"For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ."
- 2 Corinthians 4:6
About First Light
With admiration for WBCI’s commitment to solid biblical teaching, Pastor Russ felt the holy Spirit’s nudge to package up a sermon series and present it to the station manager to see if God would open a door for a local ministry to be broadcast. An incredible opportunity arose for a prime-time slot and the station manager thought it would be a great fit for us. However, the cost of air time is pretty high and we were just a small country church. Pastor Russ began to pray and seek counsel from some trusted, spiritually mature, Christ-honoring friends and leaders. Confirmation came through a radio broadcast of a powerful Bible teacher who was teaching on Matthew 25:14-30 - the Parable of the Talents. Pastor Russ felt God whispering to his spirit, “Are you going to trust Me or bury and hide what I’ve entrusted to you?” And that’s all it took. Confirmation that the right decision was made came very quickly through a series of wonderful events. The grandfather of one of our church members, Dr. William Stoddard, a seasoned pastor for many, many years had visited here from California and loved the messages. It also happened that he was on the Board of the Lowell-Berry Foundation, an organization which financed the Billy Graham Schools of Evangelism. He had shared one of Pastor Russ’s messages with the other board members and decided that he would like to donate some funds for the purchase of some recording equipment to help us with the radio ministry. As it turned out, Dr. Stoddard made numerous contributions which enabled the ministry to get off the ground and on the air! Over the years Dr. Stoddard remained a great source of encouragement and mentor to Pastor Russ while they corresponded frequently until he went to be with our Lord in September of 1997. In fact, the name of our ministry, First Light, was chosen in honor of him, and taken from the title of his 3 volume daily devotional book series published just “days” before his passing.
Effecting Spiritual Change
The most significant challenge of our times is no different than it has been throughout the ages. It is for people to wholeheartedly embrace the grace & truth God has revealed and live it. Truth is the watershed issue of our times. God has revealed truth in His Son and through His word. It’s clear and understandable. The challenge is not where to find truth or what truth is, the challenge is to embrace what deep inside everyone knows. Romans 1 speaks directly to this. We are all without excuse. Instead of being embraced, the truth is suppressed. That is precisely why I am so committed to communicating biblical truth in a relevant way in order to effect spiritual change. That’s the mission statement of our ministry. And that is the aim of our broadcasts.