Fifty years ago, one could have reasonably suggested that was stretching his imagination when he named his broadcasting organization — located in a defunct Not only was the first Christian in, it was also the first in the nation. Almost 5 years later, no one can dispute that is one of the largest television ministries in the world. Moreover, with its many subsidiary and affiliate organizations, goes beyond the bounds of in its mission to reach the world with a message of hope from the Bible.

The story of’s birth and early years is documented in, Shout It from the Housetops. First went on the air on barely enough power to reach across the city limits. With a modest income from a few local supporters, began broadcasting live half-hour programs from night. Gradually, the broadcast day was expanded to 5. Because refused to accept commercial, paying for was out of the question. A few free travelogue films were used to fill in the blank spots.

In the fall of 1963, conducted its first telethon to raise the month needed for the following year’s budget. Robertson told viewers that a “club” of contributors, each giving would enable to meet its expenses. As guests to sing and share their religious experiences, invited the audience to pray for the supporters who would help keep  going.