Board of Directors
Dorothy Spaulding, President of WBPI TV/Watchmen Network
Tamara James, Vice President, WBPI TV, Augusta, GA.
Steve Luscombe, Secretary/Treasure from Ocala, FL
Pastor Bob Rodgers, Evangel Christian Center Channel 21, Louisville, KY
Jim Jones, Lowest Price Store, Aiken, SC
Brian Luscombe, Director, Ocala, FL
The TV-49 Story
God always answers prayers in His time. In 1985 when I gave my life back to Jesus, I had such a desire to bring Christian television to the world. One time I fasted and prayed for 30 days walking on a piece of property in Ocala, Florida. Daily I prayed and asked God to give me a Christian television station. I had two shows a week on ABC for 15 years (“Craft Carousel” and “Florida Mavericks” and I was weekly guest host on “New Day”). I know the power of Christian television. As it was Christian television that brought me back to Jesus. That was the turn around point in my life.
In 1994, Russell and I were asked to go to Augusta, Georgia to raise up TV-36 (now WBPI TV-49). At first we asked, “Where’s Augusta, Georgia?” The owner of the license for over one year continually asked us to go and raise up this station. We really weren’t really interested because God had told us to walk the cross around America and we loved that ministry.
During the prior eight years of walking a wooden cross around America, we met so many wonderful people and also were able to volunteer our time and help many Christian stations with fund raising, drawing and building sets for them, writing programming or in whatever help they needed. For eight years we didn’t have a salary and had to trust God for everything. It was a great life and we loved it. We also loved television. I had twenty-four years in television as a producer/host. Working with all those stations across America we learned all facets of television. Never did we realize that God was preparing us to have our own station.
In the spring of 1995, God began to tug at our hearts to go to Augusta. This was when our schedule for Crosswalk Ministry was at its busiest time. Russell said, “Let’s drive through Augusta on our to Greenville and see what God tells us. IT was late night as we drove into Augusta from Florida. Coming in on the south side of Augusta on Highway 25, we both felt God said, “This is where I want you,” so we stayed the night. The next day we called the owner of the television station license and told him we believed that God was leading us to help him build the station in Augusta. He was very happy. He told us where the tower was and now we had to find a building.
Driving around looking for a building near the tower we were coming up Knox Avenue when out of the corner of my eye I saw a large building. I felt like God said, “This is your building.” Russell quickly turned in and the building was empty, but there were no signs on the building so we went to Aiken County Courthouse to find out who owned the property.
The owner was surprised that we had gone to such lengths to locate him. He agreed to meet us at the building and give us a tour of the facility. A great excitement rose up inside us, the same excitement we had experienced when we first walked the cross.
Then the owner, Jim, told us he wanted $7,000 a month for the 27,000 square foot building. However, we had no money and the owner of the license would never approve such a high rent. So, we laid the keys on Jim’s desk and asked him if we only took 12,000 square feet what would he charge. He said $5,000 a month. Still it wasn’t the amount God had put in our hearts.
Russell and I went back to the building and anointed the building and the land with oil and said you belong to TV-36, and thanked God for it. We then called the owner of the license and asked him if he would print 1,000 invitations and provide the stamps for us so we could have an Open House in the building to announce to the community that there was a Christian television station coming to Augusta, Georgia. He agreed to do this and we set the date for July 21, 1995. Now, remember, we still did not have the building.
We set up an office in our Days Inn hotel room. We met a wonderful girl, Renee Smith, who would drive daily from Lincolnton to help us compile a mailing list. Besides sending out invitations, there was food that needed to be provided, wood for a set, paint, tools, furniture, plants, chairs, etc. The favor of God had to be on us as we went around and traded advertising for all of the above and we still didn’t have a television station, building or equipment, and we weren’t even on the air yet.
