Saturday, May 26, 2007

TBN to Air Common Ground in Prime Time

The Story...
is 14 months long, but it won't take that long to tell it

In March of 2006 I heard about Common Ground from Fr. John Riccardo. The next day Pam and I attended an early service at Kensington Community Church and were present when they showed part of the program to their congregation. I was excited. Here was a program that was produced by Protestants, but accurately explained what it was that Catholics really believed. I began negotiations right away to gain the distribution rights.

It took until November to get the parties to agree on terms, but we had an exclusive signed distribution agreement for 15 years. I took the masters, and I stopped by Fr. John's so he could blessed them.

In December I sent a preview screener to EWTN and asked for consideration.

In January I sent copies to a few Protestant and Catholic leaders and began getting back some endorsements.

In mid-February I attended NRB. the Orlando broadcasting convention for Evangelicals, and handed out Common Ground DVD screeners, making my most passioned pitch to the Isaac Hernandez the VP of Programming at the Trinity Broadcasting Network booth.

But as projects pile up I was unable to follow-up on those contacts for months.

Ten days ago, Wednesday, May 16, I asked you to pray that we could get Common Ground on national television.

Key Endorsement - Timothy George
Three days later, on Friday, I received an e-mail from Dr. Timothy George, a highly respected Evangelical theologian, Dean of the Beeson Divinity School at Samford University, and a Sr. Editor at the Evangelical journal Christianity Today. He sent me a ringing endorsement for Common Ground. He wrote:
Here is an honest conversation between two deeply committed men of faith, an Evangelical pastor and a Catholic priest, about their shared faith in Jesus Christ. I recommend this resource to all who are interested in Christian unity, in keeping with a prayer of Jesus himself that his disciples be one as he and the Father are one, so that the world may believe.
- Timothy George, Ph.D.,
Dean, Beeson Divinity School
Rev. Richard John Neuhaus
Dr. George's endorsement was big. It collaborated the endorsement from Catholic priest and journalist Rev. Richard John Neuhaus (First Things), and complimented endorsements from other Catholics and Protestants.

On Monday, of this week, I sent off another e-mail to Isaac at TBN, highlighting Dr. George's endorsement and reminding him that the project had been approved doctrinally by the Catholic Church as well. Over all the other networks, TBN was my goal -- it is the largest satellite delivered Protestant-Evangelical channel that is seen around the world -- and I had asked God to honor my plan, even over getting the program EWTN, who had been sitting on my request for months.

TBN Calls
TBN logoTwo hours later Isaac called. He told me that he had liked the program very much and had sent it to their President, Paul Crouch. Paul had just gotten back to him, and he also liked Common Ground so much that he requested Isaac to obtain the program ASAP so they could air it in prime time. (July 8, 11PM Eastern, 7PM Pacific)

By the end of the week we had completed negotiations. Yesterday, I signed the contract and sent it off.

Next week, I have to cut out about 20 minutes of the program to fit their time slot, but about 88 minutes of the original will see the air. The subsequent DVDs will be the full length (1 hr 48 min.). TBN is also giving Nineveh's Crossing a one-minute, non-profit information spot at the end of the program. I have 10 days to ship the program off to them.

Finally, the contract is non-exclusive for 10 years, with unlimited airings. This allows us to approach other outlets for an even broader exposure to this wonderful program. If you are involved in television or radio broadcasting, and would like to air Common Ground in whole or part, please contact me. In the meantime, pray that I am able to make more contacts and help the whole Christian church be one as Jesus prayed so fervently to His Father, so that the world would know that it was God who sent His son as our Savior.

Author Dave Armstrong to write Common Ground Study Guide
Dave Armstrong, author of hundreds of articles that have attempted to dispel the misunderstandings about Catholic teachings to Protestants, has authored an extensive Study Guide and Workbook for Common Ground. Dave has also agreed to be Nineveh's Crossing's Christian apologetic advisor. He is the author of several books from Sophia Institute Press including The Catholic Verses, and A Biblical Defense of Catholicism, both of which will be soon available at Nineveh's Crossing.

Prayer Request
Please pray for us as we plan for a busy June and July. In June Dr. Ray Guarendi's What Catholics Really Believe 13-part series will air on EWTN beginning June 4 (6:30 PM ET) and soon after that, Common Ground will air on TBN (July 8, 11PM Easter, 7PM Pacific). We have a lot to prepare, including Study Guides, DVDs, and other resources to give to people. Your intercession is greatly appreciated.