Celebrating 80 Years
Back to God Ministries International began in 1939 with a three-fold mission:
- Proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord
- Help followers of Jesus grow in their faith
- Strengthen the church
The Back to God Hour is born
After the Great Depression halted radio production, the Christian Reformed Church Synod appointed a Radio Committee to begin a media ministry. In 1939, The Back to God Hour broadcast its first radio message in Chicago, Illinois.
Dr. Peter Eldersveld – First Radio Pastor
Dr. Peter Eldersveld was appointed as the first full-time radio pastor to broadcast The Back to God Hour. By the late 1940s, more than 250 stations had picked up the program.
The Family Altar first published
The first printed devotional, The Family Altar, was published. Within the first few months more than 40,000 people subscribed. In 1976 the publication changed its name to Today.
Arabic outreach begins
Our Arabic outreach, led by Rev. Bassam Madany, broadcast its first program to the Arab world.
Spanish outreach begins
Rev. Juan Boonstra began Spanish language programming.
Dr. Joel Nederhood appointed Radio Minister
Dr. Nederhood was appointed as Dr. Eldersveld’s successor as the voice of The Back to God Hour.
Six more language ministries added
Language outreach expanded to include French, Indonesian, Portuguese, Chinese and Japanese. By 1979, The Back to God Hour had eight language ministries reaching 100 countries. In 1980, the ninth language, Russian, was added.
Children’s Ministry begins
Kids Corner, a children’s radio program, debuted on more than 160 radio stations. The Ark Clubhouse, a children’s television program, was produced and broadcast in Spanish and Portuguese.
Back to God Ministries International
The organization’s name, The Back to God Hour, was officially changed to Back to God Ministries International to reflect the growing scope of our mission.
Hindi outreach begins
The tenth major language ministry, Hindi, was added.
ReFrame Media – English language outreach
The English language family of programs was named ReFrame Media.