‘Are you listening?
The late VE Howard was known to have asked this question on the “International Gospel Hour” radio program, an evangelistic broadcast associated with the Churches of Christ dating from 1934.
For 88 years, the question has been posed to listeners like Billy Boyd.
Boyd, member of Rockliff Christ Church in McMinnville, Tennessee, has been listening to the program for over 60 years.
The show is one of the longest running continuous religious radio broadcasts in America. Now supervised by the West Fayetteville Christ Church in Fayetteville, Tennessee, the program has featured Jeff Archey as a speaker since 2020.
“It was a great encouragement for me to hear this kind of teaching,” Boyd said.
“For the past two years – yes, even in times of pandemic – we have embraced the blessings of our Lord and the open doors He has provided,” Archey said.
These efforts include “not just the expansion of live radio,” he said, “but internet station options, worldwide podcast providers and an addition to television broadcasting.”
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From VE Howard to Jeff Archey
During his lifetime, Howard was a businessman and writer. He was also a husband and a father. But he was best known for starting “International Gospel Hour.”
He first started preaching on the radio on station KTHS in Hot Springs, Ark., where he convinced the station manager to give him a chance to air. He immediately established a good rapport with the public.
The show made its way to other countries about 10 years later, increasing its viewership.
Howard preached on the radio for 61 years. His trademark “Are you listening?” punctuated sermon points and scriptures when he spoke.
During his lifetime, the program’s founder baptized more than 8,000 people, preached at gospel meetings across the United States, and produced books, tracts, and hymns. He died a day before his 89th birthday in 2000.
In 1995, Howard transferred program oversight to Winford Claiborne, an instructor at Freed–Hardeman University in Henderson, Tennessee, whose favorite shows were about the Christian home and contemporary culture. In turn, Claiborne handed the show over to Jody Apple of the Southeastern Institute of Bible Studies in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 2013.
Apple has been preaching since 1978 and serving with the Georgia School of Preaching and Bible Studies to Mariette. He worked to bring the program into the digital age, including web presences and social media.
Archey took over the reins from his friend in 2020. By then the program had lost some international exposure and Archey’s challenge was to grow its audience.
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Last year, “International Gospel Hour” was picked up by Radio Victoria 93.1 FM in Noord, Aruba, and ZFKP 97.7 FM in the Cayman Islands.
Archey brought his experience with a radio station and the Gospel Broadcasting Network to the role. GBN, which is associated with the Churches of Christ, is a satellite broadcasting network.
A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Archey has preached the gospel for more than 30 years, 17 of them for the East Side Christ Church in Cleveland, Tenn.
He is a graduate of the former Great Commission School in Nashville and the Nashville School of Preaching and Bible Studies in the late 1990s. He has been married to Renita for 34 years.
After Archey’s arrival, GBN formed a partnership with “International Gospel Hour” and began airing the program four times a week.
“International Gospel Hour” is now available on the web, social media, satellite, cable, YouTube and 27 podcast platforms. Its television programs – which began last year – are mostly in the southeastern United States.
Today, in 34 countries, the program “continues to grow and it continues to thrive,” Archey said. “We are very well blessed.”
Phil Sanders, spokesperson for “Seeking the Way of the Lord” a national television ministry sponsored by the Edmond Church of Christ in Oklahoma, knew the four speakers of the “International Gospel Hour”.
“It’s reaching people, and the reports I’m getting are that people are listening, inside and outside of the church,” Sanders said. “And that makes a difference.”
Sanders added that the longevity of the “International Gospel Hour” is a testament to its success.
“You also have – because it’s been going on for so many years – tremendous loyalty and dedication to the program,” he said.
bring the truth
Debbie Claudia-Guinn first heard about one of the “International Gospel Hour” podcasts through an advertisement on Facebook.
“It really helps your spiritual walk. And that’s what he did for me.
She now listens to the podcast on Sunday mornings before church and refers to it as her spiritual food.
Archey “knows how to bring the truth,” said Claudia-Guinn, a member of the Paulding Christ Church in Ohio. “He doesn’t add any ingredients to the scriptures or anything like that. He is very biblical.
“It really helps your spiritual walk,” she said of the program. “And that’s what he did for me.”
Congregations wishing to use “International Gospel Hour” can get the program for free, and Jeff Archey can help churches negotiate deals with local stations. See internationalgospelhour.com or call (855) 444-6988.
Filed Under: Church of Christ and Gospel Broadcasting Network Radio Programs Seeking the Lord’s Way International Gospel Hour National News Partners Partners podcasts Top Stories