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

NRBMLC Files Comments to DOJ on ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees

The NRB Music License Committee (NRBMLC) filed comments with the U.S. Department of Justice last week in response to its plans to review the “consent decrees” that govern how the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) license songs for public performance in the United States.

National Radio Day: A Look Back at the Early Days of Christian Broadcasting

When radio emerged as a public medium in the early 1920s, preachers were fascinated but cautious.

Christian Advocacy Group Protests Offensive Cartoon Network Program

The Christian Film & Television Commission® (CFTVC), an advocacy group promoting quality Christian entertainment, is organizing a protest against Black Jesus, the Cartoon Network’s new controversial program.

CBN’s Superbook Partners with Newton Media

Newton Media has been selected to partner with CBN’s Superbook to brand market their award-winning animated Bible series and build their continuity program via DRTV, barter syndication, and digital platforms.

4 FEBC Volunteers Martyred in Ukraine

Four young FEBC volunteers who were recently captured by pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine were brutally beaten to death simply for being Christians, according to a report from the organization last week.

Answers in Genesis: Ark Encounter Will Not Be Built with State Funds

Answers in Genesis, the apologetics ministry of Ken Ham, is working to make it clear that the full-scale Noah’s Ark that it plans to build in Williamstown, KY, will not be constructed with state funds.

Galcom International to Celebrate 25 Years of Dynamic Outreach

While attending a Christian conference in 1988, Harold Kent, a businessman in Tampa, FL, heard that the major international radio ministries (TWR, HCJB, FEBC, ELWA, etc.) were cooperating in order to cover the world with short-wave radio in 140 languages.

Five Q Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Five Q, a full-service web development and interactive marketing agency that serves ministries and non-profits, marked its 10-year anniversary on Sunday.

Save the Date: Defending Truth Apologetics Conference on November 1 in Nashville

This November, the NRB Network and TodaysChristianMusic.com will present the 2nd Annual “Defending Truth in a Culture of Deception” Apologetics Conference in Nashville, TN.

Theme Picked for 23rd Annual Faith and Family Friendly Awards Gala

“Faith & Values Are for Reel” has been announced as the theme for next year’s 23rd Annual Faith & Values Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry.

More News