The World Tomorrow (radio and television)
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|The World Tomorrow|
The World Tomorrow title card
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Original release||1934 –|
The World Tomorrow is a radio and television half-hour program which had been sponsored by the Radio Church of God (later renamed the Worldwide Church of God (WCG), under the direction of Herbert W. Armstrong). It originally ran from 1934 to 1994. A 15-minute version of the radio program (under varied translations of The World Tomorrow) was broadcast in the French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish languages. In 2004 a new version of The World Tomorrow television program began production.
Herbert W. Armstrong secured a temporary 15-minute slot on KORE, Eugene, Oregon, on October 9, 1933. This became a permanent half-hour slot on January 7, 1934. Armstrong founded the Radio Church of God with the first broadcast in 1934, to serve as the home church for his pioneering broadcast-based ministry. Armstrong's radio program "eventually reached millions with its message of the imminent end of the world to be followed by the second coming of Christ."
Following the 1939 World's Fair in New York City, the broadcast was renamed The World Tomorrow, inspired by the theme of the fair, "the World of Tomorrow". In 1968 the Radio Church of God changed its name to the Worldwide Church of God.
There are three eras of The World Tomorrow on television.
The first era featured Herbert W. Armstrong speaking from a Hollywood sound stage in the 1950s before the advent of videotape when all syndicated programs had to be recorded on film. The original series was shown on a portion of the ABC Television Network for half an hour, once a week, in black and white.
1967 to 1994
The second era began in 1967 beginning with black-and-white television broadcasts before changing to color in 1968. These continued well into the 1980s. The presenter was originally Garner Ted Armstrong and then following his ouster from his father's church in mid-1978 and subsequent founding of his own church, the Church of God International, Herbert W. Armstrong resumed the presentation. The thrust of the broadcasts was largely to present how current events in the world tied into the church's views of Biblical prophecies. Both the radio and television broadcasts of The World Tomorrow invariably informed their audience how to receive the church's magazine, The Plain Truth, the content of which was largely similar to that of the broadcasts.
Following Herbert Armstrong's death in 1986, the television program was presented by David Hulme, David Albert, Richard Ames, and Ronald Kelley on a rotating basis until 1994, when doctrinal shifts in the Worldwide Church of God and declining revenues led to the program's cancellation.
The third era began in 2004 with the acquisition of The World Tomorrow trademark by The World Tomorrow Evangelistic Association. Episodes of this run of The World Tomorrow television program have been presented by Leon Daniels, Bruce Horne, and other hosts. In the spring of 2014, broadcasts hosted by Herbert W. Armstrong (copied from the U.S. Library of Congress national archives) began to air once again.
The programs originated daily in a half-hour format, primarily from a studio located on the campus of Ambassador College in Pasadena, California, which was owned and operated by the church as a then-unaccredited liberal arts institution. Other studios were located at Ambassador College, Bricket Wood, Herts, England, and Ambassador College (later accredited as Ambassador University) at Big Sandy, Texas, USA.
In 1958, Garner Ted Armstrong, youngest son of Herbert Armstrong and his wife Loma Armstrong, took over the narration of the half-hour all-talk presentation.
The program was introduced and concluded by the voice of Hollywood radio and television announcer Art Gilmore. The World Tomorrow concluded with an early Hollywood-produced music jingle over which Art Gilmore gave the program address which varied according to the country that it was being aired in, or where its broadcast was intended to be received.
A 15-minute and usually once-a-week version of the same program (but under varied translations of The World Tomorrow name but which are also now-defunct), was broadcast by various speakers in the French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish languages.
- French: The French language edition was primarily aired in parts of Canada and Haiti over several local stations and in Europe over the super-power station Europe 1. The presenter was Dibar Apartian who recorded the programs in the same studio used by Herbert W. and later Garner Ted Armstrong on the Pasadena, California campus of Ambassador College. The program was also supported by a French-language edition of The Plain Truth magazine.
- German: The German language edition was primarily aired in Europe over Europe 1. The presenter was a graduate of Ambassador College in Pasadena where the program was recorded. The program was supported by a German language edition of The Plain Truth magazine.
- Italian: The Italian language edition was primarily aired in Montreal, Quebec and Toronto, Ontario in Canada over two local stations. The presenter was also a graduate of Ambassador College in Pasadena where the program was also recorded.
- Russian: The Russian language edition was primarily aired for a short period of time in the 1950s-1960s over the super-power station Radio Monte Carlo, which was beamed towards the USSR. The presenter was a Russian-language Hollywood presenter who translated the English scripts and then recorded the programs.
- Spanish: The Spanish language edition was primarily aired in parts of South America, although it was also aired from Porto, Portugal. The original presenter was Dr. Benjamin Rea who was Vice-Chancellor of Ambassador College at Bricket Wood in Hertfordshire, England which is where he recorded the programs in the radio studio located on the campus. The program was also supported by a Spanish language edition of The Plain Truth magazine.
Copies of The World Tomorrow broadcast episodes from 1978 to 1983 are held in the Television Religion Collection of the United States Library of Congress. The copies were placed into the Library of Congress archival holdings at the request of United States Senator Bob Dole.
Rights to use title
A new trademark for the television program name The World Tomorrow was registered in 2004 by Earl and Shirley Timmons. The Timmons, members of the WCG, and Garner Ted Armstrong's Church of God International and Intercontinental Church of God, split from the Armstrong organization after the death of Garner Ted Armstrong and formed a breakaway independent group named Church of God, Worldwide Ministries with its headquarters in Sevierville, Tennessee.
- Carlson, Warren. "No More World Tomorrow". Ambassador Report. The Painful Truth. Retrieved 5 May 2012.
- "Herbert Armstrong, 93, Dies; Evangelist and a Broadcaster". New York Times. 17 January 1986. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
- Martin, Douglas (17 September 2003). "Garner Ted Armstrong, Evangelist, 73, Dies". New York Times. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
- Wright, Jeff (18 September 2003). "Controversial televangelist had roots in Eugene". The Register-Guard. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
- "No More World Tomorrow", Ambassador Report, Issue 55, May, 1994
- Hoban, Paulette. "Ambassador University". ambassador.edu. Grace Communion International. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- McLellan, Dennis. "Art Gilmore dies at 98; announcer was a familiar voice on radio, TV, movie trailers". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- Eric Gilder, Mervyn Hagger and (2007). Prophecies of Dystopic "Old World, New World" Transitions Told: The World Tomorrow radio broadcasts to the United Kingdom 1965–1967. Bucharest: Univers Enciclopedic. pp. 205–222. ISBN 978973637159-2.
- HWA library article written after Dr. Rea's sudden death
- "Library of Congress Motion Picture and Television Reading Room: Religion Collections in Libraries and Archives".
- "U.S. Congress Preserving Herbert W. Armstrong Video Archive". The Trumpet. Aug 23, 2012.
- Timmons, Early. "A brief history of the Church of God Worldwide Ministries". Church of God Worldwide Ministries. Church of God Worldwide Ministries. Archived from the original on 7 January 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2012.