Nearly four years after the death of its controversial president, Harold Camping, Family Radio appears to be on the mend, with a reported increase in donations and the addition of entities like Answers in Genesis to its regular programming.
Family Radio garnered national headlines when its founder and former president predicted that the Rapture would occur on May 21, 2011.
Thomas Evans, current president and general manager of Family Stations, Inc., told The Christian Post that "listener support has remained steady with a slight increase since 2013."
"The need for Family Stations to sell full-service stations has ceased, allowing us to shift our attention entirely upon the optimization of our network," said Evans.
"We are now able to look forward toward strategic, incremental growth of the Family Radio network. Today, we are increasingly confident that the Lord has much more work for Family Radio to do for His kingdom."
Evans told CP about the addition of the influential young earth creationist organization Answers in Genesis to their regular programming lineup.
"Answers in Genesis began airing on the Family Radio network Monday, April 24 and is heard several times daily, Monday through Saturday," noted Evans, adding that other creationism segments will remain part of their lineup.
"Answers in Genesis will replace some daily airings of Beyond Intelligent Design. However, both Beyond Intelligent Design as well as Creation Moments will continue to be heard daily on Family Radio."
In December 2013, Harold Camping passed away after decades of overseeing Family Stations, Inc. and Family Radio. This included overseeing a nightly call-in program called "Open Forum," where anonymous listeners asked a wide array of questions about the Bible.
While most known for his multiple failed end times predictions, Camping also garnered controversy in Christian circles for his claim that the institutional churches of all denominations had gone apostate and that the faithful should leave said churches.
S. Michael Houdmann, CEO of Gotquestions.org, was one of the many critics of Camping's views on the church and the End Times.
"Harold Camping has overlooked the very nature of the church. The church is inseparable from the Lord Jesus Christ, God the Son. It is the body of Christ, with Christ as the Head," wrote Houdmann.
"He has appointed elders and deacons to be undershepherds in His church, and He never identified a time when that structure would change. Right up until the rapture of the church, His plan for church government will remain."
Dale Mason, vice president of Media for Answers in Genesis who oversees distribution of their radio program, explained to CP that the relationship with Family Radio began last March at the NRB Convention in Orlando.
"We discussed the possibility of having our daily — Monday through Friday — one-minute radio feature air on Family Radio, now that we knew it was under new leadership. And then we sent the program director a sampling of our programs," said Mason.
"They were so excited about the content, which focuses on making the Bible our absolute authority as believers in Jesus Christ, that they created room for it in their schedule and, at no cost to AiG they are broadcasting Answers with Ken Ham five times per day."
Regarding Family Radio's controversial past, Mason told CP that they believed that Family Stations was "going in a different direction."
"We are happy to have our Bible-affirming teaching heard on dozens of new stations and reaching millions of people who might need the answers to help them defend their faith in an increasingly secularized culture," said Mason.
"And because we knew that Family Radio is going in a different direction since the passing of its former president, we are confident the organization won't be involved in such controversies in the future."
In addition to Answers in Genesis, Family Radio also recently added the program "Renewing of Your Mind" with R.C. Sproul of Ligonier Ministries on April 24 and the program "Truth for Life," featuring Parkside Church Senior Pastor Alistair Begg on April 3.
Amy Casselberry, spokeswoman with Truth for Life, told CP that "Family Radio invited Truth For Life to teach the Bible on their network, and we accepted their invitation."
"It's our desire to share the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ with as many people as possible, and Family Radio offered Truth For Life a channel that can be heard by many new listeners," said Casselberry.
The "Truth for Life" episodes feature Begg giving a 25-minute expositional Bible teaching program and are broadcasted daily.
As with Answers in Genesis, Casselberry explained that Truth for Life was also willing to give Family Radio a second chance, explaining to CP that "Family Radio is in the process of making changes to their network that align with their mission statement and with what Scripture teaches, and we are glad to provide main and plain Bible teaching to their listeners."
Despite the talk of changes, Family Radio President Evans pointed out to CP that "we remain committed to the supremacy of Scripture and the importance of hearing the Word of God."