Spokane Churches Create North American First

Eight area Seventh-day Adventist churches joined to launch the first Adventist Russian-language television channel in North America.

In addition to being the first channel, the Open Book Channel is also the first Russian-TV channel in Washington. The channel was officially launched at a grand opening ceremony Sabbath, Feb. 6, at the Spokane Linwood (Wash.) Adventist Church.

The new channel offers religious-themed programs, including local Slavic church services, cooking and exercise shows, and children's programming. Piggybacking on an open channel of Spokane's He's Alive Television, an Adventist television station, the new channel is airing at 39.3 on the UHF dial. It is not currently available on cable.

Volody Nesteruk, pastor in charge of the OBC, says the goal of the channel is to appeal to all Russian-speaking viewers, though a lot of the programming will have a religious bent.

"We provide a wide range of programming for our Russian families here in Spokane," says Nesteruk. "We're trying to make our channel interesting for people who have no religious affiliation."

Spokane is home to an estimated 25,000–30,000 Russian-speaking people, a population that has been rapidly growing since the 1990s. Nesteruk says the programming will be a little touch of home for them.

"We are here to share the gospel," says Nesteruk. "We are grateful God has given us this privilege to minister to our Russian-speaking families in a special way."

The OBC is also available online.