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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: February 9, 2015.

If you’re a Christian, chances are you know the world’s largest religious network and America’s most-watched faith channel  –  Trinity Broadcasting Network. About ten years ago, TBN looked at the changing demographics of American society and realized there was a huge segment of the culture that was under-served. Enter Mark McCallie and the birth of JUCETV.

Changing the face of Christian television, McCallie helped to make the forty-year-old network relevant to today’s youth.

This year the entertainment pioneer will be stepping out onstage as a featured speaker for the 2014 the Pan-Pacific Film Festival (PPFF). Held every year in Los Angeles, the event gathers filmmakers from all walks of life for a dynamic Christian film festival. Centered around the promotion of family-friendly entertainment, filmmakers are given the opportunity to host screenings of their films, engage with members of the audience in live discussions, and share expertise as keynote speakers on a variety of Christian media and entertainment topics.

Mark McCallie (TV producer with TBN and now JUCETV for over twenty years) sat down with Sonoma Christian Home to discuss their exciting new endeavors.


Seshmi Robertson, Bianca Peters, Rich Wilkerson, Jr., and Preston Pollard host Top3, one of the many shows JUCETV broadcasts; Photo courtesy TBN



SCH: Tell us about TBN – how did it come to be?


MM:  Trinity Broadcasting Network was founded over forty years ago by Paul and Jan Crouch. They both worked in the ministry and they both come from a lineage of ministers. Paul’s grandparents were missionaries to Egypt. Jan’s father was a prominent minister within the Assemblies of God and they were working at a Christian television station in the greater Los Angeles area.

Paul Crouch was managing the station when he felt God speak to his heart saying, “I release you from this and I’ve called you to something else.”

After praying one evening, the confirmation for Paul came when he and his wife Jan were riding in their car one night. She said, “God spoke to you, didn’t he?” When Jan said yes, Paul knew she was meant to be part of the new ministry – that God had spoken to her as well. She realized that although it was risky, this was the will of God and the calling for their life. So they responded to the burden God put on their heart for what they were to do. They started out by simply purchasing some airtime and a facility, and over time they acquired their first station.


SCH: According to the Nielsen Ratings, TBN is America’s most watched faith channel. How far-reaching is TBN?


MM: It has a satellite footprint over every major population on earth. TBN works with 27 other ministries on a global scale that are serving their respective region. We enable other media ministries. For example, we work with Christian Brothers in Egypt and they run their own television station called Al Horreya. We provide them some technical expertise, equipment, and resources. Actually, when the Muslim Brotherhood came to power, they were run out of the country and they now are housed at the TBN headquarters in Orange County, California.

Top3 hosts Preston Pollard and Bianca Peters do a segment of their show at Jungle Island; Photo courtesy TBN

But it’s strictly autonomous. They are producing their own programming. They’re doing it for their people in their native tongue in a way that’s culturally appropriate for their audience so it’s not just western programming rebranded and sent over there. And that’s done 26 times over with other ministries. We have a similar partnership with a Farsi-speaking ministry witch serves the Persian people of Iran called Nejat. We have a robust ministry. TBN in North America has the potential to reach 95% of the homes in the United States.

SCH: In what ways do you feel that God has had an influence in the establishment and growth of TBN?

MM: There were just some amazing events that occurred to sustain TBN in those early days, when it looked like they were not going to be able to make escrow, or make final payments or stay on the air. But through faith and doing their part with a lot of hard work, it stabilized and began to grow. It’s been miraculous to see the growth of TBN now over 40 years.

SCH: Are there any specific instances you can think of where it was clear that God was working to put something into play for JUCETV?


MM: We’ve felt like it was a miracle in itself that Paul – who was cut from old-school cloth and was leery of something a little more contemporary – felt like God had spoken to him and that he needed to invest some of TBN’s resources into something like that.

The fact that he would entrust us and allow us to be autonomous was a sign in itself. Some of the letters we get from people are impactful. We’re reminded that this isn’t just a job or something cool, but it really does have the potential to bring a life-changing message. The message delivered through JUCETV is changing lives.

Top3 hosts Seshmi Robertson and Rich Wilkerson, Jr. interview Erwin McManus; Photo courtesy TBN


SCH: For any readers that might be unfamiliar with JUCE, why should they tune in? What separates JUCETV from the crowd?

MM: We’re unique in that there’s really nobody that offers the type of programming we do on a regular 24/7 basis. So there might be some block programming found on some other faith channels that might target youth or Christian lifestyle for a couple hours but then they return to one of two things. Either they return to the Waltons going after an older demographic, or they return to the more traditional television preacher behind a lectern.

We’re really geared as a lifestyle channel. Our programming is formatted similarly to what you might see on other mainstream channels. We’re an entertainment and lifestyle channel. The difference is we embrace faith instead of belittle or question it. We come from a Christian worldview instead of a worldview hostile to Christianity. We’re not afraid to seek truth or ask tough questions, but we’re going to do that in deference to our understanding of the Bible versus holding the Bible in contempt or suspicion.

