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REX HUMBARD: Radio Evangelist On TBN with Oral and Evelyn Roberts, Paul Crouch, LaVerne and Edith Tripp
Radio Interview
With Bill and Janae Cooksey


.....NBC and also Mutual Network during World War II. We did five programs worldwide every week during the war days. I did a lot of radio.....

Taken From "Cooksey's American Carousel Radio Classics"
Bill and Janae Cooksey

JANAE: You mean, you actually talked to his sons?

BILL: I did. I made one call to Don at the main ministry headquarters in Florida. Then Don gave me an 800 number to Rex Jr., who called me back on his cell phone on California.....coast to coast Humbards.

JANAE: Well, it stands to reason. Rex Humbard has always seemed to cover large areas with his many years on TV and radio. And I've enjoyed his TV shows so much when he'd have all the family sing.

BILL: There's no question about it. He's a class act. Remember the other night we saw him and his wife on TBN with Oral, Evelyn, Paul, LaVerne and Edith?

JANAE: I sure do.

BILL: Paul had asked Oral to pray for healing for the many requests that had come in. And Brother Roberts took a few minutes to be sure every need was covered. There were only a couple of minutes left in the program when Paul mentioned there were many watching who surely needed to accept Jesus right now. Then, lo and behold, he threw the ball to Rex and said, "Rex, we've only got a minute left. But would you just pray that prayer to lead someone into the Kingdom?"

JANAE: I saw that and wondered how he was going to do it.

BILL: Like the faithful servant he is, Rex just went straight ahead. He touched on every essential part of getting saved in his prayer. And I believe there was 15 seconds left to go. I couldn't believe it.

JANAE: We think we present it sometimes quickly on this program when there's only 2 or 3 minutes to go after an interview.

BILL: Rex Humbard is a living example of being able by the Grace of God, to be "instant in season out of season".

JANAE: Amen!

BILL: It's just about time for him to call in. Are you comfortable, Sweetheart?

JANAE: Yes, I'm ready.

RICH: Heads up, guys. Rex is on the line. Tape is ready to roll. I'll punch him into your headsets.

BILL: Brother Humbard, are you there?

REX: Good morning, Bill. How are you both today?

JANAE: We're fine. And we want to thank you so much for your time to be with us on our program.

REX: I'm glad to do it.

BILL: Brother Humbard, our Producer, Rich, is going to slate this and we'll just go right on into our interview. Can you hear us okay?

REX: Just fine.

RICH: Alright. Everyone, stand by.....we're ready to roll. Cooksey's American Carousel interview with Reverend Rex Humbard begins in



COOKSEY: Well, Brother Humbard, I'm so delighted to have you with us today. Tell us where you're located here in the United States.

HUMBARD: Well, my offices are in Boca Raton, Florida. But I'm living in California.

COOKSEY: Your son told on you. He said you wanted to get as far away to the other side and you picked California. Right?

HUMBARD: Well, I did it for my wife's health. Florida was kind of getting to her in the summer months.

COOKSEY: My wife, Janae, had a pretty hard time down there too. Although as an entertainer many years ago, my first job as a single act was right there in good old Boca Raton. We appreciate the California climate also. Brother Humbard, it's wonderful to have you on this program because your whole background has been in Salvation and getting people saved. Literally, putting Jesus first.

HUMBARD: Well, that's it! That was my calling and I've stuck to it 63 years now.

COOKSEY: Oh, my word! You're going to get serious before it's over with. I'm telling you. Can you share with us how you started off in ministry?

