Friday, June 21, 2024
Friday, June 21, 2024
HomeAll The NewsLifeword's Ministry Continues to Expand

Lifeword’s Ministry Continues to Expand

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Lifeword Executive Director Donny Parrish to visit about the ministry of Lifeword, especially how the new warehouse and television studio expansion will provide some new and exciting opportunities for ministry.

Donny’s relationship with Lifeword began in 1990 while he was serving as worship leader and youth pastor at Temple Baptist Church (now South City Church) in Little Rock. Executive Director George Reddin approached Donny about helping Lifeword create their video ministry. After leaving Lifeword in 1999 to serve as executive pastor at Fellowship in Forney, Texas for 12 years, he continued to provide creative content and serve as a radio personality for the ministry.

During the initial renovation when Lifeword moved to its present location, Bro. Reddin had the foresight to soundproof an area, with plans to make it into television production studios. When the location became the BMA Global Ministry Center, this area was used as storage and warehouse space for BMMI’s Shoebox Ministry, Missions and the other departments.

In 2012, at the urging of Executive Director Steve Crawley, Donny returned to Lifeword to be chief creative officer of the BMA of America. He served as production team leader for all media, conferences and development. When Donny came on board, the main focus of Lifeword’s ministry was overseas due to the high cost for radio time in the United States, but Donny approached Executive Director Steve Crawley about developing a daily video production that could take advantage of the opportunity the internet provided. The idea took off, and the result was the “Day By Day” broadcast that Donny began hosting in 2015. The show took off and was very successful. It still runs every day and is now hosted by current BMAA President Dr. Clif Johnson.

In 2016, when Donny became executive director, he shared with the board that Lifeword’s ministry should shift to become a digital broadcaster. Lifeword Cloud was the result of that strategic move. After converting the existing audio studio into a small video production studio, they have produced 11 video shows. In the small space, the Lifeword team has done an amazing job of adapting to expand the ministry. This success highlighted the need for more production space for this growing aspect of the ministry. The solution was obvious. They would reclaim the current warehouse space to be used as originally planned for video production.

The search began for alternatives for the warehouse space, but space was not available. The decision was made to build a BMA Ministry Warehouse adjacent to the BMA Global Ministry Center, then convert the existing space to its originally designed purpose. Almost all areas in the Lifeword Studios will be reconfigured to allow for the expansion of this ministry. The total cost for this project is close to $1.5 million and Donny shared that, Lord willing, the entire project will be debt free when they move-in.

Plans are already in the works for several new video productions designed for sharing on social media. One of the planned shows is a morning variety show — “Lifeword Today” — planned to launch in early 2023, hosted by Donny and Yolanda Merrell. Lifeword plans to expand its social media reach to fulfill its mission of taking Jesus to the world by any means possible, including new productions for Tik-Tok and LinkedIn, among others.

There are many more ideas in the works and exciting things are happening with the ministry of Lifeword, but it is evident that God is blessing the faithfulness of Bro. Donny and the entire Lifeword team. Just in the last 30 days, 2.2 million people have visited Lifeword.org. This construction project will allow more opportunities to reach people with the life-changing message of the gospel. The plan is to move into the new warehouse by Christmas, and the new studio renovations should be ready for production by April 2023.

“Lifeword is presently reaching more people with the gospel of Jesus than in any time in her history,” shared Bro. Donny. “But estimates are that over 2 billion people living today have no gospel witness. Digital content is the key for us to be able to speak into more languages and more cultures. The new studios will go a long way in helping us create that needed programming and content. They will be a blessing to the BMA for years to come.”

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