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Guest Interviews

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John Townend

2206 2020-05-13

John Townend (JT) is the director of the Hour of Power International Ministries. John has been with this ministry since 1975, which is when the Hour of Power went on television internationally. John lives in Australia with his wife, and they have two sons and one grandchild. Lawrence Wilkes (LW) interviews John.

LW: Today, I want to introduce you to John Townend. John is our director of the Hour of Power International Ministries. He lives in Australia with his wife, two children, one grandchild, and another one coming in less than two months. John has been our international director since 1975, and today, he's going to give us an update on the Hour of Power world-wide ministry.

JT: Thank you, Lawrence. You know my boys are hardly boys. In fact, they've been brought up on an appetite of Hour of Power ever since they were newborns. We started on air in Australia the year after my first son was born, and they've been positive thinkers ever since.

LW: Terrific! How did you get involved with the Hour of Power?

JT: Well I had returned to Australia after graduating from the London Film School, where I was working with the BBC. So after graduation, I went back to Australia to go back to work in television and I was given the privilege of working for the three commercial television stations in Sydney.

My job was to bring the work of the three Christian agencies in Sydney to television. We had the right to put on one percent of all the television shows in those days, so I worked for the Catholic Communication Center, the Anglican television society and the Christian Television Association, and they looked after the OPD's.

LW: The OPD's?

JT: Other Protestant Denominations. The Salvation Army, the Methodists, the Presbyterians, the Churches of Christ, the Reformed Church. So we worked with all of them and it was a wonderful experience.

LW:That's great.

JT:So I was sitting in my office one day, having thought we'd been making some very nice programs, and an Australian businessman came in and said, ‘I've been watching your programs but I've got a much better program than you can produce.' And I said oh really? And it was the Hour of Power.

That was in 1975, and by October 1976, the Hour of Power was on the air in Sydney, and then the following weeks we went to Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and finally to Perth about two years later. But this program immediately took off and I decided that I'd go with the winner, so I migrated across to the Hour of Power and have been privileged ever since to be a part of the program. It was the first time the Hour of Power had ever gone to air internationally on a commercial television station.

LW: Wow.

JT: So I think we began the international ministries.

LW: And how is the international ministry doing?

JT: It's doing fabulously, and the reason it's doing fabulously is because of this congregation. I thank you for all you've done. To allow the Hour of Power to happen here, and be able to be broadcast around the world is a fabulous gift to the world.

When you go over to the Family Life Center on this campus, on the third floor to the Donor Services Department and read the letters and hear what what's being said on the telephones about how the Hour of Power is changing lives, and saving lives, that also happens throughout Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. I mean it is extraordinary how many people this program has helped. It's a blessing to so many. Thank you.

LW: So the Hour of Power is impacting the world!

JT: Absolutely! I don't know what the ingredient is. I think it's God's positive message to the world. That's what we do. We bring hope and healing and while there's a hurting world, I believe we're always going to have a major place in extending God's kingdom.

And we see that the way the Hour of Power is able to come across this country, go across continents, cut through culture and bring that essential message. It's wonderful!

LW: Well John, is the Hour of Power, is the international ministry, all of this, is it relevant for today? Things have changed. Different worship styles and everything. Is it still relevant?

JT: Well as I said, I think while we can bring hope and healing, it will always be relevant. And I think one of the great things is that we have wonderful traditions here. This ministry has a great history.

You've just been speaking to Bobby Schuller. Now Bobby has worked with us internationally and he's made a great difference. People have really loved what he's said. Even the few messages he's preached here that we've telecast internationally, always we see a reaction. There was a reaction out of Germany the other day that when Bobby was on the program, there were four times more DVD's requested for that Hour of Power program than any other before.

LW: That's terrific!

JT: So here I think we really do have a link to a history and a sign post to our future. I think God has us in good hands.

LW: That's great. John, thank you so much for coming all the way from Australia.

JT: Lawrence, it's been a privilege.

LW: God bless you.

JT: Thank you.

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