Share the Good News!
It’s about time. Don and Cheryl Barber hosts of goodnews, a syndicated television show, hear that least once a day whether they’re in Atlanta or Hollywood. Finally, TV programming that consists only of good news and family entertainment has arrived!
John Tesh, Bono, Third Day, Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Franklin Graham, John Grisham, and Kathie Lee Gifford to name a few people who have been featured on the show. With five nominations for Emmys as a daytime talk show and over 35 million viewers each week, this show could be on its way to becoming a common household name.
The success of the show can be partially attributed to the warm personalities of its husband and wife hosts that clearly compliment one another. Don is very warm, soft spoken, with the obvious heart of man called to ministry. His wife Cheryl adds her own persona with wit, charisma, and the ability to communicate. Her down-to-earth charm brings calmness to a busy television studio. Constantly smiling, Cheryl’s pretty face and bubbly personality lights a dark room, while Don soft-spoken demeanor creates trust and intimacy. When one asks a question, the other follows as if reading the other’s mind. They lead the interview in a way that the information being shared could literally change someone’s life.
In the midst of focusing on the success of the show, the Barber’s are rearing three daughters; Stewart, 17, Ellison, 15, and Lindel, 12. As the girls have become older, the show has become something the entire family has embraced. “My girls tell me what I can and can’t wear!” Chuckled Cheryl. “They have really enjoyed getting to meet some of our guests, especially some of the musicians.” Don added as he smiled.
God called Don and Cheryl into ministry years ago. Little did they know what type of ministry that would ultimately turn out to be.
After seminary Don was offered a pastoral position at Peachtree Presbyterian Church. Soon after joining the staff, he became Pastor of Evangelism. Born out of that position was the desire to offer an innovative Sunday school, one offering sound advise to others who were looking for practical Biblical application for daily living. Don’s creative side kicked in.
The new Sunday school class was launched in the sanctuary at Peachtree Presbyterian. Using the “live audience,” Don and Cheryl served as teachers/hosts of this new style of Bible study. They talked to couples, guests and answered questions as in any regular Sunday school class. Only, they did this in a talk show format. Don and Cheryl sat in tall director’s chairs, asked questions and exchanged dialogue with guests.
The format was successful. Eventually someone sent a videotape of one of the classes to AIB, (Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasters, Inc.). Gaining the attention of producers, soon it was to become a locally aired show offered in the Atlanta area.
Two years later, the show is syndicated and they have earned attention from some of the top television producers across the country. On the fast track to success, Don and Cheryl understand that God has a plan and they need to trust His plan now more than ever. “Sometimes I feel like I’m hanging onto the bumper of a sports car, stepping out in faith.” Don laughed. “I think right now I would just like to at least be in the back seat!”
Though this show began as strictly Christian programming, it has evolved into a much broader market, serving the much-needed clientele of “family friendly programming with morals and values.” Hosted by Christians who are committed to maintaining a superior edge of moral quality, Don and Cheryl carefully produce programs that cater to solid messages from a family perspective.
One recent show featured television celebrity John Tesh, who was in Atlanta for several interviews promoting Shades of Blue, a new book compiled by he and his wife Connie Sellecca. The 64-page gift book features crayon drawings from the young survivors of the tsunami disaster in Sri Lanka. All proceeds from the book benefit the children, their parents, and the district of Ampara, Sri Lanka. Good news indeed for the people of India.
John Tesh’s appearance on the set on was just one example of the ever-increasing quality of this show. As goodnews expands into other media markets, Don and Cheryl are have become branded as “Christian media” and by Hollywood producers. And, with a weekly audience that measures 35 million viewers, they are gaining the attention across the globe.
“You have an incredible audience,” they have been told numerous times. Due to their significant numbers, marketers of movies and music would like to influence that audience, and until now have not found the appropriate channels to reach the significant and loyal values driven market. Because of the quick success of goodnews, many of the media-marketing firms are now calling upon Don and Cheryl to be that outlet.
“You should see our mail, we received hundreds of media kits every week. Some include travel itineraries of the movie stars, and others feature the film from a family friendly perspective. They want us to talk about it on our show, or have the stars interviewed on our show.” Don commented as Cheryl nodded in agreement. Is there finally a growing moral voice in Hollywood?
Because of their voice, we too have a voice. We as Christians must embrace this show and it’s faithful hosts. Not only by watching it, but also by becoming involved in a few simple ways.
Not all guests are famous. Many features have been done on everyday people like you and me who have launched a ministry that is having a positive impact. Routinely people go about their service to God and community, often seeming to be unnoticed by anyone except those directly impacted.
“Sometimes the best stories on the famous Tonight Show with Johnny Carson was some child who could do a bird calling,” remembered Don.
“We want to offer a platform to share good news stories that will encourage more good news stories,” Cheryl said with her radiant smile that caused her eyes to sparkle.
Who do you know that has a powerful story? There are many great testimonies that should be told of people impacting our world with stories that are worthy of sharing. Those good news stories now have a place to be shared. Go to the goodnews website and click the link to suggest a guest. Or, perhaps you may have a talent that you can offer to this show. “We want to utilize other Christian talent,” emphasized Cheryl. “There are very talented people all around, and as our show grows, so will the need to utilize the gifts of others.”
In addition, any business can become a corporate sponsor. This is particularly appealing to value-driven organizations. On what other show can a company reach such a targeted audience of 35 million viewers?
Cheryl is quick to recognize that God provided the opportunity and all that awaits them. “When we were at the Dove Awards, we were treated like some big television show! I just wanted to tell them that we were just Don and Cheryl from goodnews. Sometimes the way they treated us, I thought they must have us confused with some other big name show,” Cheryl laughed.
Realizing that God was ahead of them, they make no mistake about remaining “regular people”. The humility of each host certainly adds to the comfortable environment and ease of their interviews. Grateful for the incredible doors that are opening, Don and Cheryl understand the importance of giving God any glory for the success of the show. “It’s God,” they both said at about the same time when reflecting on the short amount of time and the accelerated pace of success. Wishing they could attribute their success to great journalism or PhDs, they both know their success comes from God and for that the honor goes straight back to Him and His provision.
The potential impact of this show is incredible. Once they gain more support of viewers and sponsors, the national impact could be huge. Goodnews could become as big and influential as other popular talk shows airing today, yet from an ethical perspective.
Sharing good news intentionally is exactly what America needs. Stories abound that feature death, violence, and sex. These quietly rob our peace and sometimes even our confidence in God. We become concerned about raising children in such a tumultuous environment.
But there is that other side, less sensational and infrequently featured or shared. That is the very reason that Christians need to support this show to ensure its national success. One successful show like this one can lead to more family entertainment with a moral perspective. By doing so we are creating the very voice we have all wished for. This will provide real life encouragement for us as we go about our daily living, and is sure to inspire others to share their own good news story with others.
Now goodnews can be heard, and yes, it’s about time!
For more information or to support goodnews, log onto www.goodnews-tv.com.