CELEBRATING 25 YEARS ON TV!!!
Note from Les
Once again it is time to lift my voice in praise for all of you, our faithful listeners. How we thank our Lord for each of you and special thanks to you who have written or called. We so love to hear that God has used us for His Glory. The most often used expression is - "I've been in church all my life, but after listening to your TV program, I now know I'm saved and I am enjoying my Bible."
On June 2nd, we were planning a class in McAlester, but when I woke up from my siesta nap, the room was orbiting full speed! It immediately made me nauseated plus raised my blood pressure, which is always normal, sky high. So, to the emergency room here in Stigler we went. They were sure it was vertigo, but suggested going to an ear, nose and throat specialist. He in turn referred me to a physical therapist who specialized in vertigo. Long story short, where she never needed to give more than four treatments, I needed eight. So, for nearly seven weeks Iris was my constant companion, ready to grab and hold me when an attack came. Praise the Lord I am now free of vertigo, but still have some balance difficulty. Therefore, we are no longer doing any travel. I did get to fulfill my role at Bethesda Church on Sunday morning and two sessions of questions and answers (Tuesday & Wednesday) at the Retreat in Wisconsin via Skype. Quite an experience!
As you have no doubt already noted, this is the 25th Anniversary of the TV program. We taped the first shows in Genesis in October of 1990...but it seems like just last week. Iris will explain how providential our entire ministry has been, so, we take no credit for all that has been accomplished. We just praise the Lord of Glory. We are the lump...HE is the potter!
The Les and Iris Story - by Iris
Well folks, it's me again. I'm not as good a writer as I would like to be but Laura reminded me that this is our 25th year anniversary and asked if we could answer some questions for our listeners especially our new listeners but also for the old ones whoops! I mean our longer time listeners :-). So I will trrrrrrrrrrrrrrry to do so.
I retired from my job as a registered nurse in 1998 (after 48 years) to help more in the ministry even though the actual television ministry started with the first taping in October 1990. I cannot get into the story of the ministry without making a few preliminary remarks. I wish I could print all the names of all the folks that God has sent our way to help with every aspect of this journey but I am reluctant as I would surely miss someone! In fact, God always has had somebody ready to open the door, whether for the TV program, for classes or hosting seminars, providing us a place to stay, being involved in getting the books ready for printing, putting together the question-and-answer book, helping with building the office, putting up the website, and on and on and the list goes! Throughout the entire 25 years and even yet Les has said to me many times "Honey, who would have ever thought?" And I would always answer with "Not me!" And after 62 years of marriage, we can finish each other's thoughts as we've been together so long that we know what each other is thinking, and we both think and know that we have an awesome God!
Way back in 1953, when Les was still in the army and we were first married, he told God "Use me-but please let me farm!" Well, God did and Les got the best of both worlds. He was involved in teaching Sunday school (started at age 27), teaching training union, hosting missionaries in our home, was a deacon and of course started teaching home Bible studies. We were heavily involved in our church, often the first to get there and the last to leave, with three kids in tow every time.
The sudden opportunity to teach home Bible studies came when Les was 36. It began with one night a week but quickly grew into five and six nights a week along with farming big time in Iowa. Teaching home Bible studies is where Les learned to rightly divide.
Then in 1975, a BIG change happened when God used circumstance to move us from farming in Iowa to ranching in Oklahoma. God had a job for us so the opportunity to start a home Bible study in Oklahoma came in August 1975 and it grew to be five nights a week by 1977. We continued to go to a different town five nights a week for years and finally combined two of the classes into one in 2003. We continued to teach those four classes each on a weekly basis until 2013. At that time, we decided to teach each class one time a month which meant we were only going down the road one night a week and that continued until June 2015.
In the meantime, in 1990, there was another big change! A Christian television station in Tulsa called and insisted on Les starting a television Bible series (as they had been given a tape from one of our class members.) Les said "This old dirt farmer/rancher? No way!" But they kept insisting and our God had plans.
So we started "Through the Bible with Les Feldick" in October 1990 and continued to tape four programs a month until October 2009. By then Les had covered much of the Bible and we were getting older so felt it was time to quit the tapings. However we kept on with answering phone calls and letters and doing seminars around the country as well as the Oklahoma classes of course.
It was the Oklahoma class members that made the television ministry possible. In my ignorance I had no idea that we had to pay to be on television! I thought people were paid to be on television! How wrong could I be?! So all the class members from the five classes contributed enough money to do the first several tapings and I will never forget our first $100 donation from a television listener! We about fainted but we should not have been surprised at God's provision.
As for the television ministry, we certainly learned a lot as we went along! For example, we did not think to put the number of the Book, lesson and part on the blackboard until book number 27!
We also started a quarterly newsletter in January 1996. In 1993, the first little booklets were transcribed and after the first four, Jerry and Lorna Pool had such a huge input in getting those little books put together. There ended up being 82 of them.
Of course things started off with just Les and me. In 1991, we made an office out of the one of our bedrooms and began answering the phone, duplicating videos, and shipping books out. Then in 1994, our daughter-in-law Kim started to help out and we converted the second bedroom into an additional office space for her and also used the extra space as storage area for the little books.