HUMBARD: Well, first of all, my Dad was a preacher. My mother was a preacher. And they ran a rescue mission in Hot Springs, Arkansas way back in the early days. In l932, I was in the service. I played the guitar at church and sang and things like that. But that morning, something happened that was unusual. The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart. We used to have what we called a mourner's bench at the front of the church. And I went forward and knelt at that old fashioned bench. And, you know, it was one of those where everybody gathered around and prayed for those that came to the altar. Somebody slapped me in the back and said, "Let go." Somebody else slapped me in the back and said, "Hold on." I don't know which I did, but that day Jesus came into my heart. So the very next day, I took my guitar and walked two blocks down the street to a radio station, KTHS. I walked in with my guitar. The man looked at me and said, "What do you want?" I said, "Mister, I want to sing church songs on the radio." He said, "What for?" I said, "My Dad's down here. He's got a thousand seats in this rescue mission. In this old theater, he's trying to help people with their needs." Now this was in the Great Depression, of course. He'd take them off the street, feed them and try to tell them about Jesus. So, I said, "He don't have anyone to preach to. He won't have 40 people in there with a thousand seats. But if you'll let me sing on the radio and tell them where my Dad's preaching, I'll get him a crowd. Well, 63 years ago in Hot Springs, Arkansas, they didn't have too much to put on the radio. So, he led me into a studio and put a mike in front of my face. And he said, "Now, when that light comes on....." I'd never seen a microphone. He said, "When that light comes on, you start talking and singing." Then he turned it on. That's 63 years ago and I've never quit talking and singing and telling someone about Jesus. I'm still at it.

COOKSEY: Oh, that's so wonderful. You know, Brother Humbard, once you've got Him in you, you can't help but talk about Him if you love Him.

HUMBARD: That's right! For 20 years I managed my Dad's crusades all across the United States and Canada.

COOKSEY: What was your Dad's first name?

HUMBARD: Alf! Alf Humbard. Yeah, the whole Humbard family was generated. Then we went into NBC and also Mutual Network during World War II. We did five programs worldwide every week during the war days. I did a lot of radio.

COOKSEY: You know, many people are not aware of the influence radio has in our individual lives. They see all the technology, the computers, the satellites and the cable TV. But, you know, Rex, I believe radio is still a powerful medium. It's like a private visit with someone. Don't you think?

HUMBARD: That's right! Because mainly, now days, you've got the car and you've also got the tapes. This has become a powerful thing.

COOKSEY: As you progressed in the ministry, you moved on to another state. Didn't you finally settle in Ohio?

HUMBARD: Well, we traveled for 20 years all across the United States and Canada in revival meetings. Then we had a 6000 seat tent in Akron, Ohio in 1952. The meetings were great, but I saw a new thing called TV. I'd done TV in '48 and '49... but not very Indianapolis, Indiana. We were there for a crusade in a 10,000 seat building. But they'd just put this new thing on the air. And we did the second program ever on television in Indianapolis. That was in 1948. But in '52, I was standing on the street corner down in Akron, Ohio, while we had this 6000 seat tent up and meetings going every night. There was the Cleveland Indians and the New York Yankees. There was a little box sitting inside a plate glass window with a speaker outside. And people were on the street looking at it. There was no TV in Akron. It was coming out of Cleveland. Someone would hit a ball and the folks watching the TV would jump up and down and scream and everything on the sidewalk. God spoke to my heart and said, "That's powerful! God ought to be on there." They had no preachers on TV in those days. So I ran home and said, "We're going to stay in Akron rather than travel all over the United States. We'll just stay in Akron, be a large church and go on this thing called TV....go to every state in the Union and evangelize the world through electronics. "My Dad said, "Not me! I'm an evangelist." My brother said, "Not me! We've got this big tent and all these trucks and everything." So, I couldn't get away from it. And I left the family after 20 years of managing the Humbard Family Meetings. I stayed in Akron. I was on radio three times a day. But, I went to Cleveland and they run me out the door. I went back. They didn't want God. I went back 12 times to the same man. I had a great revival going on in Akron. I had a 1200 seat theater that we bought to start. And this man wouldn't talk to me. He just said, "I don't want it. I don't want God. Get out of here." Well, I knew what God wanted, but he didn't. So my thirteenth trip, I went back. I met a man at the front door who used to be the manager of WWVA in Wheeling, West Virginia. And I'd been on that station for years. I said, "Mr. Bigger, what are you doing here?" He said, "Rex, what are you doing here?" Finally, he says, "Well, I'm not at WWVA. I've been promoted. We've got five TV stations and seven radio stations. And I'm the manager over them all. I go from city to city and tell them what to put on the air," And, I said, "You're the man I'm looking for. There's shut-ins...there's aged...there's crippled...there's people that can't go to church and people who won't go to church. I've got a good church service and I want to put it on the television." He says, "You sure have. Come on in here and I'll introduce you to this station's manager." He took me in and introduced me to a man I'd met 12 times. Here's all he said. He said, "Rex has been with us for years at WWVA in radio. He's got a good church service. Put him on TV." Then he just walked out. This guy says, "Where'd you meet him?" I said, "Never you mind. You do what he says."

