New York preacher starts national religious TV show

Posted: Friday, November 15, 2002

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. (AP) -- The Rev. W. Franklyn Richardson, who twice finished second in voting for the presidency of the National Baptist Convention USA, has won a national pulpit, this time on television.

Richardson, the thunderous preacher who leads Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon, began a weekly TV show Nov. 3 on The Word Network, which is seen on Direct TV, Time Warner and Cablevision and other systems.

''There have been a lot of complaints in religious circles that the black church is not portrayed well or accurately on television,'' Richardson said. ''The church is portrayed as not serious, as too entertainment-driven. This new national ministry of Grace will show a black church that has a legacy of social consciousness and relevance, a black church that is grounded in that tradition.''

The Word Network and the Major Broadcasting Cable Network, both aimed at black audiences, reach about 50 million subscribers through cable and satellite television systems.

The National Baptist Convention is the nation's largest black denomination. It claims millions of members, but the exact number is in dispute.



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