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Faith For Today (Brazil)

By Caiky Xavier Almeida

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Caiky Xavier Almeida

First Published: October 18, 2021

Faith For Today is an Adventist television program broadcast in Brazil, produced weekly by TV Novo Tempo (Hope Channel – Brazil). The studio is located at Rod. General Euryale de Jesus Zerbine, no. 5876, in Jacareí city, in the countryside of São Paulo state, Brazil.

Faith for Today is the oldest evangelistic program in Brazilian television. Currently hosted by Pastor Felippe Amorim, it addresses subjects such as religious fanaticism, elderly rights, resilience, ecology, and citizenship. Starting from these subjects, Faith For Today broadcasts the message that having faith in Bible truths is possible.1 The program airs every Friday at 11 p.m. through TV Novo Tempo, and aims to reach a broad audience.2

Background

The Seventh-day Adventist Church has broadcast through radio since the 1940s. In 1942, due to the work achieved through radio in the United States, the General Conference recommended radio as one more way of evangelizing South America. The Adventist church created the program Voz da Profecia3 as a Brazilian version of the American show Voice of Prophecy.4

On May 21, 1950, the television program Faith For Today was released in New York City, hosted by William and Virginia Fagal. The program became the first official Seventh-day Adventist television broadcast. From the beginning the program offered the audience Bible lessons, books, and other spiritual and personal improvement materials.5 The first Bible school of the program started in 1952 under the leadership of Virginia Fagal. Through the years, over 450,000 people completed one of the courses by correspondence, and at least 30,000 joined the church through its influence.6

In 1961 Voz da Profecia was broadcast by 168 radio stations in Brazil.7 This was made possible through the efforts of Roberto Azevedo, the Adventist Church Public Relations director in Brazil.8

In the 1960s, South American Adventists broadcast 505 weekly radio programs and, through this work, 12,144 people were baptized.9 During this period, the South American Division, together with Pastors Roberto Rabelo and Roberto Azevedo, invited Pastor Alcides Campolongo to start the first religious television program in Brazil, called Fé Para Hoje.10 The initial plan was for this program to follow the same lines as the American Faith For Today.

Founding

In January 1962, in a meeting attended by about 3,000 people, an offering of 1.3 million cruzeiros (approximately US $590,900.00) was collected for the foundation of the Faith For Today program in Brazil. The event was held at Campineiro Adventist Gymnasium (current São Paulo Adventist Academy or UNASP-HT).11 In June of that year, the South American Division Board of Directors voted for the official launch of the program,12 whose presenters were Alcides and Neide Campolongo. The new program’s music was overseen by Pastor Flávio Araújo Garcia, conductor and teacher at the Music Academy of IAE Brazil College (present-day UNASP-SP).13

The program premiered on November 25, 1962, at 11:45 p.m. on Tupi-Channel 4, in São Paulo.14 The theme of the first episode was “Faith in God,” with the participation of Geraldo Dantas, Fernando Bruck, and Flaminio Favero, actors from TV Tupi.15 The programs were recorded at the station’s headquarters in São Paulo and were sent for retransmission in cities such as Brasília, Goiânia, Porto Alegre, Salvador, Curitiba, Belém, and Londrina. In the beginning recordings were on videotape, high technology for a time when transmission system via satellite was limited.16

Designed to follow the same style as the North American version of Faith For Today, the Brazilian Fé Para Hoje contained a dramatization and a biblical message, followed by a short sermon. To end the program, a male quartet presented a song, and Virgínia Fagal invited viewers to subscribe to the program’s Bible course and to request other materials containing relevant themes for the spiritual life.17

In addition to the Campolongos, the program’s team was composed of the following: Roberto Rabello, speaker of the program Voz da Profecia; Roberto Azevedo, director of Radio and TV at South Brazil Union Conference (current Central Brazil Union Conference); Rodolfo Belz, president of East Brazil Union Conference (current Southeast Brazil Union Conference); and Orlando Pinho, treasurer-secretary of Associação Paulista (São Paulo Conference). Geraldo Vietri, producer of TV Tupi - Channel 4, oversaw the organization and direction of the program.18

History

One month after the program premiered in São Paulo, TV Tupi in Rio de Janeiro began broadcasting the same content to the entire state of Rio de Janeiro, followed by TV Piratini, in Porto Alegre, in May 1963. In March 1964 TV Brasília started airing the program.19 The South American Division contributed a portion of the project’s expenses, and the mission fields in the cities where the program was broadcast covered the rest.20 The quartets Arautos do Rei [King’s Heralds] and Alvorada were the first to contribute music. Singers like Dilza Garcia, Samira Demétrio, Helena Garcia, and Irenilda Menegusso also participated, joined by the Grupo Decisão [Group Decision], the conference choir São Paulo Adventist Choral, and pastor and conductor Williams Costa, Junior.21

