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Revelation TV is a UK Protestant Christian television channel started by Howard and Lesley Conder in 2003; the channel broadcasts on Freesat channel 692, Freeview HD channel 267, Sky channel 581, and the Roku box and is also available worldwide on the internet.
Howard Conder (an ex-Jehovah's Witness) and his wife Lesley began the TV station by forming a private company and remortgaging their home to put their own money into it.
As of 2012, Revelation TV has now a permanent television studio base in Spain. An underground car park space was converted into a new state-of-the art television studio, where a large amount of programmes now transmits from there, e.g. Voice in the Wilderness, Late Show, Q & A show etc.
Formerly, channels like Revelation TV which operate from the UK were unable to ask for funds on-air, due to Ofcom restrictions. With the lifting of these restrictions, this is no longer the case and Revelation TV can now ask for funds on air.
Another channel, Genesis TV, was formerly broadcast on Sky channel 592. It used to play much of the same content from RMusicTV, and a music show, The One to One Show, produced and hosted by Presenter and Gospel Personality, Michael Owusu. The channel made international news headlines in 2010 when a prankster whose YouTube name is 'Repmykipz', tricked the presenter to read out the opening lyrics to the 1970s/'80's sitcom- Diff'rent Strokes,[unreliable source?] followed by an e-mail containing the plot details from Star Wars and referring to a Nigerian man named Ben Kenobi who had battled with dark forces.
On 22 March 2010, Genesis TV allowed a debate between the leader of the British National Party, Nick Griffin and the leader of the Christian Party, George Hargreaves, as the two were competing against each other for the Barking constituency in the 2010 General election.[third-party source needed] Genesis TV was closed down and merged with Revelation TV on 1 April 2010. Revelation TV later moved to Sky channel 581 after the slot was given up by GOD TV.
On 10 March 2010, the station issued an announcement that two channels, Genesis TV and Revelation TV, would be merging into a single channel, to be called Revelation TV, with effect from 1 April 2010.[third-party source needed]
Justin Peters controversy
On 10 February 2010, Justin Peters, an American evangelist was interviewed live on Revelation TV. Peters is an outspoken critic of the Word of Faith movement and, during the interview, mentioned several prominent proponents of this doctrine by name such as Benny Hinn, Creflo Dollar and Kenneth Copeland. The programme was taken off-air before its scheduled end time, due to concerns that making accusations against specific individuals who were not present breached Ofcom rules on fairness. Lesley Conder criticised Peters the following morning, but the Streisand effect ensured that the incident received widespread publicity.
Meanwhile, Revelation TV has been under fire from regulators Ofcom with regards to their views about homosexuality after complaints from gay rights campaigners and members of the public. Ofcom has warned Revelation TV that they must in future be fair and express all points of view when approaching this subject, or they face mandatory sanctions.
The channels have also been the target of pranks by viewers, including a recent incident where a Genesis TV presenter read off a message from a prankster who calls himself 'Repmykipz', which claimed to be a story of salvation, but was merely an adaptation of the theme tune of the American sitcom "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." The presenter then went to another message from the same person consisting of the plot of "Star Wars". A posting of the prank on YouTube went viral and has been viewed over 1,080,000 times.
In November 2014 it was announced by the UK Charity Commission that Revelation TV was under investigation after it identified regulatory concerns about trustee benefits, conflicts of interest and a "potential significant loss of charitable funds".
The regulator said it had scrutinised the charity’s accounts after it received complaints that the charity was being used for private advantage. The commission said that on further investigation it had identified a number of concerns, including the trustees’ decisions to transfer significant charitable assets and funds from the UK to Spain.
The commission said its inquiry would look at the charity’s structure, including its relationship and transactions with several commercial organisations and whether these were in the best interests of the charity.
In a statement on its website the Revelation Foundation said it welcomed the inquiry and would cooperate fully with proceedings.
The chairman of the Revelation Foundation Gordon Pettie said that he is "horrified" by the claims. Speaking to Christian Today, Pettie said the Charity Commission first told Revelation in May about a viewer complaint, asking for some financial information and to meet with the board of trustees. Pettie said that the trustees are "amazed" at the way the Commission has handled the case so far. Pettie maintains that the Foundation is confident of its integrity, and that the allegations made against it are unfounded. He added that Revelation TV will continue to broadcast throughout the investigation. "That's what we're called to do, and as long as we have breath and the ability, we'll continue," he said.
