Sunday, May 21, 2017

More Contenders for the FIRST Bible Kids Program.

Last month I excitedly (and cautiously) declared that KTBI's Aunt Martha's Children's Hour from 1926 MIGHT have been the first broadcast children's Bible program in North America. More research has led to the discovery of  not one but TWO programs that were on the air two years earlier.

So, going chronologically backwards here are two of the oldest ministries for children in American broadcasting. Both are also listed on my radio page.

Songbook cover (partial close-up) with a picture of Harry "Dream Daddy" Ehrhart
of "How Granny Told The Bible Stories". From the Author's Collection.

How Granny Told The Bible Stories -  (October 19, 1924 - c. 1925, WDAR Philadelphia; WLIT 1925).

Most likely this early radio series was based on the 1921 children's book of the same name by Eleanor Herr Boyd. Boyd was an author of several Bible teaching books which are still used to this day.

The "Granny" program was hosted or narrated by "Dream Daddy" Harry Ehrhart, one of radio's earliest children's "uncles" over WDAR - LIT on alternate Sundays. The station was later renamed WLIT in favor of the Lit Brothers who were co-owners of station.

Interestingly, today WLIT is WFIL-AM "Philadelphia Christian Radio" AND the call letters WDAR now belong to a FM contemporary Christian station in Darlington, South Carolina.

Children's Bible Story [a.k.a. Children's Bible Stories, Bible Story For The Children] - Children's (1922 - c. 1923, KDKA Pittsburgh)

This program aired Sunday afternoons usually around 2:45pm EST. This was the radio ministry of Rev. W. A. Logan of the Alpha Lutheran Church of Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania. Being at the historic KDKA, the first commercial radio station, may mean it was the first children's bible program every broadcast. It is unknown if Rev. Logan started this program and if each and every Bible story broadcast was conducted by him. From reviewing multiple newspaper schedules his name is the only one connected with this program.

Rev. William A. Logan (1884 - 1966) was the pastor of the Alpha Lutheran Church of Turtle Creek, Alleghany County, Pennsylvania. He was born in Pennsylvania, the son of Scottish immigrants. He attended the Pennsylvania College at Gettysburg, earning his bachelors degree in 1910.  According to the 1930 US Census his wife was Elsie M. Logan, and the couple had at least 9 children. According to some newspaper articles, Rev. Logan was active in concerns for Sunday School and youth ministries. This researcher would like to learn more about his life and ministry for children AND the events that led him to be perhaps the first children's minister in the history of broadcasting.

Find A Grave - Grave of William and Elsie Logan 

Monday, March 6, 2017

First Children's Bible Program(s) on Radio????

While researching radio magazines I learned about the historic radio station KTBI in Los Angeles. KTBI was the station for the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, or Biola University as it is known today. A weekday afternoon staple of this station was "Aunt Martha's Children Hour". Who was Aunt Martha and what were the contents of her radio hour? I absolutely would love to know!

Pg. 52 from Radio Doings magazine, January 8, 1927, that highlights radio station KTBI,
when the Aunt Marth's Children's Hour was on the air. 

Since KTBI is believed to be have been the first radio station devoted entirely to ministry, "Aunt Martha" may have been the first person with a broadcasting ministry for children in North America. So far radio logs that I have examined show that her program was broadcast every day of the week except for Saturdays over KTBI from as early as 1926 until sometime in 1927 or 1928.

Sometime in 1928 KTBI began broadcasting a different program called "Uncle Freds' Biola Children's Club" which aired weekdays around 8:00am. So far I am unable to find information about these programs beyond the standard radio log listings. I will be seeking more information on these early programs that I've also added to the "Radio Programs" page.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Updates To Begin 2017

I have been in several transitions from December to the present and have been away from blogging for quite a while. If the Lord is willing there will be more resources and media throughout 2017. However, I am happy to note several updates to the Family Bible Storytelling Media Pages.

- Thanks to Majesty Music and Bible Broadcasting Network, I have updates on the Patch the Pirate and Children's Music Room radio programs on the Radio Programs page. Also on this same page I have added a link to the Keys For Kids YouTube Channel where a user can view classic episodes of the Children's Bible Hour TV series

- The "Children's Television" page is now called simply "Television" as I will try to include dramatic Christian programming that was also geared to a general audience. All the children's programs that were listed before are still there along with brief descriptions of "Circuit Rider", "Greatest Story Ever Told (TV Version)" with more summaries coming soon.

- I was very sad to hear of the passing of BBN Radio founder and president Lowell Davey. He went home to be with the Lord on February 18, 2017 at the age of 83. My growing knowledge of Biblical dramatic storytelling and this blog would have been much, much, smaller without the ministry of BBN.