As the program aimed to find people interested in learning more about the Adventist message, Faith For Today started to use the Telepostal School, which operated in the same building as Voz da Profecia, in Rio de Janeiro, using the same workers of the Radiopostal School.22 The Telepostal School was organized to answer viewer correspondence.23 A 1968 survey found that approximately 100,000 people watched the program weekly.24

In 1974 the Radio and TV Department of Associação Paulista promoted the graduation of 5,500 students from the program’s Bible courses. The graduation program featured a 300 voices choir, made up of members from churches across São Paulo.25 In July 1980 TV Tupi went off the air,26 forcing Faith For Today to switch to another channel. The recordings and broadcasts moved to TV Morada do Sol, in the city of Araraquara, São Paulo’s countryside,27 where it remained for four years, until returning to the capital, where a one-year contract was signed with TV Record. The program was shown daily at 8:30 a.m.28 At the same time, TV Bandeirantes broadcast a one-minute preview of the program, from Monday to Friday,29 at 1 p.m.30

From 1985 to 1990 the program was recorded at the Voz da Profecia studio in Curitiba, Paraná. In 1986, after a proposal made by the chief financial officer of TV Gazeta de São Paulo, Faith For Today began broadcasting on Sundays at 10 a.m. In 1999 the program began recording in the studios of the Central Brazil Union Conference (UCB), and remained so until 2008, when a break was necessary due to Pastor Campolongo health.31 In the last year of the program on TV Gazeta, the audience reached more than 500,000 thousand viewers on Sundays at 8:30 am.32

Also in 2008, the program’s 45th anniversary was celebrated. The ceremony took place at Central Brazil Conference Adventist Church, and was attended by members of the congregation and viewers of the program. Pastor Campolongo presented the message with special participation of the Acasp choir, recalling the first editions of Faith For Today. The program went off the air for seven years, finally broadcasting again on April 7, 2015, on Novo Tempo, with Pastors Ronaldo de Oliveira and Edson Rosa presenting the message. That year Faith For Today was replayed on Sundays (at 9 am), Mondays (at 9 am and midnight), Thursdays (at 4 am), Fridays (at 9:30 am) and Saturdays (at 10 am). The new production was completely restructured, with a new format and more dynamic production, while maintaining the program’s evangelistic core, including the offer of free Bible courses.33

In 2019 Novo Tempo restructured its programming grid to better adapt to the routine of the Brazilian people. These changes brought innovative content and maintained those that were appreciated by the public. On July 1, 2019, Pastor Felippe Amorim began as the program’s presenter.34

Perspectives

Faith for Today is produced with the view that religion and faith will always have a place in people’s lives. “In a world full of doubts and uncertainties, Faith For Today brings reflections that it is still possible to have faith in the truths presented in the Bible, written more than centuries ago. The program shows how God’s promises are real and can be experienced by anyone, even today.” Faith For Today continues to be one of the main missionary programs of Novo Tempo TV, and is fulfilling its mission of taking the word of God to all people.35

The future plan for Faith For Today is “to reach all classes of society.” The program seeks to keep up to date and use more inclusive language to achieve its missionary objective. As the first religious program on Brazilian television, Faith For Today strives to continue to innovate and inspire.36

Hosts

Alcides Campolongo (1962-2008); Ronaldo de Oliveira and Edson Rosa (2015-2018); Felippe Amorim (2019-current).37

Sources

“A Graduation of ‘The Voice of Prophecy’ and ‘Faith for Today’ for 5,500 People.” Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], July 1974.

Aldé, Alessandra. “TV Tupi.” Centro de Pesquisa e Documentação de História Contemporânea do Brasil [Contemporary Brazilian History Research and Documentation Center, CPDOC] (Online), 2009.

Campolongo, Alcides. Evangelismo minha paixão [Evangelism is my passion]. São Paulo, SP: Brazil Publishing House, 2009.

Campolongo, Alcides. “Fé Para Hoje completa dois anos” [Faith For Today turns two]. Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], December 1964.

Centro Nacional da Memória Adventista [National Center of Adventist History]. http://www.memoriaadventista.com.br/wikiasd/index.php?title=Centro_Nacional_da_Mem%C3%B3ria_Adventista.

