DR. J. VERNON MCGEE
John Vernon McGee was born in Hillsboro, Texas, in 1904. Dr. McGee remarked,
"When I was born and the doctor gave me the customary whack, my mother said
that I let out a yell that could be heard on all four borders of Texas!" His
Creator well knew that he would need a powerful voice to deliver a powerful
As a student pastor, Dr. McGee's first church was located on a red clay hill
in Midway, Georgia. It was there that he received his greatest compliment:
"It was from a country boy wearing high buttoned, yellow shoes. After a
morning service he came to speak to me. He groped for words, then blurted
out, 'I never knew Jesus was so wonderful!' He started to say more but
choked up and hurried out of the church. As I watched him stride across the
field, I prayed, 'Oh, God, help me to always preach so that it can be said,
I never knew Jesus was so wonderful.'"
After completing his education (earning his A.B. from Southwestern
University in Memphis, Tennessee; his B.D. from Columbia Theological
Seminary in Decatur, Georgia; his Th.M. and Th.D. from Dallas Theological
Seminary in Dallas, Texas), and after pastoring Presbyterian churches in
Decatur, GA, Nashville, TN, and Cleburne, TX, he and his wife came west,
settling in Pasadena, where he accepted a call to the Lincoln Avenue
Presbyterian Church. He recalls this period as the happiest in his life,
with a young family and a young congregation whom he loved.
McGee's greatest pastorate was at the historic, Church of the Open Door in
downtown Los Angeles, where he served from 1949 to 1970. There he began a
daily radio broadcast called "High Noon Bible Class" on a single station.
Dr. McGee began teaching Thru the Bible in 1967. After retiring from the
pastorate, he set up radio headquarters in Pasadena, and the radio ministry
expanded rapidly. Today the program airs on over 400 stations each day in
the United States and Canada, is heard in more than 100 languages around the
world and is broadcast worldwide via the Internet.
During his last few years, failing health demanded the cancellation of many
speaking engagements. This was extremely distressing to him. There was no
recurrence of an earlier bout with cancer during this time, only a weakening
heart. Back in 1965, after radical surgery, the doctors had given him 6
months to live. The Lord gave him 23 years.
Dr. McGee and the Board of Directors planned in advance how the program
would continue in the event of Dr. McGee's homegoing. The message would
remain the same and the "voice" of Thru the Bible Radio would continue to be
Dr. McGee, through the use of the taped 5-year program, except for those
foreign language broadcasts, where the producers use the printed 5-volume
Bible study to translate and produce the program.
On the morning of December 1, 1988, a few minutes after a visit with the
then Associate Director of Thru the Bible, alert and in conversation
centered around his concern for the continuance of the radio ministry, Dr.
McGee fell asleep in his chair and quietly passed into the presence of his
If you'd like to know more about Dr. McGee, you might be interested in our
hardback book The
Whole Word for the Whole World: The Life and Ministry of J. Vernon McGee.
Dr. J. Vernon McGee was an active participant in this radio ministry for 47
exciting years. When his health began to fail, plans were made in advance to
decide how the Bible study program would continue in the event of his
homegoing. The message would remain the same and the "voice" of Thru the
Bible Radio would continue to be Dr. McGee, through the use of the taped
After our Savior called Dr. McGee home in December of 1988, the program's
reach continued to grow. Today, Thru the Bible is a worldwide ministry
airing on over 800 stations in the U.S. and Canada, and heard in more than
100 languages and dialects around the world. Our mission is simple and the
same one Dr. McGee himself embraced: To take the whole Word to the whole
The continued success of this ministry, even after the death of its founder,
gives testimony to God's abundant blessings. The work is supported entirely
by the fervent prayers and faithful giving of our wonderful listeners, and
we plan to keep sending the Word out as long as God allows. Our theme verse
is Revelation 3:8�"I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open
door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept
my word, and hast not denied my name." We pray now more than ever that God
will continue to guide us through those open doors until the Lord Jesus
"One day I switched on my radio and, all of a sudden, I heard your
program. It moved my heart to believe that God exists." (from
a Hindi listener in India)
God has not put most of us in an exotic, faraway place. Perhaps, like Moses,
you don't even feel able to speak about the Bible within your own familiar
surroundings. Radio and Internet broadcasting can give you a voice as you
tell others about Thru the Bible. It can leap across the sea, over high
mountains, into the midst of troubled nations. It can go into the quiet of a
house church in China or into the most remote areas of Africa and India
where whole villages listen together. We have the privilege of being
missionaries together using the powerful tools of radio and Internet.
To learn more about our founder and Bible teacher, Dr. J. Vernon McGee,
and the impact for Christ Thru the Bible Radio has had on the world, take a
moment to watch our ministry video!