SCH: So what can viewers expect in terms of programming?


MM: You’re going to find comedy shows. There are some really talented comedians featured each week. It’s going to be top of the line comedy – but it’s not going to be blue or grotesque so you’d be embarrassed to have your parents or children in the room. It’s something that can be fun and relatable to both Christians and non-Christians.

Every Friday and Saturday we have movies. We have shows that focus on Christian music and people can stay up to date on what the top videos are of the day. We do different countdown shows for different genres of Christian music. We feature action sports, skateboarding, or snowboarding, or surfing. Whether you’re Christian or not, we can find common ground outside of the faith in that area. We’re going to focus on athletes that are giving back to their community that are committed to their faith and we highlight that as part of the package. That’s true with our reality shows, as well.

JUCETV is not just for television shows, but also for displaying different genres of Christian music. Musician Brad Alden and his band perform on an episode of Top3;  Photo courtesy TBN

They’ll have drama, but it won’t celebrate the lowest common denominator or praise bad behavior. We might show conflict or a different opinion of how things are done, but we’re also going to show how people resolve that. It allows us to showcase what it means to be a Christian yet still engaged with the world. The principles that guide our shows are the principles that should guide our life.

SCH: How does JUCETV hope to glorify God?

MM: We direct people toward faith and encourage those who have their faith. Whether it be encouraging a missionary family overseas or illuminating the fact of God’s unconditional love and ability to forgive a murder in prison, the fact that those lives are touched  – that’s our end goal and it doesn’t get more significant to us than that.


SCH: What is JUCETV’s biggest accomplishment to date in your eyes?


MM: I would say the letters we get. A letter from some missionaries in Afghanistan said that their mission board had asked if there was any Christian television in that part of the world. If so, what kind of effect it was having? This mom of two young teen boys said, “In our own family, the most significant impact has been the programming of JUCETV. It’s been a lifeline for our two children.”

She went on to say how meaningful it was to have a connection to something back home. They were eager to share this channel with their Muslim friends, and show them that Christianity is vibrant in other parts of the world – and cool as well! Not some small sect. She said she had never been a fan of Christian television until encountering JUCETV, but was more thankful that she could express.

That was impactful to us: the appreciation we have for a family that’s really on the front lines, that would dedicate their life – and in a sense endanger it – to go to a group needing some love and understanding. We so admire what they’re doing and to think that we could bring them some comfort and encouragement was just profound. That’s one of the letters that sticks with us to this day.

Hearing stories like that reinforce the fact that this is something that God is willing to use if we are faithful to him. We don’t say that we have it all together. We’re not where we want to be programming-wise, but we’ve set a strong foundation that we’re building upon. We’ve already seen some significant results and we want to have that multiplied over and over again as we continue to grow and build the ministry of JUCE.


Taelor Rian, Seshmi Robertson, Bianca Peters, on the new Top3 set under construction; Photo courtesy TBN

SCH: Do you have any plans or projects you can share for our readers?

MM: The future is looking exciting. TBN has put an investment into JUCETV to give us a new studio just as good as the studios in Hollywood. We’re working on a new website. We are now available in HDTV as well as standard definition. These resources will help us as we continue to grow and look to improve our programming and distribution.

SCH: What does JUCETV hope to accomplish in the future?

MM: One of our bigger needs is to continue awareness to get people to become part of our community. We have a Facebook page and we’re on Instagram. We have a free app, which is a great way for people to connect with us. People are able to watch us live-streaming through that app as well as watch some selected archive shows and interact with us that way. We need people that are motivated to see a channel like this grow, become part of our community.

Our ultimate goal is to get on more cable systems and the way that’s going to happen is by people calling their cable company directly requesting JUCETV. We still have about two-thirds of America to go to get on cable systems. That’s our ultimate goal, because we want to be available to people who won’t proactively seek us out.

But by passively channel surfing, they might engage with us and see something that resonates so that we can start that conversation with them – if anything just soften their hearts so that their neighbor can talk to them about faith. That’s a big part of our mission.



Eager to see what TBN has in store? Check out your local cable listings. If TBN or JUCETV is not included, be sure to contact your local cable provider and request it. Ministries like TBN and their offshoot ministries like JUCETV are making a difference in people’s lives every day. Let’s show them our support!

If you are in Southern California, don’t miss Mark McCallie at the 2014 Pan Pan Pacific Film in Los Angeles, CA, July 24-26th. For more information, please visit To get free general admission tickets, as well as all access and VIP tickets, visit PPFF tickets

Sonoma Christian Home Online Magazine is proud to be an Platinum Sponsor for the 2014 Pan Pacific Film Festival. To give you more insight into the passion and heart of these gifted filmmakers and keynote speakers, Sonoma Christian Home will be doing a series of weekly celebrity interviews. Stay tuned!  Sonoma Christian Home is one of the fastest growing online magazines for Christian women, delivering daily inspiration on food, faith & family, relationships, design & wholesome entertainment.


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