Three Angels Broadcasting Network began in the early morning hours of November 15, 1984, when Danny Shelton, a carpenter from Southern Illinois, was kept awake by troubling thoughts. Shelton recalled the Christian television stations where he and his daughter Melody had sung gospel music. He was concerned at the way in which God was misrepresented at times on those stations. He longed to find a way to express God's love to the world, and was then impressed to build a television station that would reach the world with the gospel.
Although he had no degree in communications and no experience in television, immediately he began to explore the ideas that finally developed into 3ABN.Later he visited a friend, a pastor who had some television equipment. Shelton told him about what he had been impressed to do. To Shelton's amazement, his friend told him he had recently been asked to sell his television equipment, but then had been strongly impressed to keep it until God further directed him. He told Shelton that he felt God would show him the time and place to give away the equipment. As they spoke on the phone later, the pastor volunteered to donate the equipment to Shelton.
Many things happened in the next few months. As Shelton began to speak in area churches others began to catch his vision. One person donated two acres of land in Thompsonville, Illinois, on which to build the station. When a microwave interference study was conducted on the property, an amazed technician remarked, "Mr. Shelton, you must be the luckiest man I know. On those two acres you have a clean sweep of every satellite in the horizon without microwave interference.... This is probably one of the only sites left in all of Southern Illinois."A visit to the local Christian television station a few days later brought about another conversation, this time with Clarence Larson, the station engineer. After introducing himself to Shelton, he pulled him aside, and said "I don't know why I'm telling you this, but I believe a satellite uplink station could be built here in Southern Illinois, in the Thompsonville area." Interestingly, Larson volunteered this information with no knowledge of Shelton's dream.
As progress on the project continued, Shelton discovered three-phase power would be required to operate the station. Larson indicated that the cost to run lines from the nearest main road was prohibitive. But upon investigation he discovered three-phase power lines a few hundred feet (about a hundred meters) away from the property, simply following a country road. When Shelton contacted the power company, he asked why those lines ran through open fields away from any factories or heavy machinery. The power company responded, "We honestly have no idea."
As Shelton moved forward, doors continued to open. A satellite uplink dish manufacturer agreed to begin building a $300,000 satellite dish with only $10,000 down payment. Over the next few months the studio and office facilities were built and furnished, and equipment was purchased and installed without incurring any debt. Amazingly, on November 23, 1986, just over two years after Shelton had the initial idea for the station, Three Angels Broadcasting Network went on satellite.
Today, 3ABN has grown steadily and has completed a second production center with 20,000 square feet (1,860 square meters) of floor space, which includes two large productions studios, control rooms, and additional office space. One studio features a professionally designed and versatile set used for "3ABN Presents," while the other features multiple set capability.
Three Angels Broadcasting Network began work in Russia in 1992 when 3ABN, in cooperation with Australian evangelist John Carter, conducted a series of meeting in Nizhny Novgorod. This city, formerly named Gorky, is the third largest in Russia and for many years has been closed to the gospel. Response to the meetings resulted in many conversions.
Following the meetings, the local church officials realized that the 2,500 people baptized into the Christian faith needed a place to worship. Three Angels Broadcasting Network purchased an unfinished building with over 70,000 square feet (6,500 square meters) of space to develop into an evangelism center to help meet this need. Today, the 3ABN Russian Evangelism Center includes a church, a large auditorium, television studios, offices, and a literature distribution center.
In 1993 3ABN began to produce a Russian language program airing seven days a week on a commercial television station in Nizhny Novgorod. The program, called "Face to Face," is considered one of the best-produced programs on that station. An offer of free Russian Bibles to all those requesting them brought an overwhelming response of 1,000 - 2,000 requests per week!
In the years 1999-2000, 3ABN began expanding its satellite coverage to include more of Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Additionally, 3ABN Radio was launched, opening another vast field of potential viewers.
Three Angels Broadcasting Network offers a wide variety of Christian programming 24 hours a day. Believing a healthy mind promotes a healthy spiritual life, 3ABN considers health programming to be of particular importance. Programs are designed to bring the viewers important information on medical and lifestyle issues such as cancer prevention, diabetes, and heart disease.
A stop smoking clinic runs continually for those who wish to break their addiction to nicotine, while other programs deal with issues such as drug and alcohol recovery. Vegetarian cooking programs feature recipes showing viewers how to cook with less added fat, salt, and sugar.
Another popular program, "Help Yourself to Health," deals with subjects ranging from strengthening your immune system to home remedies for everyday ailments.
A variety of family-oriented programs address everything from child development to Christian education. Family experts share their insights on such topics as discipline, education, parental roles, and how to select a lifetime partner.
3ABN also produces Christian children's programming as a healthy alternative to the usual commercial fare. A mix of songs, stories, recipes, and experiments keep children's attention focused while they learn important values and life skills.
3ABN's Biblical programs address topics ranging from current Christian concerns to Bible prophecy seminars. Weekend church services meet the needs of those unable to attend their local church. Some programs are videotaped on location, while other programs address viewer questions on Bible topics.
3ABN carries several nationally syndicated religious programs as well.President Danny Shelton hosts its flagship program, "3ABN Today." This program airs daily, and features interviews with guests from around the world, as well as a variety of musical artists. A two-hour live version of the program airs on Thursday nights and viewers are encouraged to call in their questions and comments.
You can receive further information about 3ABN by calling (618) 627-4651 or by writing to 3ABN, P.O. Box 220, West Frankfort, IL 62896. Or visit our Contact Us page.