Then three days before July 21, Jim rented us the building on a hand shake for $2,000 for one month. Wow! Now there was a lot of work to do in three days! Greg West, our friend, came over from Atlanta to help us prepare for the production for this big night. We were able to borrow the production truck and production people from the Greenville, South Carolina station for the Open House. Russell got busy building sets. People came in and helped us paint. It was an absolute miracle. The night of July 25, 1995 went off like a snap. We had Ice Carvings, gourmet food with about 400 people in attendance as we made the big announcement that we were starting a Christian television station in Augusta. Actually, we are licensed in Augusta, Georgia, but our physical address is North Augusta, South Carolina. We had great news coverage. Everything seemed to be so perfect until everything was over when the owner of the license came to me and said, “Dorothy, we can’t do this. I just got a license in Atlanta and right now this is too much for me.”
As I stood there tears came to my eyes. We had worked so hard and just made this great announcement that we were opening this great station. I pulled myself away and cried out to God. Why did this man bring us here? God so gently spoke back to me and said “He didn’t, I did so go and build my station.” With that word I went back to the owner and asked him if we could build the station by faith and he gave us his ok. So we did.
I called Jim, the owner of the building, and told him we needed to keep renting the building at $2,000 a month so we could build the station. It had to again be the favor of the Lord because he agreed and has done so for over ten years now with no contract, just a handshake. Praise the Lord!
The next two weeks we would walk the building and pray. We needed wood, television equipment and we needed to get on the air. Daily people would come in to see what we were doing. All we had in this building was a set that Russell built and a few chairs, a phone and a copy machine someone gave us. Russell and I got some masking tape and began to tape on the floor where the big set walls would go. These are the 14’ high walls that go behind the sets. Day after day we saw the hand of God move. A man called up and said, “Could you use a semi load of wood?” We excitedly accepted his gift because the first thing that had to be built was the walls. Then we had all the drywall donated. Another man came by and said he had theater lighting, well it’s not really what you use for TV, but we said bring it down. Not only did he have the lighting, but the grid to hang the lights. Then we called all the networks in town and asked if they had any old equipment. NBC Channel 26 gave us decks, tapes, a 14 foot rolling ladder. So it went day after day.
I am a decorator so I was able to draw up a design for the set that Russell liked and we began to build. My drawings had a lot of windows and doors, someone said, “This will cost you a lot of money.” I said, “God will provide and the very next day a man called and said, “Could you use any windows and doors?” We said Yes. When Russell went to pick them up it was exactly to the drawings. Every door, every window, every arch, it was all there … PRAISE GOD!
At our opening we had told people that we would be on the air in August. We were able to trade out for advertising a satellite dish, hooking it up directly to the transmitter along with Videonix switcher that we could put our call letters on twenty-four hours a day to make us legal with the FCC. This got us up on the air.
What great times of rejoicing that was. We will never forget August 8, 1995 when TV 36 went on the air twenty-four hours a day for the first time. During that first week we received 83 phone calls.
Our signal was over the air but we needed to have our signal run from our studio building over to the tower so we could send out our original programming as well as our satellite programming. We needed a microwave, which cost $21,000 plus.
I called many of my TV friends to see if they had one and could help us. Claude Bowers, of TV55 in Orlando, Florida suggested that since we were only two miles from the tower we would get a STL that would send the signal from the studio to the tower. I found out that the STL would cost $8,000.
When I hung up the phone I told the Lord that I would not borrow any money, He would have to supply it. All day long I was tormented with the thought, “Where are you going to get $8,000?” and I would answer back, “My God shall supply ALL my needs.” I never dwelt on the problem
About 4:00 PM a man called and said, “What do you need to get on the air from your studio to the building?” Russell told him $8,000 and he said, “You have it.” Praise God that he daily supplies all our needs.
WGGS TV-16 in Greenville, South Carolina gave us the use of the mobile production truck. This allowed us to tape Club 36 nightly from 8:00 to 10:00 PM. IT gave our production crew an opportunity to practice before going on the air live with the nightly program. Club 36 was presented live on the air on October 10th. We had a great response. At that time we had six phone lines that were jammed with callers throughout the night. There were people wanting prayers, salvation, answering the Bible trivia questions and those wanting to become a Club 36 Sponsor.
