EDMOND—On February 19, Pastor General Gerald Flurry began a new phase of the Key of David program: broadcasting from God’s house. The beginning of this year also marked another milestone for the program, its 21st anniversary. It’s a good time to look back at The Key of David over the years.
January 1993 was a very significant month for the Philadelphia Church of God. For months beforehand, headquarters staff members were carefully consulting on what equipment to purchase. The Church spent more than $93,000 on some of the latest technology available to produce broadcast-quality television. Tim Thompson made the purchase and oversaw the installation of our new broadcast studio and control room at Waterwood Parkway in Edmond. A few of us were briefly trained on how to use the video switcher and the cameras, then it was time to get started. Wayne Turgeon and Stephen Flurry manned the cameras and responded to directions given by Mr. Thompson and Dennis Leap. I helped with the audio mixer and teleprompter. While it was a little shaky at first, we were successful in recording Mr. Flurry’s first television program.
After that, we secured contracts with a number of local stations and national cable networks. We were ready to expand God’s warning message from a radio-only production to a weekly syndicated television program.
Many changes have taken place since then—some new employees, some new technology—but one thing has remained consistent over the years: God’s powerful message has always been trumpeted with clarity and power through Gerald Flurry on The Key of David.
Looking back now over 21 years of production and broadcast, we can marvel at the fruits of the program. In the United States alone, God has invested over $65.7 million in The Key of David! Adding in the spending in other nations and regional offices, that figure rises well north of $75 million! No other initiative of the Church has been as successful at drawing new subscribers, educating the masses and warning the world. We can document close to 1.3 million telephone calls requesting literature from the program. We estimate another million-plus responses when we include requests through the mail, responses on our websites and downloads of literature.
The Key of David has broadcasted all over the planet throughout the years, predominantly in the United States and Canada, where we have experienced the least restrictions against airing the warning message.
Perhaps the most difficult location on the planet to deliver God’s program has been in Britain and Europe. The nation of Israel has also been nearly impossible to reach. We have aired on secular and religious networks via over-the-air, cable and satellite stations in Britain and Israel. However, this audience remains largely untapped to this day. We eagerly anticipate God opening a quality opportunity for us to broadcast on a station that is readily available to the populations of those nations. In the meantime, the program is available through the Internet of course.
Cable superstation wgn has been the crown jewel of stations carrying our program. God opened that door right from the beginning. With the exception of an eight-month absence when we were battling the Worldwide Church of God in court over the works of Herbert W. Armstrong, The Key of David has aired uninterrupted on wgn since 1993. To this day, it is the station responsible for the greatest number of literature requests (close to 400,000). Other superstations have been used with varying degrees of success, but wgn continues to be a reliable station for us.
Taping the Program
In addition to taping The Key of David at Waterwood, at the Mail Processing Center, and now in Armstrong Auditorium, we also have taped Mr. Flurry “in the field” many times. We obtained our first portable, broadcast-quality camera and associated equipment back in 1994. That year Mr. Flurry taped in South Africa, the Netherlands, Malta, Israel and Britain before returning to the U.S.
Those early years of taping programs in the field are testimony to the hard work of God’s apostle. He was always driven to make the trip worthwhile and to get the greatest value out of the travel expense. He drove himself to tape 10, 15 or even 20 programs over the course of several weeks. On just about every trip, he would tape at least two programs a day, and on a few occasions, three in one day! Some of his preparation was done prior to our departure, but much of it took place during the trip.
We used to have to travel with a lot of gear, tapes and our clothing. In fact, we had to have a carnet de passport for the equipment (basically a passport for our electronic equipment), which served as a bond that we would not leave the technology behind in a foreign country. On those early trips, others joined Mr. Flurry, including Stephen Flurry, Mark Nash and me. We met up with regional directors in the field, such as Ron Fraser, Mr. Turgeon, Alex Harrison and Max Rumler. For a few years, Gareth Fraser also accompanied Mr. Flurry on some of the field excursions. When we taped Mr. Flurry’s public appearance campaigns, Dwight Falk joined the field team. Many others have been part of the taping process. (I apologize for not naming them all.) Clearly it has been a family effort to support Mr. Flurry with these projects. In truth, it doesn’t really matter who was there outside of God’s man giving God’s strong warning message. That has always been God’s focus with the Key of David program: Keep the message as the focus, and everything else falls in place under the influence of God’s Holy Spirit.