Then in 1998, God made a way for a small office building. All of the labor was done free of charge by our class people wanting to help out and by August, we had a small A-frame office building about 6 feet west of our home. It had two rooms on ground-level with storage area upstairs. By that time, our daughter, Laura, came to help out part time with taking orders and our granddaughter, Tara started helping with the packaging. The ministry was beginning to grow.
It was also about this time that we had enough programs archived that they began to run a daily program in Indiana and Minnesota even though the four tapings a month were intended to be for Sunday only programming.
Over the years we have had three additions to the building and now have 11 people working to keep everything running smoothly and we do everything "in house" except for the mailing out of the newsletter.
We have also done a lot of seminars over the years! Our first seminar was in 1993, in Tahlequah, Oklahoma and since then we have been in nearly every state of the union except for North Dakota and states in the far northeast although we have been in Maine. Folks have opened their homes to us and we've had numerous meals and coffees and have made many many many friends. (as Anne-with an "e"-of Green Gables would say many "bosom friends" and "kindred spirits").
Interview with Iris
What aspect of the ministry did you enjoy most?
We loved the traveling and meeting like-minded believers who were excited about God's word but probably the highlight of each year was the Discovery Conference as it is something we did for 14 years in a row in Osceola, WI.
What changes would be made to the television ministry if you could have?
We would've put the book numbers on the board long before book 27 and would have preferred much less panning of the audience and more camera time on the Scriptures.
What was the greatest stress of the television ministry?
Wrapping the teaching up at exactly 28 minutes 30 seconds!
Did you have any accidents or close calls in all your travels?
No, God kept his protective hand about us and we were never even in a close call!
Did you ever have health problems on the road?
Yes, we had to cancel a seminar in Charlotte, North Carolina because Les was in the emergency room with a kidney stone, but we were able to finish all the teaching engagements after that. Les also had a heart attack the night before an Indianapolis, Indiana seminar but he went ahead and did that seminar the next day and then had a stent put in when he got home.
Did Les do much traveling without you?
I only missed two tapings in 20 years, one seminar in Ohio and one seminar in Florida and only a smattering of local classes.
What's the longest you were gone from home at one time?
Four weeks down in Florida and Mississippi.
Did you ever fly to any seminars?
Snohomish, Washington, Cincinnati, Ohio and Washington, Maine
About how many miles a year did you drive to seminars and classes?
Averaged about 50,000 miles a year.
Largest crowd ever taught? Smallest crowd ever taught?
1250 in Newark, Ohio is the biggest that I can think of. 12 people in a little town in Washington, is the smallest.
Who filmed your seminars?
Richard Roebke did almost all of them and made them available to the Ministry free of charge.
How are you doing health wise now?
We are getting along quite well for our ages. Les still has a lot of joint pain and occasional balance problems while I have been a brittle diabetic for years ...but it could be soooooooooooo much worse! So we PTL!
Who maintains your website?
Matt McGee and Robert Pennybaker. Matt is the webmaster and they are both totally responsible for the books and the audios on the website. They both did it as a labor of love for the Lord.
Meet the Staff
Often we are asked questions regarding the office staff. Below is a list of the employees, when they were hired, and their primary job descriptions.
Laura Thomas was hired in 1998. Laura works part time and answers the
Cheryl Sexton was hired in 2000 working full time on data entry, answering the phone, paying the bills, and handling the media contracts.
Stormie Taylor was hired in 2007. Stormie works part time answering the phone doing data entry and the automatic orders.
Delena Williams was hired in 2007. Delena works full time answering the phone and data entry.
Dayla Williams started working in 2008. Dayla works full time answering the phone, data entry and ensures the TV stations have the tapes to air.
Kathy Brady was hired in 2012. Kathy works full time in the shipping department.
Kara Thomas started in 2012. Kara is responsible for the DVD/CD duplication, employee payroll and data entry.
Esbeidy Diaz started in 2013. Esbeidy works part time in the shipping department and helps with the printing room.
Debbie Brady started in 2013. Debbie works part time on data entry.
Jerry Thomas started in 2014. Jerry works full time in the printing room.
Tara Martin started in 2015. Tara works part time sorting the daily mail. (She also worked 5 years previously).
Hailey Feldick started in 2015. Hailey works part time helping wherever she is needed.
The original two rooms of the office building house our data entry and phone answering departments. The phones are open for orders and Bible questions Mon - Fri 8:00am - 5:00 pm CST. Les also continues to answer Bible questions by mail and telephone Mon - Fri 10:30 am -12:00 pm CST (as this works with his personal schedule). We apologize as the phone lines are often busy due to high call volume. If you get a busy signal please call back as we are helping other listeners. The DVD/CD duplication is housed in the 1st addition to the original building. The packaging department is housed in the 2nd addition and the Printing room is housed in the 3rd addition. The upstairs is used for storage of material. We greatly appreciate your support and continued prayers!
Special Special Special
In celebration of 25 years of television we are offering the 5 booklets on Revelation (11, 12, 13, 14 & 59) for a special price of $24 (normally $30). This includes postage and handling. The offer will be good through December 31, 2015.
Tax season is fast approaching. If you need a year end tax contribution statement please contact the ministry. We have reached a point in technology where the VHS tapes are becoming harder to obtain and duplicate. We are sorry for any inconvenience but we will no longer be offering these for sale. To better insure that your checks are processed correctly please note on the memo line how you would like the check to be applied to your account. For example donation, order or payment with the invoice #.