Gospel Broadcasting Network
|Type||Religious Broadcasting (Church of Christ doctrine)|
|Country||United States of America|
The Gospel Broadcasting Network (GBN) is an American Christian satellite broadcast network, which broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
GBN is not an ecumenical network; it solely features programming which teaches Church of Christ doctrine and practices. Although organized as a separate legal entity, GBN is under the oversight of the elders of the Southhaven Church of Christ (Southaven, Mississippi), which serves as its sponsoring church.
The GBN headquarters are in Olive Branch, Mississippi. Programs are taped at the Olive Branch location, as well as in individual studios of local Church of Christ congregations located throughout the country. Notable offsite locations include Pulaski, Tennessee (Preaching the Gospel), Edmond, Oklahoma (In Search of the Lord's Way), Bedford, Texas (The Truth in Love), and Maxwell, Texas (World Video Bible School programming).
GBN was started by Barry Gilreath Sr. and began broadcasting in 2005.
GBN transmits from a C-band Satellite (Galaxy-14), simulcasts over the Internet over GBNTV.org, through its own Roku channel, on Android and iOS devices, and over the air via both low-powered radio stations (individually owned by local Church of Christ congregations) and one low-powered television station (W29DM-D-29.1-Lewisburg, Tennessee). On April 27, 2011, GBN launched its public Roku channel. In addition to the live GBN broadcast, the channel also contains several archived programs. In June, 2012, the GBN Roku channel was one of the 10-highest rated Roku channels with 5 out of 5 possible stars.
A drive by supporters of GBN has been on-going to get cable and satellite companies to add GBN to their lineups. As of December 2016, 21 cable companies in six states broadcast the network over their systems.
The January 2007 (IV) Issue of GoodNews reported that the two jails within the Dallas County, Alabama Sheriff's Department will broadcast GBN 17 hours a day (where deputies would like access during down-time 24/7).
GBN, unlike many religious networks, does not solicit contributions during programming (i.e., there are no fund-raising telethons, 'pledge' times, or on-air pleas for financial support). In fact, several of the network's personalities have stated that "...you will never hear a plea for money on this network." GBN further states on its website that it "... is fully supported from the donations of members of the churches of Christ around the world. We do not solicit donations from non-members of the church of Christ."
GBN sends out a free newsletter for the network, which covers events, network news, and special memorial and honorarium contributions made since the last newsletter. The newsletter is sent via regular mail upon request, or it can be downloaded from their website.
The majority of GBN programming is produced by local Church of Christ congregations in the Southern United States (the area where the majority of Church of Christ congregations are located).
GBN's flagship program is Preaching the Gospel. James Watkins is the original host, and Cliff Goodwin has joined him as co-host. Newer episodes alternate between Watkins and Goodwin as presenters.
In Search of the Lord's Way, one of the most widely distributed religious programs in the USA (and the largest among Churches of Christ), also broadcasts on GBN. Originally created by Mack Lyon (d. 2015), Phil Sanders currently serves as the host of this program, which is under the auspices of the elders of the Edmond Church of Christ (Edmond, Oklahoma).
The live-action children's program Digger Doug's Underground is the most notable of GBN's children's programs; it is based on the characters from the children's magazine Discovery which is produced by Apologetics Press, an Alabama-based Church of Christ publishing house.
GBN also features the GBN Special Presentation, which airs each weeknight at 9:00PM (Eastern Time). This program includes discussions of special topics, material that has been recorded on-location or at special events; in addition, some productions of the World Video Bible School of Maxwell, Texas are aired during this broadcast.
GBN broadcast a celebration of the Hardeman Tabernacle Sermons held at the Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee from July 1–3, 2007. The original Tabernacle Sermons, which were held in 1922, 1923, 1928 & 1945, were gospel meetings staged by Nashville Area churches of Christ. The broadcasts were called the "Tabernacle Sermons Today". The event featured speakers Tom Holland, Garland Elkins, Winford Claiborne, James Watkins, B.J. Clarke and Jim Dearman. David Hayes Prophater served as the announcer and Jeff Scott led the audience in a cappella singing.
On September 29, 2011, GBN broadcast the Kyle Butt/Blair Scott debate that was held at the Norton Auditorium on the University of North Alabama campus. In addition to the debate itself, Don Blackwell and Dr. Dave Miller hosted both a pre-debate introduction and a post-debate show that featured interviews with both of the participants. Utilizing new technology, the primary feed of the broadcast was transmitted over the internet to its internet and satellite broadcast providers in North Carolina and Georgia, respectively.