Conceicao, Jonatan. “First Faith For Today program” (video). Faith For Today, March 17, 2012. Accessed June 26, 2019. https://bit.ly/2PQoc9w.

Faith For Today. https://faithfortoday.tv/.

“Fé Para Hoje completa 45 anos” [Faith For Today turns 45]. Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], May 2008.

Figuhr, R. R. “Mensagem pelo ar” [Message on air]. Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], 5, 26.

Fonseca, Alexandre Brasil. “Muito Além do Sábado: o Pioneirismo Adventista na Mídia Eletrônica Religiosa” [Much Beyond the Sabbath: Adventist Pioneerism in the Religious Eletronic Media]. Revista de Estudos da Religião - REVER [Religion Studies Review], September 2008, 96.

Greenleaf, Floyd. Terra de Esperança [Land of Hope]. Tatuí, SP: Brazil Publishing House, 2011.

Holdorf, Ruben. História da Comunicação Adventista no Brasil [History Of Adventist Communication in Brazil]. Engenheiro Coelho, SP: Unaspress, 2009.

Horton, Mairon. Programa histórico da TV brasileira volta a ser exibido hoje (07) na Novo Tempo” [Historical Brazilian TV program will be shown again today (07) on Hope Channel-Brazil]. Notícias Adventistas [Adventist News] (Online), April 7, 2019.

Moroz, Davi. “Pregando para 100 mil pessoas” [Preaching for 100 thousand people]. Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], August 1968, 21.

Nigri, Moises S. “South Biennial Schools.” Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], June 1962, 25-26.

Novo Tempo [Hope Channel-Brazil]. https://www.novotempo.com/.

Rosa, E., editor. 100 anos Conduzindo Vidas em São Paulo [100 years leading lives in São Paulo]. Tatuí, SP: Brazil Publishing House, 2006.

Notes

  1. Mairon Hothon, “Programa histórico da TV brasileira volta a ser exibido hoje (07) na Novo Tempo” [Historical program of Brazilian TV will be shown again today (07) on Hope Channel-Brazil], Adventist News, April 7, 2019. Accessed June 25, 2019, https://bit.ly/2pQTWke; Hope Channel- Brazil, “Faith For Today.” Accessed February 5, 2020, http://bit.ly/2VwHXWz.

  2. Hope Channel, “Faith For Today.” Accessed February 5, 2020, http://bit.ly/2VwHXWz.

  3. “The Voice of Prophecy is the oldest evangelical program on Brazilian radio, starting in 1943. Since its beginning, it has had the musical participation of the Arautos do Rei [Kings Heralds] quartet. Nowadays, the program has its version, also for TV and it is presented by Pastor Gilson Brito who has been in the pastoral ministry for over 30 years. Biblical sermons that present the hope message and salvation.”  Hope Channel Brazil, “The Voice of Prophecy.” Accessed January 28, 2020, https://bit.ly/2RzGrRh.

  4. R. R. Figuhr, “Mensagem pelo ar” [Message on air], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], September 1942, 5.

  5. Faith For Today, “History.” Accessed June 25, 2019,https://bit.ly/37ZvTAI.

  6. R.R. Figuhr, “Mensagem pelo ar” [Message on air], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], September 1942, 26.

  7. Floyd Greenleaf, Terra de Esperança [Land of Hope]. Tatuí, SP: Brazilian Publishing House, 2011, 525.

  8. E. Rosa, ed., 100 anos Conduzindo Vidas em São Paulo [100 years Leading Lives in São Paulo]. Tatuí, SP: Brazilian Publishing House, 2006, 51.

  9. Floyd Greenleaf, Terra de Esperança [Land of Hope]. Tatuí, SP: Brazilian Publishing House, 2011, 525.

  10. Alcides Campolongo, Evangelismo minha paixão [Evangelism is my passion]. São Paulo, SP: Brazilian Publishing House, 2009, 105.

  11. Moises S. Moises S. Nigri, “Escolas Bienais Sulinas” [South Biennial Schools], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], June 1962, 26.

  12. Alcides Campolongo, Evangelismo minha paixão [Evangelism is my passion]. São Paulo, SP: Brazilian Publishing House, 2009, 105.

  13. Moises S. Moises S. Nigri, “Escolas Bienais Sulinas” [South Biennial Schools], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], June 1962, 26.

  14. Centro Nacional da Memória Adventista [National Center of Adventist History], “Programa Evangélico Fé Para Hoje” [Faith For Today- Evangelical Program]. Accessed June 25, 2019, http://bit.ly/31UjxYf.

