Jesus Tv Hits Rim Country's Airwaves

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It's called Jesus Television Network (JTVN), and the Full Gospel Family Church wants to bring its message -- through television and the Internet -- to the world.

In April of this year, JTVN made its first live broadcast over the Internet, capping off a year of planning and coordinating talents and skills.

"We call it Internet TV, which is a little different from what most people are familiar with," said Pastor Roger Martin. "You can go onto the website, jtvn.com, and it will be 24 hours, seven days a week of video streaming just like television programs.

"Every 30 minutes or on the hour, another program will come up."

The training and abilities of the church's production team vary, but all are enthusiastic. Producer-director Liz Monte has had about five years of on-the-job sound board experience at another church.

Parishioners, John and Wakita Vester have taken production classes. John is already directing, while Wakita's dream is to put her camera in someone's hands and sit in the director's chair.

"As a church, we feel that there are two main things that God wants us to do," said Pastor Roger Martin. "Reach the lost by whatever means available to us, and cycle them so that they can also reach the lost."

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The congregation of Full Gospel Family Church has turned their church into a studio. John Vester directs the action from the technical booth. They are the first multi-cultural church located on a Native American Reservation to broadcast live over the World Wide Web.

JTVN said that Native Americans have little representation in Christian television. They too have a gift and calling from God to share with the world.

"A lot of the minorities really don't have a voice on television or on the Internet," said Martin. "If you think about Native American programming, most of the time it's Hollywood. It's feathers, it's tom toms, long hair, somebody chanting or something. We don't do any of that. We don't represent Native Americans in their historical background. We leave culture to culture."

Full Gospel Family Church is not just for the people living on the reservation. It is a multicultural, nondenominational, English-speaking Christian church where everyone is welcome, according to Martin.

"Sometimes when we say that we are on an Indian reservation it leaves the implication that somehow this is all Native American and we are doing some kind of Native American worship, which is not true," Martin said.

To keep their culture alive, they've archived interviews and testimonials of the elders of the Tonto Apache Reservation. Although some are deceased now, their inspiration will live on.

"It is not just about me, it's about us," Martin said.

Full Gospel Family Church holds services Sundays at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., Wednesdays at 7 p.m. For more information, contact (877) 663-8788 or visit their website at www.jtvn.com.

This story is a another part of the Roundup's continuing series on how the churches in the Rim country add beauty and grace to our community.

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