council . An edition of Coates and Company which featured an interview with anglican evangelist J.John picked up a Gold, and In Depth with Ed Silvosa, and DK Extreme a joint silver. Speaking after the awards, John Forrest, producer of the Cardiff Songs of Praise at which 66,000 attended, commented it was exciting news, and he was very encouraged to see such professional standards. GOD Digital\’s Graeme Spencer set the awards in perspective when he stressed that while appreciated, the Network\’s main objective was “not to win awards,[which they gave to THEMSELVES!!!!) but to convey anointing.” He added “while some may have been a bit sniffy about us to start with, they\’re not laughing now, because they know people are coming to faith through the Network.”
Televison tributes from around the world
In addition to the floods of birthday cards and e-mails that poured into the Network, a steady stream of couriers arrived with tribute VT packages from around the Globe. Jesse Du Plantis commented “this couple love the Lord with all their heart and are dedicated to excellence -they\’re winners going somewhere to win.” (Note POSITIVE ONLY REIGNS ON THIS CHANNEL!!)
Ulf Ekman from Word of Life Bible College in Sweden said he believed strongly God would use the Network globally, and that God had anointed Rory and Wendy for this hour. He commended their vision, passion, strategy, and integrity, and said it was his prayer that the Network would be used to meet the needs of the masses not just the Christians.
Pastor Colin Dye from Kensington Temple added “God has blessed you, he has honoured your faith, and now you are seeing an outbreak of revival and blessing.” Further testimonies were heard from Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo of London\’s KICC, Pat Robertson founder of CBN in the States, singer Darlen Zscech and Pastor Brian Houston from Hillsongs Church, Sydney.
We\’re not fat cats
One particularly moving call for the Alecs came from Annie Chikhwaza who runs the Network\’s sponsored orphanage for forty AIDS orphans in Malawi. Rory and Wendy reflected on the irony that when they didn\’t even have the £750 for the ITC licence, an impoverished pastor, Brother Louis from Malawi had pressed the sum -his last money, into Rory Alec\’s hand, and since then the Network has to date been able to support his orphanage with £77,000. (Annie Chikhwaza longtime friends of Alecs)
Rory Alec used the point to stress the fact that “we\’re not fat cats, we walk by faith every day trusting that God will meet our needs.” Wendy added “so often we haven\’t known how The Red Sea is going to part, and the Egyptians have been thundering over the hill.” Indeed one early news report they played by Channel Five News\’ Andy Scott, asked “do they really have a prayer?” They referred to their Westminster viewer\’s conference in January \’99 as just such a Red Sea experience. Due to the terrible fog only 400 made it, yet they pledged over £700,000 in support, at a time when the Network was having to make redundancies.
The Network\’s dual mandate
Wendy Alec explained it to viewers as follows:
“Firstly a mandate of the Father, to change the destiny of the end time church by helping to equip it with the tools for the apostolic ministry, to be apostles, teachers, prophets, evangelists, and pastors.”
“Secondly the mandate of the Son, to share the Gospel with those who have never had a chance to hear it.”
In fulfilling these mandates the Alecs maintained “it has always been on our hearts to be as transparent and vulnerable as the Lord would have us be” “-what you see is what you get.” ( Ed Note No you DON’T The Alecs have openly stated that Behind the Screens ‘barely scratch the surface)
Throughout the programme Rory repeated to callers what a privilege it had been to serve them for the past five years.(only phone in ever and vetted up to the eyeballs no honest comments here!)