HOME > NEWSROOM > ARTICLES > Compassion Radio Celebrates 70th Anniversary

Compassion Radio Celebrates 70th Anniversary

Compassion Radio 70th yearCompassion Radio is celebrating 70 years of continuous broadcasting.

Compassion Radio began as the Morning Chapel Hour, led by Wilbur Nelson, who sang and preached; his wife, Ethyl, who played the piano and organ; and their five-year-old son, Norm, who gave the mailing address and told a Bible story.

From that humble beginning on one station in Los Angeles, the family ministry has grown to more than 1,000 outlets across the nation, and also streams today on the Internet and through podcasts.

Even through college, post-grad work, seminary, college chaplainship, and pastoral appointments in the east, Norm Nelson kept his association with the ministry by writing copy for his father, searching out anecdotes, recording duets with his father, and singing in the Chapel Singers.

He returned in the 1970s to be a part of the ministry’s television outreach, Faith That Sings, and stayed on as the new President of the radio ministry.

In the 1980s, after a life-changing trip to China, Nelson became convinced of the Lord’s call to change the focus of the largely devotional broadcast to be a sign-post pointing to the amazing things that God is doing around the world unknown by the Western Church. He has devoted himself to learning all he can about the persecuted – but triumphant – parts of the Body of Christ around the world, and to raising up an army of listeners eager to “do the Word” wherever it is needed.

The name change to Compassion Radio was an outgrowth of one of Nelson’s reconnaissance and relief trips, during which he tried to explain to those receiving aid why a radio program would care about them. They responded, “Oh, you are compassion radio!”

As the change in format and focus was made, the ministry lost half of its 300 radio stations. Still, Nelson moved ahead on the strength of his call from God, knowing this was what he had to do, and if he could not do it by means of radio, he would find another way.

In time, the reach of the message expanded to more than 1,000 outlets.

Nelson is also involved in Reconciliation Initiatives around the world, seeking to establish peace among peoples so that Christ can be lifted up and draw all men to Him.

Published: March 6, 2014

Latest News

Senate Democrats Try to Torpedo Hobby Lobby Ruling

Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB, had some choice words for Planned Parenthood and others working to radically undermine religious liberty in the Senate this week.

Congressman Calls Out FCC on Broadcast Indecency Enforcement

Congressman James Lankford (R-OK) put the FCC on notice that he was displeased with the Commission’s enforcement against indecency on the broadcast airwaves.

House Committee Leaders Criticize FCC Chairman’s Process

Top leaders on the House panel with oversight of the FCC issued a sharp rebuke of the FCC Chairman’s leadership. House Communications and Technology Subcommittee...

International Religious Freedom Bill Clears Senate

A bill NRB has supported for several years has been approved unanimously by the U.S. Senate. The Near East and South Central Asia Religious Freedom Act (S.653), introduced by Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Carl Levin (D-MI),

iNRB Student Members Study Abroad in Oxford, England

A select group of iNRB student members recently concluded a two-week study abroad trip to Oxford, England, where they engaged in “one on one” tutorials with a distinguished scholar at Jesus College in the heart of Oxford University.

NRB Members Invited to Join the NRB President’s Council

From among its membership, NRB is building up a select group of strategic partners who wish to bolster the work of the association through additional commitments of time, support, and financial resources.

Job Opening: Social Media Coordinator (Part-Time)

The National Religious Broadcasters, the world’s preeminent association of Christian communicators, is looking for an individual to assist the Director of Communications in implementing NRB’s social media strategy and in communicating NRB’s work to the association’s constituents and to the public.

Radio Stations Invited to ‘Reach Beyond’ with Help from Grants

Reach Beyond (formerly HCJB Global) is distributing grants to help fund the local and/or global “reach beyond” initiatives of several radio stations throughout the U.S.

Time to Submit Nominations for the 2015 NRB Media Awards!

NRB is currently accepting nominations for the 2015 Annual Media Awards and will be doing so until August 4, 2014. A long-standing hallmark of NRB, the awards program remains one of our most valued traditions.

NRB Lauds SCOTUS Ruling on Religious Freedom Cases of Hobby Lobby, Conestoga

NRB and many of its members were among those who lauded the United States Supreme Court’s ruling last week that upheld religious freedom for Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties in their “David-and-Goliath” struggle for freedom against the Executive Branch.

More News