A group of First Baptist Spartanburg church deacons were passionate about sharing truth and wanted to expand the reach of the ministry God had given them. The Deacon’s Television Committee approved twenty deacons who each recruited four men to contribute weekly so that the morning service could be televised for a period of six months. During that time 120 men pledged $2 a week for this specific cause.
Live On Air
On November 18, 1956 First Baptist Spartanburg Church began televising Sunday services on the local WSPA television station. Over the next several years, God blessed the television ministry and it became evident that there were new opportunities for growth.
Building on the original generosity of 120 men, the decision was made to create a new 501(c)(3) organization separate from First Baptist Spartanburg church. The mission was “to glorify God by teaching and preaching the message of Christ to all we can, by every available means, in such a way that people accept Christ and become active followers of Jesus through a local Christian Church.” An anonymous donor gave a substantial faith gift to The Encouraging Word to launch the ministry.
On Easter Sunday 2005 The Encouraging Word national broadcast ministry began. Each week tens of thousands of people heard the word of God proclaimed with power and thousands more worship weekly with a church they called their own. People tuned in to hear the consistent life-changing message of Don Wilton as he shared God’s truth without compromise introducing them to Jesus Christ.
The Encouraging Word became a member of Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). ECFA is an accreditation organization dedicated to helping Christian ministries earn the public’s trust through adherence to Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship™, which focus on board governance, financial transparency, integrity in fundraising, and proper use of charity resources.
Today, The Encouraging Word is still building upon the legacy of 2005 and expanding again by airing God’s Truth on various radio and national broadcast networks with an opportunity to reach over 60 million households in all 50 states and around the world. It has been amazing to see the Lord’s hand of blessing and provision on the ministry, and as Don Wilton would say, “the best is yet to be.”
Viewers have called and prayed to accept Jesus Christ
“Your most recent letter was almost like I could hear your voice as I read it. I received a blessing while reading the letter. You must have added some anointing ink on the paper. My wife and I enjoy your Sunday morning services that we’re able to get across the air waves. Satellite services are a gift of God.”
–Jerry and Joyce, Michigan