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Forward in Faith collection

Identifier: M0036

Scope and Contents

This collection is not fully entered into the ArchivesSpace system yet. Click on the External Documents link on the collection-level record for a draft finding aid. Newly created items are entered directly into the archives catalog.

The Dixon Pentecostal Research Center holds copies of most of the radio programs from its beginning in analog media, primarily reel-to-reel audio tape. Historically, these media were used at various times to produce different length broadcasts and harvested for replays and editing new programs. In those days, that meant physically cutting and splicing tape. Therefore, many of our physical holdings are incomplete and imperfect when compared to the original broadcast production sequence.

Additionally, certain historic media formats are more vulnerable to rapid deterioration and problems, such as "sticky shed syndrome" — a condition caused by humidity in storage which leads to a gummy substance on the magnetic tape that will cause damage to the tape and/or the playback device if used without expert, prior treatment.

As we are able, we are making digitized versions of the radio programs available for researchers and other interested parties online and they will be linked in the individual broadcast records in this collection and are available on the Dixon Pentecostal Research Center's website.


  • December 7, 1958–


Conditions Governing Use

This material may be protected under U. S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S. Code) which governs the making of photocopies or reproductions of copyrighted materials. You may use any digitized or otherwise copied material from our holdings for private study, scholarship, or research. Though the Dixon Pentecostal Research Center has physical ownership of the material in its collections, in some cases we may not own the copyright to the material. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in our collections.

Biographical / Historical

In 1886, as a small group of spiritually hungry saints met in the hills of North Carolina to worship and study for a deeper walk with God, there was no way they could have imagined how far their walk would take them. Originally named the Christian Union, the group evolved into the Church of God denomination that now reaches around the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. As the fledging church grew there was a need to establish guidelines and ministries to assist in spreading the gospel to neighbors and around the world. Years passed as the body of believers sponsored revivals, established local churches and even sent missionaries to other countries with the good news. Soon there were throngs of supporters and the desire to reach the world was overwhelming. Even though the church was effective in local and state ministries, there was a hunger to reach people outside the church influence. Radio was a popular media that caught the attention of church leaders. The seed for an international radio broadcast was sown.

New things were on the horizon for the local, state, and general church. During the 46th 1956 General Assembly the idea for an International Radio and Television Outreach was presented and a Commission chaired by C.R. Spain was appointed. A search for a radio speaker culminated in choosing Pastor Earl P. Paulk, Jr. from the Hemphill Church of God in Atlanta, Ga. Pastor Paulk would continue his full-time duties at his church while serving on a part-time basis as radio speaker. He would travel to Cleveland, Tennessee studios to record messages for the new radio ministry. Bennie Triplett was chosen to direct the program on a part-time basis as well. He would continue to serve as State Youth Director for Tennessee. Eventually, Brother Triplett became the first full-time staff person in the Radio and Television Department. Nellie Thompson would be the first secretary for the ministry. Forward in Faith was chosen as the name for this flagship program. These 30 minute pre-recorded programs would include choir/individual singing, announcements, a message and an invitation prayer. Each program would also include information and an invitation to attend a local Church of God congregation.

After much planning and preparation, the first Forward in Faith radio program was aired on December 7, 1958, on networks including stations in Birmingham, Alabama, San Francisco, California, Detroit, Michigan, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Charleston, West Va. and Baxley, Ga. By the end of the year the network reached 50 outlets. The message was now in all parts of the United States and several foreign countries. There was no shortage of qualified speakers to share God’s word with the world.

In 1960, Ray H. Hughes, president of Lee College, now Lee University, assumed the responsibilities of radio speaker. He continued to fulfill his presidential role at Lee. In 1963, Pastor G.W. Lane from the prestigious Central Parkway Church of God in Cincinnati, Ohio was appointed to the now full-time speakers position. His dynamic preaching was well received by the radio audience. Copies of his sermon were made available thru the radio cassette ministry. In 1966, Floyd J. Timmerman was selected to be the speaker for Forward in Faith programs. Max Morris was appointed as Program Director. In June 1972, Carl Richardson assumed the full-time role as radio speaker. Bennie Pitman served as director for three months. In September, 1972, Al Taylor was appointed Administrative Assistant/Program Director and served in the assignment for 4 years.

Under the leadership of Brother Richardson a number of ministerial aids were produced. Richardson’s messages were powerful and relevant. Copies of each radio message was available to local pastors by way of Minster’s Tape Service. Each week other supporters received a cassette tape with 2 messages. Various printed articles were distributed to benefit local ministries and churches. At this point there were 172 stations airing Forward in Faith. In 1974, the first television special produced by the Radio and Television Department entitled New World Coming was televised over numerous super power outlets. Because of the professional quality of production, the prerecorded special was well received by heretofore closed station outlets. Toll-free call-in numbers were inundated. The result of that televised program: over 600 people were saved. In 1976, Forward in Faith also sponsored the Freedom Celebration television special that was recorded from the steps of the nation’s capital in Washington, D.C. These specials opened doors of opportunities for enlarging the ministry. Forward in Faith ministry sponsored overseas crusades that drew thousands in attendance and many people were saved. In America, these crusades had a profound effect on the general church image and at the same time giving advertisements for local congregations. By now the number of stations airing Forward in Faith had reached 299. Many were super-power outlets meaning you could then hear the Forward in Faith program anywhere in the country.

In 1976, Jerry Noble was appointed to the role of director/announcer. By 1980 the station count has reached the 550 mark. In 1984 Carl Richardson, Jerry Noble and Al Taylor resigned their responsibilities at Forward in Faith to pursue different areas of ministry. A new staff was selected to continue the far-reaching ministry. In 1984, Bennie Triplett assumed the radio speaker's responsibilities. Mike Baker would be the next director/announcer. In 1988, Walter P. Atkinson was selected as the radio speaker and Al Taylor returned as director/announcer.

Later, during a search for a permanent radio speaker, different pastors were asked to provide messages for the program. Pastors serving in the capacity included Hal Thompson, Jr., Danny May, and Larry McDaniel. The Forward in Faith Choir, local church and college choirs, as well as individuals would provide excellent worship music for the listening audience.

Following a lengthy search, Pastor Loran Livingston from the thriving Central Avenue Church of God in Charlotte, North Carolina, was chosen in 1990 as radio speaker. Pastor Livingston is the present speaker. The Forward in Faith program is pre-recorded at that local church using local talent from that congregation. The prerecorded program is then distributed by the Communications Department in Cleveland, Tennessee. From Cleveland, the tapes are sent to all broadcast outlets. Pastor Livingston continues his role as Senior Pastor of the local congregation while at the same time reaching around the world by way of the radio program. Today, Forward in Faith continues to operate under the guidance of the media staff, which is now under the umbrella of the Division of Communications of the Church of God.


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Metadata Rights Declarations

  • License: This record is made available under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Creative Commons license.

Related Materials

M0026 — Ray H. Hughes Sr. Collection


Forward in Faith Collection
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Revision Statements

  • 2020: Ashleigh Sturgeon and D. E. "Gene" Mills, Jr. inventoried the materials, revised and expanded the finding aid through ArchivesSpace input, and made some digitized versions available

Repository Details

Part of the Hal Bernard Dixon Jr. Pentecostal Research Center Repository

Dixon Pentecostal Research Center
260 11th Street NE
Cleveland TN 37311 USA