The Board of Trustees of Back to God Ministries International (BGTMI) decided at a recent meeting to sell its facilities in Palos Heights, Ill., and move to the Grand Rapids, Mich., offices of the Christian Reformed Church. BGTMI is the media outreach ministry of the CRC. The ministry has been located on the campus of Trinity Christian College for more than 40 years.
The historic decision was made at the board’s second-to-last meeting. The board will soon be disbanded as oversight of the ministry will pass to the CRC’s new Council of Delegates.
In a press release, director Kurt Selles said that this decision was based on the ministry’s strategic plan. “In addition to continuing to use media to reach out in North America and around the world, we need to focus more intentionally on providing ministry content and resources for Christian Reformed congregations. Moving the ministry to the CRCNA headquarters will help us achieve our stated goal of integrating our outreach with the efforts of our sister ministries.”
Reginald Smith, chair of the board, said that 18 months of research and prayerful discussion had led to the decision. “The board concluded that the move will increase our visibility in the denomination and enhance our contribution to gospel proclamation and discipleship, both within the CRC and beyond,” said Smith. Advantages, he said, include being closer to the other denominational ministries and to core donors. Disadvantages include losing employees who do not relocate to Michigan.
First known as The Back to God Hour, the ministry was launched in 1939, broadcasting its first radio message in Chicago. A decade later, the ministry printed its first devotional booklets called The Family Altar (now Today). The ministry now includes Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Hindi, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Indonesian, spreading the gospel in these languages through traditional and new media modes.
The transition will be completed by or before July 1, 2018.