NEW BEDFORD — The Happy Bible Hour is believed to be the longest running religious radio program in the United States. A celebration will of being on the air for 90 years will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at the People’s Christian Church, 2240 Acushnet Ave. at 20 p.m. The service will be led by Rev. Ardyth Bednarz, the pastor of the church. It will be taped live and broadcast by WBSM at 7:05 a.m. at a later date.
The Happy Bible Hour first aired in October 1927 when Rev. Russell W. Baldwin began broadcasting from a small studio in the New Bedford Hotel. He continued until his death in September 1978. Rev. Ellsworth B. McAfee was chosen to replace Rev. Baldwin and continued to host the Happy Bible Hour, until his death in June 2008. His brother, Rev. William R. McAfee and lay preacher Stephen Monette, also preached on the Happy Bible Hour.
Rev. Ardyth Bednarz has continued to host the Happy Bible Hour along with lay preacher, Arthur Briggs. The show is broadcast on WBSM every Sunday at 7:05 a.m. The program fulfills a need for people who can’t get out to church or are preparing for their own church service.