Bringing the Bible to Life

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Public TV doesn’t often focus on the Bible, but one Christian Reformed Church member has been instrumental in changing that in the Chicago area.

Roger Triemstra, 75, a member of Bethel CRC in Lansing, Ill., worked with Don De Graff, mayor of South Holland, Ill., to raise $3 million to create a three-hour miniseries based on the book Walking the Bible by Bruce Feiler. The series premiered in January on PBS television in the Chicago area.

“What intrigued people was the opportunity to put the Bible on public television in a way that would be attractive to people who don’t read the Bible. People were willing to make the investment because of their faith,” said Triemstra.

PBS reported high ratings and plans to rebroadcast the series in April and offer the Walking the Bible DVD as a pledge incentive.

Feiler narrated the documentary as it was filmed in Iraq, Turkey, Egypt, and Israel. It was a dangerous 10,000-mile journey because of war, terrorism, and desert temperatures. Live-action recreations of Bible stories were done on-site by local people.

Plans are under way for nine more hours in the series, including Where God Was Born, also based on a book by Feiler, and Roots of Christianity, which highlights the geography of the New Testament.

“The whole goal is to get people to read the Bible,” said Triemstra. “The power is in the Word of God.”

Visit for information on local broadcast times or to purchase a DVD of the program.

About the Author

Ruth Moblard DeYoung, a former Banner news correspondent and teacher, writes children's books. She is a member of Hope Christian Reformed Church in Oak Forest, Ill.