Celebrating A Legendary Life

Paul FinkenbinderIn 1993, NRB awarded Hermano Pablo the Milestone Award for 50 years of service in religious broadcasting. In 2003, he received the prestigious NRB Chairman’s Award. Last Wednesday he and his wife celebrated 70 years of marriage, and just two days later, he celebrated a very different milestone. On Friday, January 27, 2012, the beloved ninety-year-old passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family and friends.

Named by some as “Latin America’s most beloved Christian broadcaster,” Hermano Pablo (née Paul Edwin Finkenbinder) preached Christ throughout Latin America for 70 years. He and his wife, Linda, began as missionaries to El Salvador in 1942, and in 1955 he began his first radio program. By 1960, Pablo was producing television Bible dramas.

Despite his prime-time television programming, everything changed in 1964 when Pablo began a new type of radio and television program: A Message to the Conscience. A friend and colleague suggested the unique format of using a very brief story, followed by a moral or spiritual application. Pablo was unconvinced that significant content could be relayed in only three or four minutes, but he tried it, and the program – which still bears the same title – is now broadcast 6,400 times each day in more than 33 countries. Today, almost 50 years after Hermano Pablo’s Message to the Conscience hit the airwaves, it’s a programming formula that still works.

A memorial service to celebrate the life of Hermano Pablo is scheduled for Saturday, February 4, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. at the Templo Calvario Church in Santa Ana, CA. For more information about this memorial service or the live webstreaming of the ceremony, click here. For more information about the man, his mission, and the fascinating story behind Pablo’s program, A Message to the Conscience, click here.

Special thanks to Dan Wooding, “Hermano Pablo passes away,” Continental News, January 27, 2012.