Public access television was created by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 30 years ago to allow ordinary people to use a television station. The cable company cannot control the material shown on the public access channel. The FCC mandates local cable television companies to provide one or more channels for public use.
In 2008 John Miller and Pastor Robert Martinez of the Lincoln (Neb.) Northside Adventist Church visited the local offices of the Time Warner Public Access building and applied to air a local Adventist television program. They had dreamed of using public access TV to reach the Lincoln community for Christ.
Permission was granted, and they launched “Eden to Eden,” an hour-long telecast that has aired more than 50 tapings. Members of the Holland and Northside churches have adopted this project and have faithfully met every other Sunday afternoon in Time Warner’s studios to tape the program. “The Eden to Eden team has given their time and effort to consistently produce a quality program.” says Pastor Martinez.
Eden to Eden started out with taped short sermons, later changing into an interview format. We have interviewed local Adventist professors, administrators and pastors.” For example, author and pastor Dennis Smith, was interviewed on the theme of the Holy Spirit, and Martin Weber, Outlook magazine editor, shared fascinating experiences from having been a police chaplain. Rich Carlson, chaplain at Union College, told about the student missionary program and about Union’s International Rescue and Relief program (IRR), including the experiences of the IRR students assisting after the devastating earthquake in Haiti.
Another programming option has been the re-broadcasting of DVDs by other Adventists. “We have re-broadcasted the Final Events of Bible Prophecy by Doug Batchelor of Amazing Facts. Also the Seventh Day series on the history of the Sabbath, and Dick Stenbakken’s videos “Faces Around the Cross,” “Faces Around the Manger” and “The Armor of God.”
“It is important to obtain permission to re-broadcast other people’s material. It is also easy to contact them,” Martinez explains. “We call them first and then send a request in a follow-up letter.”
Pastor Martinez throws out a challenge to other Adventist churches in the United States. “Contact your local cable television provider for more information on how to have a TV program for God. In the days prior to Christ’s Second Coming, we have the opportunity to reach thousands with the Advent message via television. God has provided the means—free airtime, studio, cameras and sound systems. All are all waiting for each local church to put them to use in the service of the Master.”