TEW History

The ministry of The Encouraging Word is a testimony of God’s faithfulness to First Baptist Church Spartanburg.

Over 50 years ago, on December 12, 1955, a committee was appointed to study the opportunity to broadcast the Sunday morning worship service on the local WSPA television station, and the first broadcast was aired on November 18, 1956. Over the next several years, God blessed the television ministry and it became evident that there were new opportunities for growth.

In March 2005, The Encouraging Word (TEW) was launched as a separate 501(c)(3) organization with the mission “to glorify God by teaching and preaching the message of Christ to all we can, by every available means, in such a way that people accept Christ and become active followers of Jesus through a local Christian church.” Since 2005, there have been several changes in the TV and radio broadcast schedule.

In December 2006, TEW became a member of Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). ECFA is an accreditationorganization dedicated to helping Christian ministries earn the public’s trust through adherence to Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship™, which focus on board governance, financial transparency, integrity in fundraising, and proper use of charity resources.

TEW is firmly committed to good stewardship of funds entrusted to us by our friends and donors. We fully support the purpose and goals of ECFA and display its seal proudly to reflect compliance with its membership standards.

In 2008, TEW began to broadcast on Christian Television Network (CTN) which airs nationally across DirecTV and Dish Network. In addition, the broadcast on WSPA continues to reach a large audience each Sunday morning and First Baptist continues a weekly FM radio broadcast on local station WMIT.

In March 2010, TEW became a member of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB). Being a member of this organization provides TEW with increased opportunities for ministry.

In 2013, TEW began broadcasting on the American Forces Network and Inspiration International Network. Through each of the current broadcast channels, TEW has the opportunity to reach over 40 million people each week in all 50 states.

As a listener and viewer supported ministry, The Encouraging Word reaches thousands of people each week through television, radio, and the internet. Please see our broadcast schedule to find out more about broadcast times and stations in your area or you can watch online in our video archives section.

It has been amazing to see the Lord’s hand of blessing and provision on the ministry. TEW has seen great results and as Don Wilton would say, “the best is yet to come.”

Sharing God's Truth With a Searching World