  15. Jonatan Conceição, “First Program Faith For Today.” Youtube video, Faith For Today, March 17, 2012. Accessed June 26, 2019, https://bit.ly/2PQoc9w.

  16. Alcides Campolongo, Evangelismo minha paixão [Evangelism is my passion]. São Paulo, SP: Brazilian Publishing House, 2009, 107; Mairon Hothon, “Programa histórico da TV brasileira volta a ser exibido hoje (07) na Novo Tempo” [Brazilian historic TV program is broadcast again today (7) on Hope Channel-Brazil], Adventist News, April 7, 2019. Accessed June 25, 2019, https://bit.ly/2pQTWke.

  17. Alcides Campolongo, Evangelismo minha paixão [Evangelism is my passion]. São Paulo, SP: Brazilian Publishing House, 2009, 106.

  18. Alcides Campolongo, “Fé para hoje completa dois anos” [Faith For Today turns two], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], December 1964, 26.

  19. Ibid., 25.

  20. Alcides Campolongo, Evangelismo minha paixão [Evangelism is my passion]. São Paulo, SP: Brazil Publishing House, 2009, 107.

  21. Ibid., 108.

  22. “Radiopostal School served to enable sending lessons to students of Bible courses and to answer the questions of the listeners.” Alexandre Brasil Fonseca, “Muito Além do Sábado: o Pioneirismo Adventista na Mídia Eletrônica Religiosa” [Much Beyond the Sabbath: Adventist Pioneerism in the Religious Electronic Media], Revista de Estudos da Religião [Religion Studies Review] - REVER, September 2008, 96; Alcides Campolongo, “Fé para hoje completa dois anos” [Faith For Today turns two], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], December 1964, 26.

  23. Alcides Campolongo, Evangelismo minha paixão [Evangelism is my passion]. São Paulo, SP: Brazil Publishing House, 2009, 115.

  24. Davi Moroz, “Pregando para 100 mil pessoas” [Preaching for 100 thousand people], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], August 1968, 21.

  25. “Uma Formatura da ‘Voz da Profecia’ e ‘Fé Para Hoje’ de 5.500 Pessoas” [A Graduation of ‘The Voice of Prophecy’ and ‘Faith For Today’ for 5,500 people], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], July 1974, 18.

  26. Alessandra Aldé, “TV Tupi”, Centro de Pesquisa e Documentação de História Contemporânea do Brasil [Contemporary Brazilian History Research and Documentation Center, CPDOC], 2009. Accessed June 26, 2019, https://bit.ly/2JT4nKT.

  27. Ruben Holdorf, História da Comunicação Adventista no Brasil [History Of Adventist Communication in Brazil], Engenheiro Coelho, SP: Unaspress, 2009, 164.

  28. Alcides Campolongo, Evangelismo minha paixão [Evangelism is my passion]. São Paulo, SP: Brazil Publishing House, 2009, 108.

  29. Ruben Holdorf, História da Comunicação Adventista no Brasil [History Of Adventist Communication in Brazil], Engenheiro Coelho, SP: Unaspress, 2009, 164.

  30. Alcides Campolongo, Evangelismo minha paixão [Evangelism is my passion]. São Paulo, SP: Brazil Publishing House, 2009, 109.

  31. Ibid.

  32. “Fé Para Hoje completa 45 anos” [Faith For Today turns 45], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], May 2008, 37.

  33. Mairon Hothon, “Programa histórico da TV brasileira volta a ser exibido hoje (07) na Novo Tempo” [Historical program of Brazilian TV will be shown again today (07) on Hope Channel-Brazil], Adventist News, April 7, 2019, accessed on June 25, 2019, https://bit.ly/2pQTWke.

  34. Wagner Cantori (Content director of TV Novo Tempo [Hope Channel Brazil]), email message to Carlos Flávio Teixeira (ESDA associate editor), October 14, 2019.

  35. Ibid.

  36. Ibid.

  37. For more information about Faith For Today program go to: https://www.novotempo.com/programa/feparahoje/ and https://ntplay.com/feparahoje/, or Instagram: @feparahoje, Twitter: @feparahojent, and Youtube: Faith For Today.

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Almeida, Caiky Xavier. "Faith For Today (Brazil)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. October 18, 2021. Accessed November 29, 2022. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=6IAN.

Almeida, Caiky Xavier. "Faith For Today (Brazil)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. October 18, 2021. Date of access November 29, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=6IAN.

Almeida, Caiky Xavier (2021, October 18). Faith For Today (Brazil). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved November 29, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=6IAN.