AFR Sharathon is going strong!

Wednesday through Friday of this week has been the time for the fall sharathon at my radio/TV/media home for the last 8 years, American Family Radio.  This ministry is LISTENER SUPPORTED, which means, there’s NO big money behind this ministry; there’s NO commercial type advertising to generate funds.  The money to OPERATE, the money to PROMOTE, the money to DEVELOP new radio stations, new internet ministries and whatever else God leads us into, comes from people just like you, the listeners and supporters of the radio/family ministry. 

We are unlike many other media ministries in that we don’t take a lot of time to do fund-raising on any kind of continual basis.  We actually ONLY take 6 days a year, three in the fall and three in the spring to talk about the money needs we have.  Just three days at a time! 

At the end of each sharathon, we will have pledged about $1.2-1.6 million dollars.  is that enough to get us through the next 6 months until the next sharathon?  Hardly.  But we have a couple of things going for us. 

First of all, there are some who will minister to our needs in other ways throughout the year that helps, but certainly wouldn’t be enough without the monies of sharathon added to it.  Also, Brother Don Wildmon, founder and chairman of the ministry and his son, Tim, the president of AFA/AFR, have been smart enough to wisely operate the ministry in a totally debt free condition!  Yes, you heard me right!  We are a 189 radio station network, with a channel on the Sky Angel TV network, and a whoppingly huge internet ministry presence, and we operate completely DEBT FREE!! That’s almost unheard of these days, but how powerful in the midst of an economy that is as dead as ours is!

I’ve had a great privilege in this fall’s sharathon.  As you may know, I stepped away from AFR after 8 years of working about 20 hours a week as a parttime voice talent and talk personality on the new Talk Channel.  I didn’t completely resign from the work, but I did step just short of being absolutely gone.  I had to! I pastor a fulltime church with about 350 members and I am also a state certified, sworn deputy sheriff/chaplain with TWO County Sheriff’s departments.  So, I was searching for time to breath, eat and sleep.  You know, just some of those mundane but at times, necessary activities of life.  So, I pulled back to about 4 hours a week or less of recorded, computerized voice tracking on the Inspo station (about 60 stations around the nation and on the net at www.afr.net).

But I was pulled into this sharathon for a full three days of service for which I am very grateful. As you may have known, Marvin Sanders, the general manager of the network since it’s beginning, has been very ill with cancer.  He is the co-host with Tim Wildmon on the flagship program, “Today’s Issues”.  Well, I was asked to come in and sit in Marvin’s chair with Tim during the Sharathon.  Well, on the first day, in walks Marvin back from the hospital feeling well enough to do the program!  YEA!  I wanted to be on and participate in the fantastic interviews that we were going to have during g the sharathon.  Interviews with people like Gary Bauer, Ravi Zacharias, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, and the like.  BUT, BUT….I was extremely happy that Marvin is feeling well enough to be back and on the air!!

As it turned out, Marvin hasn’t felt well enough to do ALL of the two-hour program, so I have had the blessing to step in and sit in his seat for a portion of the Today’s Issues program each day.  In addition to that, I was able to be on the Crane Durham show, “Nothing But Truth”, as a promoter of the sharathon during the three breaks each hour. And then, I got to step in and help out with the Inspo stations a couple of times.  The real joy of that was on Thursday, I got a chance to interview SELAH, the magnificent group that has been providing us with heavenly worship music for the last 8 plus years.

This sharathon has been a real blessing, more so than many others.  This was my 6th sharathon at AFR.  THANK YOU for helping us, for making a pledge, for praying for us.  Let’s pray that God gives us many more “springs and falls” to spread the conservative, Christian perspective views that you simply cannot get from the main stream.  Thanks.  It was a real blessing to receive your gifts. 

You have sown into good ground!

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