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Charles Stanley Buys TV Network

Southern Baptists Sell FamilyNet Television to Prominent Pastor

A megachurch pastor known affectionately by thousands as "America's pastor" announced in August his intention to purchase FamilyNet Television from the North American Mission Board (NAMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).

After more than 50 years of ministry, Charles Stanley, 75, founder and chairman of Atlanta-based In Touch Ministries, was set to officially own the Christian network by the beginning of this month. The sale amount had not been finalized at press time.

"I am excited about this new opportunity to reach millions of people around the world," Stanley told Charisma, "while also continuing the mutual goal of NAMB and FamilyNet, which is to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ."

Beyond his 17,000-member First Baptist Church in Atlanta, which he has pastored since 1971, Stanley's impact has been both national and global. His sermons are broadcast over radio, TV and the Internet in more than 100 languages worldwide. He is also a New York Times best-selling author, with more than 50 books on Christian living in print. His latest book, Landmines in the Path of the Believer (Thomas Nelson), released in September.

Purchased from Jerry Falwell in 1991 by the NAMB, FamilyNet is currently available in more than 30 million homes nationwide. According to In Touch Ministries, all of FamilyNet's current and future programming is "under review," as Stanley's ministry examines ways to grow the 24-hour network's viewership.

Stanley, a former SBC president, hopes to build the network for the task he feels is urgently at hand. "I see this network acquisition as another important step toward my goal and purpose of reaching as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, as simply as possible, in the power of the Holy Spirit and to the glory of God," he says.

Since August, all network operations have been in the process of moving to Atlanta from FamilyNet's former headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas.

Jordan Rubin, dubbed "America's Health Evangelist," launched a second season of Extraordinary Health on TBN in September. The Bible-based health program is designed to help people abandon the "weight loss roller coaster" of "fad diets" by, among other things, eating more organic "living foods." Also on the show, a fitness trainer teaches how to maximize a 20-minute workout and raw food chef Mandy Canistelle offers tips on preparing the "perfect snack." Rubin, the New York Times best-selling author of The Maker's Diet, will release Perfect Weight America (Charisma House) in January.

The PBS science program NOVA planned to air on Nov. 13 a dramatic courtroom re-enactment of a case that ruled teaching intelligent design in a public school unconstitutional, according to the York Daily Record of Pennsylvania. Titled Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial, the original two-hour special relies on court transcripts from the 2005 showdown to recreate the compelling arguments from both sides of the debate.

Evangelist Rodney Howard-Browne, known for his emphasis on joy and revival, is now broadcast exclusively on GOD TV. Chronicles of Revival airs weekday mornings and features ministry events from churches across the U.S., including from The River, Howard-Browne's church in Tampa, Fla. A revivalist originally from South Africa, he has been functioning as a missionary to the U.S. for more than 20 years.

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