A Brief History of 3ABN
Mending Broken People: The 3ABN Miracle Story
Watch the complete 3-hour documentary, featuring interviews with those who experienced the miracles of 3ABN’s early days firsthand, along with archival footage.
God Calls Danny Shelton
Three Angels Broadcasting Network began in the early morning hours of November 15, 1984 when Danny Shelton, a carpenter from Southern Illinois, was kept awake by troubling thoughts.
As he recalled the Christian television stations where he and his daughter Melody had sung gospel music, he felt concerned about the way God was misrepresented at times. Longing to find a way to express God’s love to the world, he suddenly felt strongly impressed to “build a television station that would reach the world with the undiluted three angels’ messages [of Revelation 14]. One that would counteract the counterfeit.”
Although he had no degree in communications, nor any experience in television, Danny immediately began to explore the ideas that finally developed into Three Angels Broadcasting Network.
He visited a pastor friend, Hal Steenson, who had some television equipment, sharing what he was impressed to do. His friend told him that someone had recently offered to buy his equipment, but he had been strongly impressed to keep it until God directed him otherwise. Then, to his amazement, Hal volunteered to donate the equipment to him a short time later!
Many more things happened in the next few months. As Danny began speaking at area churches, others began to catch his vision. Mrs. Fonda Summers donated two acres of land in Thompsonville, Illinois, on which to build the station. Later, when a microwave signal interference study was conducted on the property, an amazed technician remarked, “Mr. Shelton, you must be the luckiest man I know, because you have a clean sweep of every satellite in the horizon without microwave interference on those two acres. This is probably one of the only sites left in all of southern Illinois!”
A visit to the local Christian television station a few days later brought about another conversation, this time with Clarence Larson, the station engineer. After introducing himself to Danny, he pulled him aside and said, “I don’t know why I’m telling you this, but I believe a satellite uplink station could be built here in southern Illinois out in the Thompsonville area.” Interestingly, Clarence volunteered this information with no knowledge of Danny’s dream.
As progress on the project continued, Clarence began helping Danny. One day he realized that three-phase power would be required to operate the station, but the cost to run lines from the nearest main road was prohibitive. Upon investigation, he discovered three-phase power lines a few hundred feet (about a hundred meters) away from the property—simply following a country road. When Danny contacted the power company, he asked why those lines ran through open fields, away from any factories or heavy machinery. The power company response? “We honestly have no idea.”
As Danny moved forward in faith, the doors continued to open. A satellite uplink dish manufacturer agreed to begin building a nearly $400,000 satellite dish with only $10,000 down payment, and over the next few months, studio and office facilities were built and equipment was purchased and installed—without incurring any debt!
Amazingly, on November 23, 1986, just over two years after Danny had been impressed to build it, Three Angels Broadcasting Network began to broadcast on satellite.
Three Angels Broadcasting Network began its work in Russia in 1992 when they taped and broadcast a series of evangelistic meetings with Australian evangelist, John Carter in the city of Nizhny Novgorod. As the third largest in Russia, it had been closed to westerners for many years, but now the response to the meetings was tremendous.
Noting that 2,500 new Christians needed a place to worship, 3ABN purchased an unfinished 70,000 square-foot building and began remodeling it to meet this urgent need. Today, 3ABN’s Russian Evangelism Center includes two church facilities, as well as local church conference offices, a large television and radio studio facility, and a literature distribution center. In 1993 3ABN Russia began producing Russian language programs that now air on 150 television stations and three satellites across the entire former Soviet Union.
In 2000 3ABN expanded to provide worldwide satellite coverage for its television and radio networks. Additionally, 3ABN Radio, and 3ABN Latino came on board in successive years.
Today, 3ABN’s lineup of television networks consists of 3ABN, 3ABN Latino, 3ABN Proclaim!, 3ABN Russia, Dare to Dream Network, and SonBeam Channel. (Outside North America, the 3ABN International Channel airs much of the same programming as our flagship 3ABN channel, but at hours more suitable for Europe, Africa, Asia, and the South Pacific.) In addition, 3ABN Radio can also be heard around the world via satellite, and on over 200 affiliate stations, and 3ABN Latino Radio carries Spanish radio programming.
Three Angels Broadcasting Network offers a wide variety of Christian programming, 24 hours a day. Believing a healthy mind promotes a healthy spiritual life, 3ABN considers health programming to be of particular importance. Programs are designed to bring the viewers important information on medical and lifestyle issues such as cancer prevention, diabetes, and heart disease. A stop smoking clinic runs continually for those who wish to break their addiction to nicotine, while other programs deal with issues such as drug and alcohol recovery. Vegetarian cooking programs feature recipes showing viewers how to cook with less added fat, salt, and sugar.
A variety of family-oriented programs address everything from child development to parenting, and children’s programming teaches them important values and life skills.
3ABN’s Biblical programs address topics ranging from current Christian concerns to Bible prophecy seminars. Weekend church services meet the needs of those unable to attend their local church, and other programs address viewer questions on Bible topics.
The flagship program, 3ABN Today, airs daily and features interviews with guests from around the world, as well as a variety of musical artists.
For more information, visit our Contact Us page, call 3ABN at 618-627-4651, or by writing to 3ABN, P.O. Box 220, West Frankfort, IL 62896.