By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
GRAND Bahama received major exposure this week when the world’s largest Christian Broadcasting Network, TBN, held a live recording of its ‘Praise the Lord’ TV show at the Grand Lucaya Resort.
The network has over one billion viewers worldwide and selected Grand Bahama as the destination for its show, which took place on the Great Lawn of the Grand Lucaya Resort on Tuesday.
Matthew Crouch, vice-president of TBN, and his wife, Laurie, hosted the programme. Also appearing were international acclaimed gospel singers and ministers Donnie McClurkin and Smokey Norful and Johnathan McKnight and Samuel Rodriguez, respectively.
This is the first time that the programme was recorded in Grand Bahama.
Eddie Victor, religious executive at the Ministry of Tourism, described it as “historic” and said it provided would help to promote Grand Bahama as an ideal location for recreational travel and religious events.
“TBN is the largest Christian television network in the world. It reaches an estimated 100 million households in the USA and one billion households worldwide,” he said.
Against the beautiful ocean view background, the show was recorded around 5.30pm with many locals and visitors in attendance.
Presidents of the Bahamas Christian Council Dr Ranford Patterson, Grand Bahama Christian Council president Rev Peter Pinder, and Apostles Henry and Anne Higgins, Pastor Eddie Victor, The Cooling Waters Gospel Group and Simeon Outten and New Life Singers attended and performed.
“Through the preached word, song and dance, the evening shows billions of viewers just why It’s Better In the Bahamas,” said Brooke Sherman, senior communications executive at MOT. “This event comes at a time when Grand Bahama’s tourism economy is experiencing phenomenal growth,” she added.
With air arrivals up by 33 per cent, she said Grand Bahama is on a path of economic revival.
Manager for Religious Tourism Debbie Huyler believes that exposure gained from the show is significant. “The mileage and exposure that we will gain from this opportunity is priceless,” she said. “Grand Bahama is now being placed on the map to be identified as a unique destination and a royal gem within a chain of islands.”
Mr Crouch said the show is a ministry broadcast. “It is not meant to alone bring attention to a particular place, although the beauty of this location is hard not to look at. This is a ministry broadcast and we hope the prevailing understanding ... of the audience is that it is pure ministry where people will be encouraged, healed through prayer, find salvation ... and people’s lives will be changed,” he said.