This past Sunday marked the 46th Anniversary of the first live weekly broadcast of the FUMCFW worship service.
From 11:00:05 to 11:59:30 am on Sunday, March 2, 1975, a group of dedicated volunteers sent our first live signal to Channel 11, KTVT-TV, who broadcast our Sanctuary worship to the entire local Metroplex area.
At the time, KTVT was an independent station affiliated with Community Antenna Systems (CATV), allowing FUMCFW worship to go live via cable TV to 139 remote towns with poor reception in West Texas, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. The potential audience increasd dramatically when KTVT became a Super Station “on the satellite.” FUMCFW worship services could be picked up live throughout the continental United States, in addition to the local broadcast.
The television broadcast evolved over the years. After 23 ½ years on KTVT, in 1998, the telecast moved to Channel 39, KPXD, on the PAX Christian network. The last live broadcast was on January 26, 2003. After 1,452 broadcast worship services, the Television Ministry transitioned to the Internet, local cable TV, and a videotape ministry.
And then, on September 4, 2005, the Livestreaming of Sanctuary worship services began, and it has been expanding ever since. The eleven:eleven service began Livestreaming in 2009, and since then, The Gathering has joined the Livestream on Sundays, as well.
The world changed in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic. When the church campus closed to in-person worship on March 15, 2020, FUMCFW was well-positioned to continue ministry to the congregation with Livestreaming and pre-recording of worship services.
Suddenly, the media ministry was at the forefront of everything the church did. The Board of Trustees funded new HD (High Definition) cameras and studio equipment. This equipment upgrade has included transitioning to six PTZ (Pan-Tilt-Zoom) remote control cameras and only one operated camera in the sanctuary.
The expanded church media and communications staff led the way with untold hours of videography, editing, and promotion to reach those who wanted to stay connected with our church and its ministries, those who did not have a church and were in need of this support during trying times, and those whose churches weren’t as well equipped as ours for delivering all digital content.
The media volunteers have continued their decades-long tradition of service and dedication, stepping up to new challenges of equipment and technology on the fly, bringing our live stream worship services to more than 58,795 people since April 2020, helping to bring to our church 110 new members, 1,121 first-time visitors, and 39 baptisms during the challenges of pandemic.
Thank you to everyone who has volunteered over the last 46 years for your commitment and efforts to share the message of Jesus Christ and share it beyond the walls of our church!
Special thanks, too, to Bobbye Jo and Barry Hudson for providing this wonderful historic recap and all they — and the rest of our top-notch Media Ministries team — provide week after week to support this amazing ministry of our church!