Christian Living

ChurchWatch 07/24/07

George Otis, Sr.: Another Christian General Goes Home

Another of God's generals has passed on to his reward in heaven. George Otis, Sr., the man who pioneered Christian radio and television in the Middle East and influenced millions of Christians around the world, died last weekend at the age of 90.

George Otis, Sr., had been the general manager of LearJet before he received Christ as his Savior. Otis later founded the "Voice of Hope Radio Network" which can still be heard on every continent around the world.

His energetic enthusiasm for the gospel helped him touch the lives of actors, athletes, and politicians, including Ronald Reagan.

The Voice of Hope radio ministry was founded by George Otis in 1979 and began broadcasting in South Lebanon. What started as a small radio station, evolved into a global broadcasting network with bases throughout the world. When George Otis retired in 1999, Jackie Mitchum Yockey was appointed as the executive in charge of taking the ministry into the new millennium.

After twenty years, the Voice of Hope was forced to evacuate from South Lebanon as the Israeli military withdrew its presence from that area. Amid the chaos, High Adventure was able to be broadcasting again within forty days. Because of God's grace and timing, we are now for the first time in history, sending the Gospel to the nations live from Jerusalem.

In addition to the "Voice of Jerusalem", which broadcasts over the Sky Angel satellite network, we now broadcast a live streaming Internet station, "The Voice of Hope - Jerusalem".

Middle East Television

Otis also founded Middle East Television (METV) and later passed it on to CBN. On May 2, 2000, in the midst of the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, Middle East Television relocated to Cyprus.

Pat Robertson remembered his friend on The 700 Club. " When the Lord made George Otis he threw away the mold.  He was quite a man who had irrepressible joy and enthusiasm."

Dan Wooding of Assist News Service remembered his relationship with Otis. "I first became aware of George Otis Sr., when I joined Irish-Canadian Ray Barnett, who was running Lebanon Aid, under High Adventure Ministries, to bring help to the embattled people of Lebanon. We visited the Voice of Hope radio station shortly before it was blown up by terrorists."

"I later met George several times in Southern California, and he was always bubbling with enthusiasm for his latest project. The last time I saw him was at the 85th birthday celebrations for another great character, Harald Bredesen, on Saturday, August 23, 2003, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel"

"Otis, who, like Bredesen, was deeply involved in the Charismatic revival in the United States."

According to Wooding, another person who was deeply affected by George Otis, Sr., was entertainer Pat Boone, who said he and his wife were led into the experience of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit by Otis.

"I consider Harald Bredesen and George Otis to be my two Holy Spirit fathers. George was the one who led Shirley [his wife] and me into the Baptism of the Holy Spirit then he introduced me to Harald, his dear friend, and Harald just came right along side like the Paraclete [the word comes from the Koine Greek word meaning 'one who consoles - a comforter' or 'one who intercedes on our behalf - an advocate'] and led me into fuller commitment and understanding of God."

Influence on Ronald Reagan

Steven Lawson, writing in Charisma talked about the influence that both Bredesen and Otis had on Ronald Regan.

He said, "Bredesen was with [Pat] Boone and evangelist George Otis Sr. on another much-celebrated visit, this time with then-California Gov. Ronald Reagan. Otis told Reagan that if he remained faithful he would someday occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. With Otis on one side of Reagan and Bredesen on the other, the group joined hands and prayed."

Eric Tiansay and Adrienne S. Gaines, also writing in Charisma, said, "Some Christian leaders say Reagan felt a sense of calling to the presidency. Christian broadcaster and author George Otis said he prophesied to then-Gov. Reagan at his home in the late 1960s that he would one day occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.--if he walked uprightly before God.

Bob Slosser, former Executive Vice President at CBN, recorded the incident his book, Reagan Inside Out:

"I was just sort of praying from the head," Otis said. "I was saying those things you'd expect-you know, thanking the Lord for the Reagans, their hospitality, and that sort of thing."

That went on for ten or fifteen seconds, and then it changed. "Everything shifted from my head to the Spirit," Otis recalled. "The Holy Spirit came upon me and I knew it. In fact, I was embarrassed. There was this pulsing in my arm. And my hand-the one holding Governor Reagan's hand-was shaking. I didn't know what to do. I just didn't want this thing to be happening. I can remember that even as I was speaking, I was working, you know, tensing my muscles and concentrating, and doing everything I could to stop that shaking.

As this was going on, the content of Otis' prayer changed completely. His voice remained essentially the same, although the words came much more steadily and intently. They spoke specifically to Ronald Reagan and referred to him as "My son." They recognized his role as leader of the state that was indeed the size of many nations. His "labor" was described as "pleasing."

The foyer was absolutely still and silent. The only sound was George's voice. Everyone's eyes were closed.

"If you walk uprightly before Me, you will reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue."

"We realized we had heard the voice of God," Otis told Charisma Magazine. "Reagan acknowledged the prophecy to Boone after his first inauguration in 1981, indicating that he felt guided by a sense of divine purpose," Otis said. (Read excerpts regarding George Otis from Reagan Inside Out: The Prophecy; The President)

George Otis, Jr. has continued in his father's ministry steps. He is the CEO, Founder and President of The Sentinel Group, a Christian research and information agency. He has traveled and ministered in over 100 nations of the world, and has served as a senior associate with the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization.

CBN News: 'Voice of Hope' Founder Passes Away

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