I have often felt that some of the most interesting moments of my life have come when taping Key of David programs from the field and listening to what Mr. Flurry said both on camera and off camera. We went to Germany several times in the mid-1990s, right into the heart of Europe and the seat of the beast power! Many memorable statements were made as we walked through this prophetically important nation. When God records end-time Church history, it will leave quite a testimony to where He sent His prophet and apostle. We have visited Egypt, Malta, South Africa, Hong Kong (as it was being given back to the Chinese), Taiwan, the Philippines, Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Britain, Scotland and Ireland. Mr. Flurry taped programs in Canada and around the United States in a number of different locations. He made several trips to Jordan, Greece, Turkey and Egypt. We have taped programs from the island of Patmos, where God revealed the book of Revelation to John. Mr. Flurry has taped in dozens of historically critical locations around the nation of Israel, including Shiloh, Caesarea, Sodom, Eilat, Jericho, Mt. Ebal and Jerusalem. We visited and taped a few programs in the Sinai Peninsula, where Mt. Sinai is located. Mr. Flurry has taped programs all over Jerusalem: the Mount of Olives, the Old City, the Ophel and overlooking the greater city of Jerusalem. We have taped on rooftops, pastures, train stations and even the top of a pillar of the Sydney Harbor Bridge. Some taping sessions were blistering hot in the deserts of Jordan, Israel and Egypt. In Scotland, I remember standing in a puddle of mostly frozen water, with Tim and Melody Thompson next to me. That was a great experience; I distinctly remember how cold Mr. Thompson said his feet were! I think he preferred the studio environment, but he was a real adventurer, so this experience was meaningful to him too. And all the while Mr. Flurry was delivering God’s message.
One story must be told. While in Jordan, we found a beautiful, isolated location to tape the program. Our only “obstacle” was a large herd of sheep. On this particular trip, Mr. Nash was with us and commissioned to “keep all the sheep away from our taping location.” We were in a very expansive field. It was difficult to maintain composure as Mr. Flurry spoke on prophecy, while out of the corner of my eye I could see Mr. Nash doing his best shepherd work. Unfortunately, Mr. Nash is not that great of a shepherd (though he can do and has done everything else you can imagine). By the time Mr. Flurry was concluding the program, he was flanked by two sheep, each of them facing him, as he continued to speak. Mr. Nash, having returned in failure, was doing his best not to laugh along with Stephen Flurry and me. I had to zoom in on Mr. Flurry as he was finishing, because if I had maintained our original shot, the two sheep would have been part of the program!
There have been so many great memories over the years, but nothing more memorable than the messages themselves.
Several locations impacted Mr. Flurry more than others. I think Jerusalem will always be the most special. But Shiloh, Chartwell and a massive graveyard in the Philippines stand out to me. Powerful, deeply moving programs about Samuel, Churchill and Douglas MacArthur come to mind. We were in the audience while former President Bill Clinton was awarded the Charlemagne award. In Scotland, we watched the parade and ceremony as the Stone of Destiny was delivered to Edinburgh Castle. We have taped with missile fire in the distant background in the Golan Heights, passing trains in Aachen, Germany, and on the rough seas with the White Cliffs of Dover in the background.
While Mr. Flurry discussed Satan being cast down during his first program in God’s house, we experienced an earthquake. Mr. Flurry didn’t stop. The message continued to flow as it always does.
Since moving to God’s house for taping, the intensity of the messages has increased once again. Mr. Flurry just taped a program about the “prince of Rosh” and the “son of man” of Ezekiel 38. As we all should be familiar with, earthshaking events are now shaping the world as powers and leaders rise and fall. We continue with the transition from the blessing of Abraham to the times of the Gentiles. Right in the midst of everything, God’s man explains the significance as God communicates to humanity.
What a towering commission Mr. Flurry has. It doesn’t hurt to remind each of us of the duty we have to pray for inspiration, encouragement, faith and boldness for our pastor general as God speaks through him to a dying world. This is not an easy job; I can testify to that. Mr. Flurry’s devotion to giving this world God’s message regardless of how difficult it might be, and always, always conveying hope, is the very work you and I support.
If you go back and study God’s direction, encouragement and conviction as He commissioned Jeremiah to do His Work (Jeremiah 1), you will draw many parallels to what is going on today. Without God’s words as the foundation of each program, we would be no different than any other program in the world. When God gives His message and courage to His prophets, whether it is Jeremiah or Gerald Flurry, we can have the confidence that the Almighty God of the universe will speak His mind through their yielded attitudes.
As noted earlier, God has opened magnificent doors for the Philadelphian remnant that is loyal to His government, message and way of doing things. Jesus Christ Himself said that God does the works (John 14:10). The Key of David program represents every effort to utilize technology and hard work to present God’s message to the world. We have been blessed with the finest studio available now that we are using Armstrong Auditorium. Technologies have changed over the past 21 years; everything seems smaller, better and faster. But one thing has not changed: the message. Yet it has become bolder, more specific and more detailed as we near the end of 6,000 years of deplorable human history.
The Key of David is a must-watch for each of us. More new revelation has been declared on the program in the past few years than ever before. On multiple occasions, God “broke” the new revelation first on The Key of David. It has never been more important to stay tuned each week as God speaks through His watchman.
Visitors to our websites are treated to a historical library of Key of David programs. I encourage you to visit more frequently. Drink in the message God has been communicating to this world for over 21 years through Mr. Flurry.
It is difficult to convey all the stories, facts and inspiring details of the Key of David program. Thank God for these 21 years of revelation. Thank God for His faithful messenger who works tirelessly to fulfill his commission from God. Stay tuned to the program, because you know as well as I do that the most dynamic and exciting days are just over the horizon.