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5/30/97 FamilyNet/ACTS Easter service yields decisions for Christ

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–At least seven people are known to have made a profession of faith during the FamilyNet and ACTS broadcast of this year’s annual Easter sunrise service from Sea World in Orlando, Fla.
FamilyNet is the broadcast television service of the Southern Baptist Radio and Television Commission and ACTS is the agency’s cable television service carried by the Odyssey channel.
“Amazing” was the way Jerry Johns described response to the service. Johns, production manager for FamilyNet affiliate WTGL (Channel 52) in Orlando, which fed the program to FamilyNet and ACTS, said 67 calls to an 800 number on five telephone lines were handled by counselors providing spiritual help during and after the broadcast.
“Telephone company records show that 219 people tried to call,” he said. “The program lasted only an hour, but we received calls for two hours. What’s amazing is that we received calls from all over the country. And this was a 6 a.m. service in Orlando, which means it was 3 a.m. on the West Coast.”
Johns said this was the first year the station has used an 800 number. WTGL, named Station of the Year in 1996 by National Religious Broadcasters, sent follow-up packets to the callers.
More than 5,000 people attended the service at Bay Watch Stadium, which featured music and the testimony of Don Beebe, a wide receiver for the National Football League World Champion Green Bay Packers.
“We reach thousands of people who never call,” said Jack Johnson, president of the RTVC. “Having people respond to the gospel is what we’re all about. Technology simply adds another dimension to the Great Commission.”

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  • C.C. Risenhoover