Saturday, December 19, 2015

Christmas Library 2015 - First Televised Church Sevice

Classic Television: The Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at Grace Episcopal Church, 1946

According to some sources, the very first televised church service was broadcast December 24th, 1946 from the Grace Episcopal Church at the intersection of 10th and Broadway in New York, NY. Like virtually all pre-1950 programs this landmark broadcast cannot be seen today, but that Christmas  candlelight service was a tiny beginning to the use of television for ministry (like a tiny seed).  Nearly 70 years later, millions of church services have aired around the world reaching millions who ponder about the truth of the Gospel and where they can go to worship.

The Grace Episcopal Church Candlelight service was lead by the church rector, Rev. Dr. Louis W. Pitt, and the choir of 50 boys was director by the church organist and choir director, Ernest Campbell.  The broadcast filmed by WABD, could be seed by audiences in New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D. C. via a network arranged by the United States Rubber Company. The program was especially designed to reach hospitalized war veterans.

Until the next entry from The Christmas Library.... Merry Christmas!


Service to be telecast : Christmas eve service at grace church 1st to be carried. New York Times. (1946, Dec. 22) p. 17.

Christmas Library 2015 - Brightest Night (1952)

Brightest Night is a 1952 short film produced by Church-Craft Pictures, Inc. under the ministry of the Rev. Paul G. Kiehl. Church-Craft was a multimedia ministry based in St. Louis, Missouri that produced films strips, for homes, churches and schools.  Their "Storiview" items, similar to the Viewmaster toys, are still collected around the world. In Brightest Night, a mother and father explain to their children the story of the birth of Christ, which is re-enacted with colorful miniatures. Church-Craft would use this technique several times in their film strip productions.

Very little is known about the production of this film, and one wonders if the family are really related and if so who were they.  The film began to resurface on DVD and Youtube within the last decade.


For more about the history of Church-Craft's Storiview products: LINK

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas Library 2015 - "A Book About Jesus"


"A Book About Jesus". Exterior front and back cover
"A Book About Jesus" Nine-Year Pupil: Book Two was published by the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1959. It has beautiful text and illustrations of not only the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, but all stories of his death and resurrection which give a young child a whole appreciation of his birth, and giving the child a real Christmas.

The editor of this text was Robbie Trent (1894-1988) author of numerous Christian children's books who I hope to write more about in the coming months. The illustrations are credited to John White and Dorothy Teichman. Ms. Teichman was also an illustrator of numerous Bible-based children's books.