THE Central Assembly of God of Church God, last Sunday held a spirited `Celebration and Thanksgiving Service to God’, in recognition of the 56th Anniversary of its “Christ is the Answer” Broadcast brought to the nation and farther afield on a daily basis.
A constant reminder that “Christ is indeed the Answer,” such broadcasts, according to Special Guest Preacher, Pastor John Cummings, bring a message of Hope to remind persons that Jesus is alive; that he’s a miracle working God, and can allow the broadcast to continue to be aired until he comes back.
Emphasising that there’s hope in Jesus Christ, Pastor Cummings who has been preaching the gospel for the last 46 years, assured the congregation that, in the midst of hopelessness, doom and gloom, there’s hope in Jesus Christ.
“He will bring us peace that passeth all human understanding,”Pastor Cummings declared, as he admonished the enthusiastic congregation to be always steadfast and abundant in the work of the Lord.
Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson, congratulated the Central Assembly of God on this remarkable achievement of bringing the Word of God to souls on a daily basis for 56 years non-stop. The minister acknowledged, not only being a regular listener to the “Christ is the Answer” broadcast, but an avid listener to the children’s broadcast on Saturdays as well.
“And I know that many hearts would have been touched by the broadcast,” said the minister who is a member of the sister church `First Assembly of God’.
Meanwhile, reacting to the disclosure by NCN’s Marcia Parker, in a tribute, that more radio stations are soon to be opened up in the hinterland of Guyana, Minister Ferguson was heartened that now that radio is going to be in these regions, more residents can benefit from the broadcasts.
And reports received by Rev. John Smith state, that the broadcast reaches as far as French Guiana, according to seamen working in the vicinity.
THE GENESIS OF THE ‘CITA’ BROADCAST
The “Christ is the Answer” broadcast was birthed in August 1961, during the visit to the then British Guiana, by Dr. Morris Curello, President of the Morris Cerullo World Evangelism, to conduct a citywide salvation, healing, and deliverance crusade here. The venue was the G.B.C.C (British Guiana Cricket Club) ground, adjacent to the Queen’s College ground.
But coincidentally, the one now at the helm, and who continues to carry the broadcast in a very impacting way down through the years – Rev. John Smith was not at that crusade. On his return he only heard accounts of people getting saved, healed and other miracles.
Explaining his absence, Rev. Smith recalls: At that time I was not saved. I was a member of the St. Stanislaus Cadet Corps at Queen’s College, and at that particular time, I was on my way to the Tacama Battle School with people like David Granger, Sam Hinds, Carl Morgan and others. So I was away from the scene of the crusade.”
The crusade was a double-header – conducted in conjunction with the “Christ is the Answer”. And as Rev. Dr. John Smith now recalls, it lasted for about one week, but the end of it was by no means the end of the broadcast.
With the main radio station being Radio Demerara, the company was seeking to increase its coverage and radio audience for the Guyana Broadcasting Service (GBS) which in time, became the Guyana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) and eventually NCN.
AN OUTREACH ARM TO CENTRAL ASSEMBLY
The original role of the broadcast was to continue as a ministry of the Assemblies of God, but the programme became the outreach arm of Central Assembly, with each successive senior pastor being the radio speaker.
Initially, the Broadcast had four speakers: The late Rev. Paul Harvey Palser (1961-1965): Reverend David Noel Guenther (1965 – 1969) both missionaries, followed by Rev. Errol Beresford Bhola, the first national voice, followed by the current speaker – Rev. Dr. Oswald Smith.
And as though by divine intervention, Frederick Roy Benjamin, one of the leaders of the Church at Central, was the chief operator at Radio Demerara, so he became the announcer of the broadcast. And of interest, of all other programmes aired, every Old Year’s Night, the final broadcast is always “Christ is the Answer.”
Providentially, under Pastor Paul Palser another feature was added. The broadcast had two special services on Sundays at 14:00hrs- first at the Astor Cinema and then at the Plaza Cinema. The services attracted a wide cross-section of listeners because among other things, it was a ‘neutral service’. These services ended when the Central Auditorium was built at Church and East Streets. However, the Deliverance Ministry or ‘Christ is the Answer’ Miracle Service continues each Friday at 10:00 hrs.
A BEACON OF INSPIRATION
The Christ is the Answer Radio Broadcast has evolved over the years as a ‘beacon of inspiration” and has impacted the lives of all classes of people in the nation. The theme could be heard in vehicles, offices and homes. Testimonies continue to flow, of the effect of this radio programme which is heard all over Guyana and even in neighbouring territories.
Rev. Dr. John Smith, on behalf of the Church, is thanking all those faithful persons who supported and continue to support the programme financially. “The aim is to get 365 persons, to each pay for one programme ($11,000) so as to cover our airtime each year,” he said.
The Christ is the Answer broadcast is now a 30 minute programme and is broadcast each day from 9:00 to 9:30 hrs and on Sundays from 08:15 to 8:30 hrs.