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Alistair Begg Explains the Beginning of Truth For Life

Dear Friend,

I’m often asked how Truth For Life began. As this month marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of our daily program, I thought you might enjoy the story…

You’ll probably not be surprised to know that it had never occurred to me that the teaching from Parkside Church should be featured on a radio program. The idea came in 1992 as a result of a student at Moody Bible Institute (a Parkside boy named Bob Butts) suggesting that his pastor was worthy of consideration for a program on Moody Radio.

As a result, we scrambled something together that aired in a Sunday night timeslot on three Moody stations. The response, if I’m being generous, was not particularly encouraging; I still joke that we’re lucky to have received five letters over the course of three years!

Ed Atsinger of Salem Communications, a California-headquartered radio network, heard of us and approached me to see if we’d be interested in creating a daily program. Ed had a vision for expansion, and he explained to me that to move forward, we’d need infrastructure, investment dollars, and processes that we didn’t have in place—nor did we know how to put them in place! So, he assembled a small group of folks on the West Coast to help us launch Truth For Life daily. The program began on fifteen stations on February 27, 1995—and the rest, as they say, is history!

California Crew

Because we were supported initially out of California, our first mailing address was in Orange County. We were Cleveland-based, however, and subsequently moved production to Ohio, where homegrown talent could guide our program. Since Bob Butts had started the ball rolling, he was the obvious choice. We set up operations in two Parkside Church classrooms, thanks to the good graces of our church elders. As the number of radio stations that carried our program grew, we moved from reel-to-reel to digital distribution, then later benefited from technology that enabled us to make the teaching accessible globally through the internet. Parkside Church generously invested in and housed our growing ministry from the days of cassette tapes through to the days of free downloads. It was in February of 2017 that, by way of the generous support from many listeners, we entered our own building.

Bob Butts

Looking back now on twenty-five years, we can’t help but marvel at God’s goodness and provision. Had it not been for the early support of the “California three” and the ongoing support from Parkside Church, we would have had difficulty sustaining the venture.

The prayerful and financial support from listeners like you have been equally essential along the way. Monthly giving from Truthpartners now funds the daily teaching which goes out in a widespread way. In 2019, Truth For Life was broadcast nearly one million times through 1,878 radio outlets—and it’s the generosity of supporters like you that enables all of our online messages to be accessed for free and our books and audio studies to be sold at cost.

We knew nothing of mobile apps, YouTube, Spotify, or Amazon Alexa in 1995. But as we begin 2020, we share a collective sense of gratitude to God for doing exceedingly above and beyond all that we could have imagined. With that comes a sense of joy, responsibility, and dependence on our heavenly Father, who, we pray, will keep His hand securely on us.

If you’re looking to participate in a Gospel mission field in this new year, joining the Truthpartner team is a great way to have a part in bringing God’s Word to people around the world.

With my love in the Lord Jesus,




Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world.
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