As the days went on we had many volunteers come and help us with building production and many other areas of need. TV-16 let us use their truck five nights a week, then driving it back to Greensville, South Carolina on Saturday for Sunday, then bringing it back to North Augusta on Monday, reloading everything to be live at 8:00 PM.
Daily we saw miracle after miracle. Everything we needed, God provided it just when we needed it. We have just had our 11th anniversary and God is still providing.
Over the years we have had over 500,000 ministry calls; over 12,000 salvations, over 3,600 suicide intervention calls. Now Watchman Broadcasting reaches the world with By the Book, one of Dorothy’s programs where she interviews authors from around the world. Another heartbeat of the network is to reach the youth. Rock House Cafe* is also a program touching the world. It is hosted Tamara James, who has a way of touching the hearts of young people.
We have five more youth programs we are ready to produce, as the funds come in, along with the 32 other new original programs God has given us to produce. Watchman Broadcasting has produced five original programs that are nationwide. IT is our desire to provide a different kind of Christian television so we will not look like every other channel. We want to produce programs that will draw in the world and lead people to Jesus.
Before WBPI TV-49,
there was Crosswalk Ministries…
It was after a 42 day fast that I asked the Lord, “Which house do You want me to get?” You see, I had been working with street people and wanted to find a place to house them. Never did I realize that this question would totally change the direction of my life. He said, “None of these. I want you to walk with a wooden cross from Florida to Washington, D.C.” Joy sprang up in my spirit even at the thought of it. I asked Him, “When do You want me to do this?” He said, “Good Friday.” That was only two weeks away and there was much to do.
I quickly turned my car around in the middle of the street and drove to AAA Auto Club to pick up some maps. As I pondered over the maps, I took out a highlighter and drew out a line from Florida to Washington, D.C. The walk would be a little over 900 miles. I never thought about the length of the walk or who would go with me to carry that 75 pound wooden cross.
“Go into all the world and preach the Gospel…”
God may have called you to do something. Don’t look at the obstacles, but head in the direction of the call. For example, if you know that you know He told you to go to New York and you are in California – take a plane and go – if you don’t have the money, take a train or a bus or drive – if you can’t do any of these, then walk, fall in that direction. In other words, don’t just sit there – head in the direction of the call. If you are not sure of the call, ask God to speak clearly to your spirit. He will-
I called everyone I knew and asked them to go with me. No one would go– you see, they were not called to give up their jobs and go. So, I went to Daytona Beach and decided I would take street people with me, and we would leave on Palm Sunday. Sunday came, I said goodbye to my children and family and went with joy in my heart – ready to do what God called me to do.
I remember standing down on the town square in Ocala, Florida, on that Sunday morning with tears streaming down my face as no one showed up. I asked, “Why Lord? Is this what You have called me to do?” He spoke not a word!
I went to church that morning with a heavy heart, not understanding. Some people laughed, others made jest, but one man said, “ It is better to do what you felt God called you to do than to do nothing.”
That night laying on my bed, the Father spoke to me gently. He said, “Dorothy, you must learn to do My plans, not yours. Now rest!”
You see, we may get part of the plan of God for our lives then take off doing our own thing. We must get His total plan.
The next morning I got a call from Russell. He was a young man who was on my witnessing team on Daytona Beach. I hadn’t heard from him in months. He asked, “What is this about you walking to Washington, D.C.?” I told him to come over and we would pray. Then, a lady called and said that she wanted to go and be our driver. That night, Russell, Ruth, and I went to a Bible study with some people we had never met. The minister went to Russell’s and my feet and said, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings…(Isaiah 52:7) We shouted and rejoiced knowing this was God; we left on Good Friday.
When going after the plan of God, ask Him to confirm it – “By two or three witnesses let everything be established unto you.” Also say, “Lord, I am going in a direction and if it’s not Your will, stop me and head me into your perfect plan for me.” He can turn the direction of a person that’s moving. Too often people cop-out of doing something for God because they say they are waiting on God. The most discouraging thing to me is when I see a Bible school graduate working at a gas station. When asked what he is doing with his life they answer, “ I graduated seven years ago and I’m just waiting on God.” No, my friend, God is waiting on you to fall on your face and seek out what He has for you to do.
