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1947 - 1975

Our Origins:  Gospel Light Hour

In 1947, a small group of Bible College students dreamt of using radio to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with their English-speaking Winnipeg neighbours. The program, called Gospel Light Hour, aired on February 23, 1947 on CKRC in Winnipeg, Manitoba. This began a movement based on prayer, vision, volunteerism and sacrificial giving. ​

 

Three years later in 1950, Gospel Light Hour became an agency and the vision quickly expanded to include radio broadcasts in several languages. The young ministry experienced early and overwhelming support from the community, evidenced by a loyal support base of partners that included a team of 150 volunteers.

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MUSIC OF THE
GOSPEL LIGHT HOUR ERA

Music was an important component of the radio broadcasts during the Gospel Light era and GLH became known for the high quality of its many soloists, small ensembles and choirs.

The King’s Four male quartet was a regular part of The Hour for many years. A 1961 report says, “This quartet had presence. Whenever they sang, a hush would fall over the assembly as the strains of ‘Tis a Glad and Glorious Gospel’ would segue to the listener.”

In 1947, Rose Dyck and Helen Peters (left to right) were students at MBBC in Winnipeg, and Evelyn Enns was married to a student. Along with pianist Margaret Schultz, they formed the Gospel Light Trio. Helen, now 94, says, “I did it because I loved singing, and I especially loved singing the Gospel to people. Of course, there wasn’t much TV back then so radio was a big deal.” Helen remembers travelling to churches to share about the new ministry. “The people in the churches were so kind. And the food! After eating dorm food for so long, the home-cooked meals at the churches were such a treat.”

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STUDIO TECHNICIANS
NEIL KLASSEN

Neil Klassen was 15 years old when he began volunteering as a sound technician at Gospel Light Hour. More than 10 years later, in 1965, he was hired as the first paid studio technician. Neil remembers how, in 1954, John Pauls (the first volunteer technician) and John Schmidt ended the years of recording live in a crowded studio by acquiring a “new-fangled machine that could tape programs ahead of time.” Neil was the Executive Director in the early ’ 70s, and then again from 1978 to 1986 when the ministry outgrew its former home and built the current studios at 225 Riverton Avenue.

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1975 - 2000

New Horizons: Mennonite Brethren Communications

In 1947, a small group of Bible College students dreamt of using radio to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with their English-speaking Winnipeg neighbours. The program, called Gospel Light Hour, aired on February 23, 1947 on CKRC in Winnipeg, Manitoba. This began a movement based on prayer, vision, volunteerism and sacrificial giving. ​

 

Three years later in 1950, Gospel Light Hour became an agency and the vision quickly expanded to include radio broadcasts in several languages. The young ministry experienced early and overwhelming support from the community, evidenced by a loyal support base of partners that included a team of 150 volunteers.

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CARTOONISTS IN THE MINISTRY
LORLIE BARKMAN
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Lorlie Barkman joined Gospel Light Hour in 1975. He brought his experience as a pastor and cartoonist to The Third Story, one of the first TV shows produced here. Lorlie loves the way broadcasting Christian programming on television reaches a broader audience than only those who come to church on Sunday. His guiding principle in producing Christian media has always been, “God’s truth applied to ordinary people.” Lorlie became well known for his illustrations and animation, but TV viewers never saw more of him on the screen than his hand drawing.

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CARTOONISTS IN THE MINISTRY
GIRISH MANUEL

Neil Klassen was 15 years old when he began volunteering as a sound technician at Gospel Light Hour. More than 10 years later, in 1965, he was hired as the first paid studio technician. Neil remembers how, in 1954, John Pauls (the first volunteer technician) and John Schmidt ended the years of recording live in a crowded studio by acquiring a “new-fangled machine that could tape programs ahead of time.” Neil was the Executive Director in the early ’ 70s, and then again from 1978 to 1986 when the ministry outgrew its former home and built the current studios at 225 Riverton Avenue. outgrew its former home and built the current studios at 225 Riverton Avenue.

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GOD TALK

Neil Klassen was 15 years old when he began volunteering as a sound technician at Gospel Light Hour. More than 10 years later, in 1965, he was hired as the first paid studio technician. Neil remembers how, in 1954, John Pauls (the first volunteer technician) and John Schmidt ended the years of recording live in a crowded studio by acquiring a “new-fangled machine that could tape programs ahead of time.” Neil was the Executive Director ’ 70s, and then again from 1978 to 1986 when the ministry outgrew its former home and built the current studios at 225 Riverton Avenue.

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Flash Back

ARABIC MEDIA

Following on from Samir Youssef in 1998, Square One partnered with Monika Soliman in 2016 to produce The New Eve - a TV talk show designed especially for Arabic-speaking women who live in areas of unrest or have been forced to relocate.