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Family Radio Airs Replacement Programs in Open Forum Slot

Family Radio Poster on BART Train in San Francisco June 9, 2011 (Photo: J. Waits)

Much of my obsession with Harold Camping’s Family Radio empire has been a direct result of his live call-in radio show “Open Forum.” On the air for 50 years, the show was an amazing glimpse into the beliefs of the founder of the large Christian religious broadcasting network.

Through that show, Camping spread the word to listeners about the importance of May 21, 2011 as “Judgment Day” and vehemently professed that great earthquakes and the Rapture would happen on that date, followed by the end of the world on October 21. At the peak of the Judgment Day frenzy, the show was airing 7 nights a week. Although his predictions have changed a little bit (Camping says that his “spiritual eyes” just weren’t fully opened prior to May 21), followers are still tuning in to hear the latest word from Family Radio’s founder.

On June 9th Harold Camping suffered a stroke after returning home following the taping of “Open Forum.” Since that time he has been hospitalized and subsequently moved to a skilled nursing facility. Obviously his program could not continue during his absence and recovery, so ever since June 10th, the religious radio network has been playing old episodes of “Open Forum” on weekday nights. On Friday they completed their run of old episodes, airing a show from May 27, 2011. A recorded announcement over their airwaves last week hinted that “Open Forum” would be temporarily replaced with a variety of programs focused on the scriptures as well as with music.

As promised, Family Radio has begun to air replacement programming in the “Open Forum” slot on weekdays from 5:30 to 7:00pm while Harold Camping recovers from his stroke. Yesterday Family radio aired the show “Searching the Scriptures with Tom Evans” from 5:30 to 6:00pm and it was announced that the program would continue at the time every weekday. Following that show, Family Radio played a number of musical pieces (from the Riverton Singers to Frederico (Hayler) and London Symphony Orchestra), “The Scripture of the Week,” and the short program “Beyond Intelligent Design.” From 6:30 to 7:00pm an episode of “Family Bible Reading Fellowship” was broadcast.

Weekday evenings will certainly be less colorful without Harold Camping’s live call-in show “Open Forum.” His decades-old program is an example of why live radio can be so compelling because one never knew what a caller would ask and how Camping would respond. The show became increasingly more lively and at times contentious as May 21, 2011 grew closer and Camping fielded calls about his prediction of the impending “Judgment Day.” Calls ranged from a distressed grandmother-to-be worried about not being able to meet her unborn grandchild to skeptics asking if Harold Camping was “on crack.”

As the media swarmed to Family Radio following the non-events of May 21, the show took on new meaning when Camping filled the audience with reporters and held a press conference over the air on May 23 (unfortunately that episode is not included in Family Radio’s published show archives). Ever since that day, Open Forum has continued to provide an opportunity for both “true believers” and doubters to quiz Camping about his evolving interpretations of the Bible. It’s definitely been a wild ride and I for one will miss the banter and the oddly compelling cadence of Camping’s voice as he would announce, “Welcome to Open Forum” and would conclude the most intense calls with “Thank you for calling and sharing…”

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5 Responses to Family Radio Airs Replacement Programs in Open Forum Slot

  1. Joanne D. Ferrier July 22, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

    I am most grateful for the bible teachings from Harold Camping and all the others at Family Radio. I have grown so much closer to my Lord because of my understanding of the Word of God.

    May God bless Mr. Camping with a complete and speedy recovery and return to Family Radio.

    People need the Lord! Thank you, Thank you Family Radio for making this point so clear.

  2. Max July 23, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    Next place the unrepentant false prophet will be moved to is hell where he can meet all those he lured into it.

    NEWS ALERT: Vietnam “Massacre” Of naive Hmong Christians; Pastors “Beheaded”, due to being naive listeners of Camping the demonic shameless senile unrepentant false prophet’s radio broadcast.

  3. shiva destroyer October 3, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

    My preacher friend Mr. Harold Camping (Jonah),

    I supposed not to interrupt to this kind of conversation, but I want you to know that your prediction of May 21 to October 21 is regarding the Son of Man and the elect ones… The Son of Man was born at the age of 19xx’s, and now He is on His age that everything was change from being human to being who He really is and was. He is the Spirit of the Truth, of which I know all of your followers believed. He has a plan for this humanity…But thanks to you my friend, because you are also a messenger from God, He used you to open our eyes to the truth.. one day we will meet, my preacher friend and I hope that you and Dr. Owour, the holder of wisdom (Solomon)will also meet…October 21 is the beginning of sorrow, many will mourn and you must pray for your safety and for the others…just watch and take heed of your belief until all things will be done. Be thankful to the Only Almighty Father of All and to His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ. Just Believe in Him.

    I am also hoping that you and your followers should be the only to see and know these message. Please do not let the intruders to see these… I would also like to thank you for understanding every word of these message and for giving me a chance to interrupt to this kind of conversation. Have love and peace to all… God is with everyone, always ^_^

  4. Greg G. October 20, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    I wish Mr. Camping a speedy recovery, but I hope that once he recovers, he stays away from any kind of ministry. The man is a false prophet, plain and simple.

  5. joshua absalam cossa August 7, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

    what a wonderfully day is this me and my family we thank GOD the creator of all and everything by allowing us to learn whole lot more using family radio as vehicle to the bible. Mr & Mrs camping wish all the best and blessing from Almighty JESUS CHRIST…..and let the amen rule in your heart

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