COOKSEY: God is really something else! Isn't He?

HUMBARD: Yeah! We had to install the first microwave between Akron and Cleveland because the phone company didn't have it in those days. Then we made the old kinescopes with the TV camera shooting the picture off a black and white monitor. And we bicycled those from Philadelphia to St. Louis to Los Angeles. And we had the first nationwide church service all across America.

COOKSEY: And we've seen many of them. Those were so inspiring with the whole family being there...especially, your lovely wife and her very special voice and tenderness. I recently saw when you did the program on Trinity Broadcasting about LaVerne Tripp's tape that you guys did. She sang that duet with Edith and the tears just rolled down my eyes.

HUMBARD: Well, Maude Amy worked with me and all of my family. And my two older sons still work with me. They handle all the business and all that.

COOKSEY: As you traveled through the years doing radio and then you had the church in Akron where you started your TV programs, did you find that you had to present the Gospel a little differently as far as dealing with people's sensitivity?

HUMBARD: First of all, the public media.....when I went into television, I was denounced even by the ministers. It was sinful. It was ungodly. We built a 5000 seat church back in the Fifties. And you couldn't get in sometimes. The people came and they responded. I always gave an altar call and altars were always filled with people wanting Christ. That's what's important. Then we expanded that to go throughout the world in seven different languages as we translated the television programs. And in the radio, we went in 91 languages over a thousand radio and shortwave stations throughout the world. So, we've had a great, wonderful blessing of the Lord. And we've seen souls saved. Of course, our family traveled all over the world in these soccer stadiums in nation after nation after nation. So God's been good.

COOKSEY: Amen! Before I forget it, did that Akron station manager ever get saved?

HUMBARD: No! Not that man. They finally transferred him out of there. But, I was on that station for 33 years every Sunday on television.

COOKSEY: With the marvelous opportunities through Trinity Broadcasting and all the worldwide technology available to distribute the Gospel now, how do you see people receiving the message compared to the way the Gospel was accepted when you first started in Akron?

HUMBARD: I think the main thing is to stay with the heart which is Christ and the Cross and Forgiveness of our sins. And if a person will do that, then the other things are nothing but the package you put around it. The way you package it is one thing. The real Gospel's got to be there. And if it's there, that's the main thing.

COOKSEY: That Word is so powerful. We find that when people call us up for prayer, they may really be hurting and they may accept Christ. But, Rex, so many people are lax in being able to get into the Word due to all the distractions that are out there. What would you say to Christians in general about getting into the Word daily?

HUMBARD: Well, they need to study God's Word, because we're to hide the Word of God in our hearts that we may not sin against Him. And if we haven't placed that in our hearts and in our lives, we're going to have problems down the road...because there are so many who'll direct us and tell us we shouldn't do this, we shouldn't do that or we shouldn't do something else. When I was a kid, it was a sin down in Arkansas to drink a cup of coffee. Well, there was a lot of people who went to the altar every other week because they drank some coffee that week. You know, that's not what it's all about. The main thing is Christ in our heart. We must really receive Christ and place Him in our heart and in our life. And we study the Word of God right along with it, so we know what the Will of God is. And people they love are taken away suddenly. Some of these people turn against God and they declare that they hate Him. Because if He loved them, He wouldn't do this. How do you minister to these people?

HUMBARD: Well, there is no hate...there is no evil... in God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. They're all good. And people have to understand that. Of course, the natural man does not understand spiritual things. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. So, until a person comes into a life of spirituality and of faith, they don't have a balance to go to. I mean, they have nowhere to turn. And I don't know how people get through life without having something that is real and is the truth and something they can depend upon. Most people too, try to figure God out and you'll never do that.

