A Tribute To Christian Television Network Founder, Mr. Bob D’Andrea
I’ve had the privilege of interviewing many guests in the WHTN studio. One of my biggest honors was talking with CTN’s, Founder & President, Mr. Bob D’Andrea.
Thankfully my case of the interview jitters didn’t squash the conversation. That was probably more about Bob’s gentle demeanor than my skills as an interviewer – but I am grateful, nonetheless. If you’ve ever had the chance to meet Bob, or watch him on CTN, you know that he is a very kind person. His life’s work was about souls. He couldn’t even talk about souls without crying.
Not a Single Paycheck in Over 40 Years
Reaching people for Christ meant so much to Bob that he opted not to receive a paycheck from CTN – not a single paycheck in over 40 years. Bob cared nothing about getting his name out there or building his platform. Perhaps, that’s what made talking with him easy – even though he was a pioneer in Christian television. Through his leadership, CTN grew from one local station in Clearwater, into a network that takes the gospel all over the world 24/7.
When I received the news that Bob was in heaven my initial response was deep sadness. That sadness was quickly accompanied by the great joy of knowing Bob is in heaven. I am thankful for the 26 years that I worked for Bob. I will cherish the memories and reflect on the many secrets I learned in the studio on the day I interviewed him.
There is Always Enough Time
Left unchecked I can be a Type- A Monster Control Freak – Perfectionist who is always thinking about how much time there is, (or isn’t) to get everything done. When I asked Bob how he found time to raise a family and build a television network from the ground up he responded calmly, “there is always enough time to do what God wants you to do”.
I would go on to learn many more lessons. Sometimes I learned more by what Bob didn’t say – than what he said.
Typically, CTN brings the Station Managers together twice a year. The meetings were always a much-awaited reunion and update on the CTN ministry. Each meeting started with prayer, and then there was an opportunity for each Manager to share the needs of the CTN station in their community. With ever changing and costly technology, emergencies are bound to happen. Any good manager wants those problems solved yesterday. As the conversation quieted, all eyes were on Mr. D’Andrea for a response. He acknowledged the needs. Long pause here. Then in a tone barely above a whisper Mr. D’Andrea said, “Don’t get so focused on your problems that you forget why we’re doing this. We’re doing this for souls”.
Zero Interest in Christianity
Souls were Bob’s mission – his fervent prayer and life’s work. When my father in-law ended up sick in a Florida hospital Mr. D’Andrea volunteered to visit him. At that time, my father-in-law had zero interest in Christianity. Bob was not deterred. After my father-in-law was released from the hospital, Bob and his wife Jane picked him up for church. Eventually, my father-in-law accepted Christ as Savior. This miracle of salvation was made possible because Bob made souls a priority.
While the challenges of this life need to be addressed – we cannot afford to miss the opportunity of reaching hurting people with the love of Christ.
Today’s Secret from the Studio: Don’t get so focused on your problems that you forget about souls.
Monica Schmelter is the host of the Bridges television show that airs in over 50 million homes. Currently WHTN is updating their studio – so stay tuned for Monica in the Middle of a Studio Makeover.