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Aug 21, 2017 14:33pm
History of Lifeword Part Three: Lifeword Turns Fifty
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(originally published in Lifeword’s July 2015 newsletter)

In October of 1969, a year before the death of Harold Morris, The Reaper was launched as the official monthly publication of the radio department of BMA of America. Editor Bro. W.J. Burgess donated his time to edit the free publication.  In addition to Morris, HGH full-time staff members included the following: Bob Hand, Business Manager and Soloist; Quentin Swafford, Production Manager; and Wanda King, Secretary, Program Production and Soloist.

During the three months following the death of Harold Morris in November of 1970, Bro. Jim Sayers, pastor of Antioch in Conway and part-time announcer, preacher and singer for HGH, served as interim director. Former Central Baptist College president and then Southeastern Baptist College President A.R. Reddin became director of Harvest Gleaner Hour in February of 1971.  The need for print materials for follow-up correspondence to the radio broadcasts (especially those detailing the plan of salvation) soon became apparent to him, and he issued a plea to churches to respond to this financial need.

After a year serving as director, Bro. A.R. Reddin died on February 12, 1972, after a series of heart attacks. He left behind his wife Lizzie and three sons, George, Charles and Tim. Just like his predecessor Harold Morris, he was buried in Crestlawn cemetery on the outskirts of Conway, Arkansas. Bro Burgess noted in a posthumous Reaper article the he had reduced indebtedness by $5,000 and bought and paid for $10,000 worth of needed equipment during his time of “marvelous work with this department.”

Bro. Paul Bearfield, who had been serving as missionary to Taiwan and a HGH broadcast speaker for several years, came off the field to become the new director. Although the facilities were briefly transferred to Temple in Little Rock in 1967, several Conway locations (including Harold Morris’s home) housed HGH, the Shaw building in downtown being its location at the time of Bro. Bearfield’s appointment.  In addition, there were twenty-two radio broadcast stations with three languages, English, Spanish (Puerto Rico) and Creole French (Haiti).

(Part Four of HGH/Lifeword history in the June newsletter.)

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