As of January 2015, Revelation TV released an update on what was happening with regard to the Charity Commission investigation. Revelation TV's Gordon Pettie wrote on their website the following:
"It is now four months since the Charity Commission began their investigation of the Revelation Foundation and I write to give you an update of how it is progressing. Sadly there is a lack of information to give to you! After the initial flurry of activity, the Charity Commission have in the last four months only met for one to one ‘two hour’ meetings with four of the trustees of the Foundation. The next meetings are planned with Lorna and myself on the 27th January in Surbiton. They describe these meetings as fact finding and from our point of view, they resolve nothing."
He continued, "We want to clarify that they have not examined the charity’s books and records. The only thing they did before the investigation began was look at the public audited accounts of the Revelation Foundation, which are filed with the Charity Commission and Companies House every year. They have now written to say that they would like to examine the Revelation Foundation’s books, bank statements, invoices etc, at our accountant’s offices in February. We are disappointed that it has taken five months to do what one would assume should have been the first action that they took!".
On Tuesday 16 June 2015, Revelation TV released a statement regarding the Charity Commission's findings. It read "After a thorough investigation of Revelation Foundation over nine months the Charity Commission has identified no loss or misappropriation of charitable funds by the trustees. The day to day operations of Revelation Foundation have continued throughout, without interference from the Charity Commission and no criticism has been made of programme content or production. The Charity Commission has noted the legal and accounting complexities of Revelation Foundation’s activities in the UK and Spain and has appointed an accountant to act as an interim manager to work with the trustees to resolve issues relating to the legal and accounting procedures of Revelation Foundation and its associated Spanish companies. The trustees have nothing to hide and welcome this appointment and will draw upon the expertise of the accountant and his team to ensure the public have full assurance as to the work of the trust."
On 1 December 2011 evangelist and preacher Jacob Prasch announced on his website that he had left Revelation TV after the channel began broadcasting a weekly Jesse Duplantis show. Duplantis is a well-known Word of Faith preacher. In light of Prasch leaving the station another presenter Bob Mitchell also left, and Prophetic Witness Movement International also pulled out of the station.
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- Stephens, Neville (2011-12-15). "The Blog Of The Newport Branch Of Prophetic Witness Movement (Pwmi) In Wales' Third Largest City. : Dr Paul Wilkinson Of The Pwmi Pulls Out Of Revelation Tv As Well!". Propheticwitnessnewportbranch.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-01-08.
Quote Jesus is a project launched by Howard Conder, the founder of Revelation TV, who was inspired to share the words of Jesus across the world. Howard’s belief is “that the Bible has a lot say about ‘hope’ and our strategy is simply to present the words of the Bible, leaving people free to respond as they choose”. Starting out in London, the bus campaign is slowly spreading across the UK.
- Pranks on the channels Repmykipz' YouTube Channel
- "Joker Tricks TV Host" Mashable.com blog on Prank Controversy
- "Fresh Prince Prank is a Hit" The Sun Website
- Article on Original Fresh Prince Prank The Huffington Post
- Article on Second Fresh Prince Prank The Huffington Post
- Article on Angry Response to Rickroll Prank The Huffington Post
- "Christian TV Show Punked by Joke Emails" The Baltimore Sun
- Article on Pranks Philadelphia City Paper
- 'Fresh Prince' Prankster Calls Christian TV Article Urlesque.com
- "LMAO Christian TV Show Gets Fresh Prince'd Pranked" Globalgrind.com
- "Jokey Joke: Christian TV Gets Pranked" Eurthisnthat.com
- Another Article on Pranks Asylum.co.uk
- Valley Mag Coverage of Prank Controversy
- "The Lord will provide... we hope", The Telegraph Newspaper
- "Fresh Prince pranks Christian TV" Lemondrop UK
- "Star Wars and Will Smith in Religious Channel" estadao.com.br Brazilian blog GoogleTranslated into English
- "Pastor caught in Fresh Prince TV prank" Hoaxblog.nl Dutch Article GoogleTranslated into English
- "Christian TV Host Round-Wise on the Fly" VG.no Norwegian article on Fresh Prince Prank GoogleTranslated into English
- "The show is like a coffee morning in slow motion" Guardian Newspaper [accessed 8 May 2009]
- "2006 Oasis Pre-Awards Celebrates Gospel Music in UK" Christianity Today [accessed 8 May 2009]
- "Mission to London Lights Fire Again for Thousands" Christianity Today [accessed 8 May 2009]