COOKSEY: Yes, they want to box Him up. They want to use Him just when it's convenient for their desires. You know, Rex, you mentioned something a while ago...something that touches our hearts. Every service, I believe, should have some kind of altar call. There's so many desperate people out there that need Jesus. Would you just take a moment right now and to those who are listening wherever they're hearing us today...would you just make that altar call for them and help them to get down to that mourner's bench?

HUMBARD: I think we must receive God, Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit and spiritual things by faith. Unless we're going to use our faith to enjoy the benefits, we're going to be in trouble. Right now, I'm looking here at a piece of paper. And it's got your phone number on it and everything. I don't know how my eyes tell my brain what these words are. But it works. It has benefits. And so by faith, I read it and I get that message. Now, there's a lot of people that will not by faith take the benefits of God and Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Because they don't understand it and figure it out. But we need to stop and say, "If I knew that...I could figure God out. Then, I'd be God myself. And so, we wouldn't need God. But by faith we enjoy the benefits of Calvary and Jesus and Forgiveness of our sins. And God has placed something inside every man, every woman, every boy and every girl. We call it a conscience. I've gone places in the Africa...and to the Indians of Alaska where they're never seen a preacher, Bible, church or anything. And I'd say, "When you mistreat your wife...when you take something from your neighbor that's not yours...doesn't something on the inside say, 'Don't do that.'?" And everyone of them will nod their head or tell you, "Yes". Because that's the God part. So along with the Spirit of God and what God has placed in our hearts, we can know what is right and what is wrong. And we do those things that are right. Then the Word of God agrees with the Holy Spirit. And if it's a spirit speaking to us that doesn't agree with the Spirit of God, then that's the evil spirit. There's two spirits. So it comes a time in our life we must come and say, "I'm going to by faith receive God's Plan of Salvation, Jesus Christ. I'm going to dedicate my life to the Lord. And then, I'm going to enjoy His Benefits. And we can grasp faith and the Lord comes into our heart and our life through the power of His Holy Spirit. Next time, we have a chance to steal something, we won't do it...or to mistreat our wife or our little children, we won't do it. And that's what we call "Being Born Again" or Salvation. People need to know Jesus. And I just ask, if your heart were to quit beating, you'd slump to the floor and go out into Eternity..."Are you ready to meet God?" They know whether or not they're ready. If you're listening to me today and you can't truthfully say, "If my heart were to quit beating, I'd go out into Eternity. I'd have to stand before God. Am I ready?" You say, "I'm not sure." Now's the time to be sure. And I want to have a word of prayer with you today........Lord, we come into Your Presence. I pray Your Holy Spirit will speak to that one that needs You today. Someone that one time had tasted of the power of the world to come. But now they're away. Bring them back through Your Power and Your Strength. And, Lord, I pray for that one who's never really had a spiritual experience that you'll forgive them of every sin. And you'll forgive them of their doubts and their fears. And I ask You this day to come into their hearts and into their life. And that "The Lord" may become their Lord. Neighbor, I want you to pray a little prayer with me. Say, "Dear, Lord Jesus. Forgive me all of my sins. Come into my heart and I'll live for You. Amen."

COOKSEY: You know, Brother Humbard, that's the most powerful thing that can be done on this planet. Because it's eternal. Isn't it, Rex?

HUMBARD: Yes, it is.

COOKSEY: What do they do once they've received the Lord?

HUMBARD: Once you receive the Lord, you need to read your Bible, pray, go to church and do Christian others.

COOKSEY: You know, Rex, this has been so wonderful. You've led many, many millions to Christ I'm sure through radio and television in the past. But each time is so, very special. And I just know today that there were lives changed as you gave that invitation to our listeners to receive Jesus.

HUMBARD: Let me say one thing more. After 63 years in God's work from my first radio program, I've never saved a soul...never healed a sick body...never answered a prayer. But I know Someone Who does.

COOKSEY: AMEN!!! Oh, Rex, you said it all right there in the Name, "Jesus". Thank you so much for joining us today. We're going to be praying for you and Maude Amy that God will continue to use both of you in the special way He's done all these years. And you're a blessing to so many others. God bless you as you go in your service to Jesus Christ.

HUMBARD: God bless you.

COOKSEY: Bye-bye.