PRICE TO PAY
When God calls you to do something there is a price to pay. Many people did not understand and laughed at us – others said, “Get a real job.” My dear mother begged me not to go, saying it was too dangerous. I responded, “I must go!” Walking 31 miles the first day and 25 the next, our legs “locked up”- the pain was unreal. We had blisters on our feet the size of half dollars.
The first morning we got bitten up with bug bites. The cold winds blew hard, then the sun would beat down on us. The rain storms would come pounding on us with lightning flashing all around us. Still, we kept on walking.
One day we believed we met the devil himself as a man called us over to his shiny black truck. Russell, feeling the evil presence said, “Dorothy, don’t go over to him.” The man smiled a sinister smile and spoke to us words that could penetrate even to the soles of your feet; he was trying to get us to quit and get off the road. He used condemnation and other ways to get us to quit. We said, “We are going to keep on going down this road spreading the good news of the Gospel to all who will hear.” We resumed walking and when we looked back the truck was gone.
There will come road blocks all along the way of what God has called you to do. Never Quit! For example, you say that you are called to be an evangelist or a missionary – Have you told your neighbors about Jesus? Or have you gone out on the streets? You don’t need the four walls of a church to minister. Or, I’m called to be a pastor and I’m waiting on God to give me a church. Then go help your pastor. Why don’t you clean the toilets or church? When you are faithful in the small things, God will lift you up to greater things. I believe this is why many churches close – the pastor never really has the calling of God or else he went in the wrong spirit. Jesus came as a servant. We must remember we are all to serve.
Too often in giving the pastors the honor they deserve, some have forgotten why they are pastors and what a real pastor is. They have elevated themselves so far above the flock, thinking themselves to be greater than what they are. Be careful of this in your calling. – “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18. He is a shepherd and a shepherd cares for his sheep. Read what a shepherd really does; it may surprise you.
Always stay on your face daily before God and He will direct your paths. Proverbs 37:4-5,7.
When we began walking the cross, we left with only $75.00 that three girls brought us only hours before leaving. We were three people on the road for six weeks and only had $75.00. Within a few days that money was gone, but God was faithful. He always met our needs, day after day, without us even one time asking anyone for money. For example – one day Russell had a hole in his shoe. He and I agreed in prayer that he would get a pair of shoes one size bigger. That day a man drove up in his car and said, “I have a new pair of Rockport walking shoes I bought and didn’t know why. I’ve never worn them; they are still in my car – would you like them?” Russell tried them on and they were exactly one size bigger just like we prayed. So it went on day after day. “Again I say unto you, that if two of you agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 18:19
If God has called you to do something, He will always make provision for the calling, you don’t have to beg people. You must learn to trust Him for everything. He wants to be your provider, go to Him and let your requests be made known to Him with thanksgiving – He will meet it every time. He wants you to trust Him. It may be the fourth hour, but wait on Him. Guard the confession of your mouth – say only what He says!
Daily as we walked the cross, lives were touched. The stories are too many to mention them all. Here are two examples: we met a man who was a well known jeweler in a particular town. He walked with us for two days, then he pulled a suicide note out of his pocket – he was going to kill his wife, son, and himself the very day he met us with the wooden cross. At one place in Louisiana, a man slammed on the brakes of his truck and came out crawling to the cross begging God to change his life. When you are in your calling and your heart is right before God, you will see miraculous things happen as a result.
BE BOLD FOR JESUS!
We must get busy about the Father’s work – time is running out. When the books are open, what will you have done for Jesus? He gave His life for you. Start by being a soul winner everywhere you go. Daily confess the Scriptures over your life and ask God to order your steps.
Romans 1:6 Luke 9:23-26
1 John 5:14-15 Mark 8:34-37
Matthew 18:19 Proverbs 17:3
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord; and He delights in his ways.” Psalms 37:23