Reaching the Lost

WTLW has been, and will continue to be, West Central Ohio’s viewer supported TV station striving to Witness the Living Word (WTLW) to our region. Both TV-44 and WOSN remain committed to providing quality Christian programming and coverage of local sports to our viewers.

However, as newer generations transform the way they gather information, we are also committed to taking the Word to them. Jesus commanded us to be his witnesses to the ends of the earth. We believe this includes digital media. What you are going to see unfold through our web and broadcast channels is a strategic integration of all of our media to support the ministry.In the Parable of the Great Feast, Jesus’ message was clear: go find the lost. The transformational shift towards online media hasn’t changed our mission. It’s simply led to an expansion of where we go to pursue it.

Acts 4:4 — Proclaiming the Gospel MessageOur revamped website is a key part of this initiative. Longtime website visitors will immediately notice the change to our homepage. As you can see, Faith & Friends is shifting to be a major part of our web presence. We’re focusing heavily on God in Action — what He is doing throughout the church body — as well as our expanded faith articles. We want to be the local hub of Christian resources in a digital world.

Your Role

Our broadcast entities have always been viewer supported. It is through your charitable donations that we have been able to bring you our on-air programming for more than 35 years. Many supporters give monthly contributions while others will send in one-time gifts. Both are critically necessary to keep TV44 running so that we can further the reach for the Kingdom. Simply put, we need your faithful contributions. As we move into reaching an online world, these contributions will become even more critical. The internet is a mission field just as important as any other.

Another way to support us is through our newly rebranded Acts 44 Foundation. Previously known as our Nehemiah Fellowship, estate bequests as designated dollar amounts or net percentages can be donated to the foundation. A third option is to list Acts 44 as one of the beneficiaries of your 401k or retirement plan.

We cannot state this enough: your support is vital. Acts 4:4 states that the faithful work of two of Jesus’ disciples led to an increase in the number of believers. Will you join us as we strive to increase that number? Will you partner with us to spread the logos, the message, to both a broadcast, as well as, an online audience?

It started in 1976.

A vision by Ron Mighell to bring a Christian television station to the Lima area as an expansion of local Christian radio station WTGN. It took almost 7 years for the legal details to be worked out; in the end, WTGN’s interest in the initiative ended but Ron continued to work on making his vision a reality. With WTGN’s departure, it was decided a new company would be formed, known as American Christian Television Services, Inc.However, our history actually begins long before 1976: we need to go back to 1933. The facility was used by the Lima airport. Constructed during the Great Depression and later abandoned when the Lima airport moved, Ron toured the run-down property in the late 70’s and envisioned the largest television studio in Northwest Ohio. By 1980 the details were complete, the property purchased, and volunteers knee deep in renovations to transform the airport hangar into a center for television ministry.

With the renovations now in full swing, and having received over $1,000,000 in donations, the first governing board was formed consisting of Andrea King, Ron Mighell and Larry Sheets. They chose the new station’s call letters, WTLW, which represented the mission: Witnessing the Living Word.

After renovations were completed, the first broadcast was next. On June 13, 1982, at 3:30pm the first signal went out over the airways. A short video launched this monumental moment, followed by station founder, Ron Mighell, who welcomed the TV viewers on camera by saying just one simple word: "Finally." But regardless of its simplicity, the mission was just as important as the one Jesus gave the disciples in Acts.

TV44’s broadcast day initially began at 4:30pm. A live weathercast followed at 6pm each evening. The prime-time schedule included a nightly segment from Paul Harvey and Ron Mighell hosting Behind the Scenes. As the station grew, more locally produced material grew into the daily schedule including Tools & Tips, Time for You (a live ministry program) and locally produced election night coverage. At one point, TV-44 even aired Cincinnati Reds games - no offense, Cleveland fans!

But the first real transformation came in 1991 during the Gulf War. When the bombs were dropped in Baghdad, TV-44 was the first station in the area to stay on the air 24/7. Since that moment, our transmitter has never been turned off, Witnessing the Living Word around the clock to over 100,000 households in a 14-county area.

Founder Ron Mighell resigned in 1990 to launch WLMB Channel 40 in Toledo. Bob Placie then served as our General Manager from 1990 to 1997. He hosted many of our local programs as well as well as launching the TV station into other successful avenues including local newscasts and an expansion of local sports coverage.

Placie resigned in 1997 to pursue interests in private enterprise. Subsequently, Kevin Bowers was named General Manager in December 1997 and continues in the position to this day. While our sports coverage began in 1988 (with a makeshift operation consisting of just a couple of cameras and two announcers!), by the mid-90s we were producing award-winning sports coverage with upwards of 6 cameras, instant replay, stereo audio and state of the art graphics -- all from a production truck home-built by our engineers.

The success and support of our local sports coverage have been unmatched and in 2010 we launched WOSN (West Ohio Sports Network), creating Lima’s first and only locally produced 24/7 sports channel. We’ve always emphasized local programming: Turning Point & 44 Magazine were mainstays of our daily programming for many years. We also produced Straight Talk from Teens, as well as countless news and information programs/documentaries.

The Present

TV44 continues to be the station that connects our community. We produce the Holiday Music Festival which brings more than 1,000 high school students through our doors each Christmas season. In the fall and winter of each year, we air Whiz Quiz. This pits area high school quiz teams against each other in trivia competition with challenging topics akin to of a game of Trivial Pursuit. Both of these programs demonstrate our continued investment in the accomplishments and future of our local youth.

The Future

Most recently, we began to make headway into the area of digital media as we follow Jesus’ teaching to go wherever the people are found. As millennials and beyond look to the internet as a primary source of their information, it is our mission to be right there with them. However, we can only do all of this thanks to your faithful support. From the bottoms of our hearts -- whether you’ve donated to our auction, been a faithful contributor for years, have prayed for us daily, or have been one of our regular business sponsors -- we sincerely thank you for helping us to Witness the Living Word.