Grand Old Gospel Fellowship Celebrates 25 Years of Leadership

NRB | November 2, 2023 | Member News

Grand Old Gospel Fellowship (GOGF) is on mission to plant churches globally, prepare leaders spiritually and theologically, and proclaim the Gospel “’til The Whole World Hears.”

The Pennsylvania-based ministry recently celebrated 25 years of Dr. Tony Hart’s visionary leadership. Hart has served as GOGF’s president since 1998.

Dr. Tony Hart, image courtesy of GOGF

Hart, born to missionary parents, Dr. B. Sam Hart and Joyce Hart, inherited a rich legacy of faith and service. Raised in an environment steeped in missionary work and ministry, Hart’s life has been a tapestry of Christian service. Hart earned his undergraduate degree from Philadelphia Biblical University (Cairn University). He has completed a Master of Divinity and a Doctorate of Ministry from Biblical Theological Seminary (now Missio Seminary). Over a period spanning more than 25 years, he served as a youth pastor, associate pastor, and senior pastor, with roles in radio station management, program production, and syndication. Hart is a contributor to numerous publications and the author of two books, “Winning is Everything” and “2 Tablets for Your Marriage.” Since 1992, Hart has faithfully served as the pastor of the Montco Bible Fellowship in Lansdale, Penn., and has preached in area-wide crusades.

Dr. B. Sam and Joyce Hart, image courtesy of GOGF

The roots of GOGF can be traced back to Hart’s father, Dr. B. Sam Hart. Dr. Sam Hart’s journey began in 1953 while he was a junior at Gordon College in Boston, Mass. He identified a pressing need for Bible-believing churches, especially ministering to Black communities. In response, Dr. Sam Hart began hosting a simple home Bible study, which evolved into Roxbury Gospel Chapel by 1955, a thriving church that continues to meet today.

Dr. Sam Hart launched the Grand Old Gospel Hour radio program in the late 1950s. In 1960, Dr. Sam Hart and his wife, Joyce, responded to an urgent invitation, relocating from Boston to Philadelphia. The spiritual needs in Philadelphia seemed more profound, prompting them to establish The Grand Old Gospel Fellowship formally, with official incorporation in 1961. Dr. B. Sam Hart’s enduring commitment to church planting and ministry laid the foundation for the impactful work of GOGF Ministries.

“My father’s vision was deeply rooted in missionary work, and he began by planting churches, starting with one in Boston,” said Hart.

The ministry expanded to Philadelphia and New Jersey over the following years, and GOGF’s church planting efforts continue to this day, with a total of twelve churches established across the United States.

Today, the Grand Old Gospel Hour radio program airs on more than 200 radio stations in the United States and abroad.

In addition to church planting and radio broadcasting, “Equipping leaders is at the heart of our mission,” said Hart.

“The Lord has blessed us here in America and given us an opportunity to be a blessing to our brothers and sisters in places around the world that don’t have the same opportunities,” said Hart. “That realization really laid a burden on my heart to go and begin these mission trips to just train and equip these pastors. They love the Lord, but they have no resources.”

Hart asked, “Can you imagine pastoring a church with just maybe one torn up Bible, nothing to work with?”

Hart and the GOGF team minister on the ground multiple times each year, training church leaders and pastors to effectively teach and preach the Gospel in unreached areas around the world.

“We’ve seen the fruits of our labor, with churches and ministries thriving in India, Africa, and the Caribbean,” he said.

Reflecting on his 25 years at the helm of GOGF, Hart offered valuable lessons learned.

“Persistence, unwavering faith, and the recognition that impact isn’t always immediate have been crucial,” said Hart. He also emphasized the importance of diligence and preparation in effective Christian communication. “Hard work and preparation are key,” Hart stated, drawing inspiration from fellow NRB members such as Dr. Tony Evans.

In response to the evolving media landscape, GOGF has adapted its communication strategies while remaining steadfast in its faith-based message. Looking ahead, Hart envisions an expanded presence on various media platforms and continued growth in church planting, leadership formation, and evangelism.

“Our core mission remains unchanged, but we’re excited about new opportunities to reach believers and unbelievers,” Hart explained. “Getting the Gospel out and increasing the planting of churches is our focus.”

Hart expressed his deep gratitude for NRB, noting the association’s significant impact on GOGF. “NRB has been a valuable partner, facilitating connections and opportunities for our ministry’s growth,” he remarked.

Grand Old Gospel Fellowship has been an NRB member since 1967. GOGF has received the 1976 Award of Merit and the 2022 Milestone Award. Dr. Sam B. Hart was inducted into the NRB Hall of Fame in 2007—NRB’s most prestigious award, presented to an individual NRB member for invaluable contribution to the field of Christian communications, exhibition of the highest standards and evidence of faithfulness in Christ. Dr. Tony Hart currently serves on the NRB’s Executive Committee as its First Vice Chairman and on the NRB Board of Directors. To learn more about the ministry, please visit www.gogfministries.org.

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