The Hour is an ecumenical ministry tool. Viewers will get a better understanding of God's message in this weekly, 30-minute collection of inspirational segments that include music, interviews, preaching, art, teaching, and prayer. Our vast 50 year collection of materials is being presented online at HourStream.
The Hour is no longer broadcasting on television. Below is our letter sent to our partners and friends explaining the future of this important ministry:
Dear friends of The Hour,
What amazing times these are in which we find ourselves. While we have felt so apart, we’ve been heartened by the gifts of our friends which have allowed us to continue broadcasting Good News to a world that needs it now more than ever. THANK YOU. We absolutely could not have reached the thousands of viewers like we have without your support, both financially and prayerfully. We have been blessed, and we know it.
Now we find a challenging road ahead. With job losses and world-wide uncertainty, our donations have greatly been affected. And some of our longtime wonderful giving partners have passed away. Yes, we’ve taken many hits lately, and it will change what we are able to do going forward.
Recently, we were forced to leave two of our television outlets, WTOK in Meridian and WDBD in Jackson. We’ve had to strategically decide which stations to let go as funds have gone away. Our airtime is terribly expensive on broadcast channels. We’ve tried to switch to less expensive stations and partner with our few wonderful providers who air us for free.. but it is not enough. We will very soon be forced to leave other stations without new gifts coming in. Television viewership across all shows and channels continues to shrink. It is becoming unsustainable for us to continue broadcasting in this way. These are the harsh realities of where we are.
However, we are not defeated. In fact, these hardships have forced us to look into new directions, into the future, if you will. We’ve known that we needed to embrace the online streaming platform with our great archive of content. And we’ve been so excited to launch HourStream, our online on-demand streaming service! Please go to thehour.org to see the hundreds of programs, art shows, music concerts and more. It is amazing, and we are thrilled at the response. HourStream is modern and presents our content in a Netflix-like fashion. We believe this streaming service is our future.
As churches world-wide have seen of late, an online ministry is vital in our changed world. We believe we have created the perfect outlet through HourStream to be contemporary in our approach. We feel this sets up the future way we will deliver our content.
In phase two (coming soon) for HourStream, we will offer to churches to download individual messages from Steve and our contributors to be shown in local churches! Our lessons, features and messages can serve those who have no pastors, it can serve small groups and individuals, and it can provide great content to share with others in a unique way. Best of all, the costs of sharing streams online are minuscule compared to the high cost of broadcast television. We can offer new formats and more content with no additional costs. And we believe this is our future. Yes, born out of the challenge now, but it is a visionary platform that is how The Hour will continue to serve and bless thousands moving forward.
So rest assured that The Hour is poised to do some of our best work ever. We ask three things: First, please visit us online to catch the excitement and see why we are so optimistic. Second, please pray for our future as we transition away from broadcasting and move (like all the media companies are doing) to a streaming model. Third, we ask you to consider continuing to support our efforts. As we shed costs and streamline our efforts, we believe God has given us the perfect outlet through HourStream to allow us to be an even more effective provider of hope and encouragement through our media resources. You are such an important part of continuing to proclaim Good News in new ways. Your gifts will continue to make a difference. Join us in the journey..
We are truly filled with excitement and vision. We believe this is God’s path for us. Please continue to partner with The Hour. The world needs us now more than ever!