This Easter weekend, as the folks at Australian Christian Channel remember Christ’s death and resurrection, they’ll also have a little extra to celebrate: their 20th birthday.
For the early adopters who’ve been watching since it started, it may be hard to believe it’s been that long—but it was Easter of 1999 when ACCTV launched, becoming our nation’s first TV channel wholly dedicated to faith-based programming.
The channel, based on the Sunshine Coast, started broadcasting on Optus Vision cable and satellite TV network, which later merged with Foxtel.
Today ACCTV continues to broadcast through Foxtel as well as Fetch TV, and also streams through its on-demand platform ACCTV NOW. The ability to stream means the channel can now potentially reach up to 88% of Australians with its programs.
Station founder Mike Jeffs reflected on the achievements the channel has made in two decades: “I’m thankful to God that from such humble beginnings, ACCTV has accomplished so much,” he said.
Viewers have enjoyed movies not seen on other channels, such as The Passion of The Christ, The Heart of Man and The Case For Christ; and popular series like What’s Cooking With Young & Free, and When Calls The Heart – with an enthusiastic fanbase who proudly call themselves ‘Hearties’.
Many popular preachers and Christian identities have a home on the channel such as Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, Brian Houston, Phil Pringle, Paul DeJong, Bayless Connolly, Russell and Sam Evans, Bobby Schuller and Joni Eareckson Tada, and ACCTV also broadcasts a wide range of documentaries, dramas, films, and programming for parents, kids and teens.
ACCTV will celebrate its anniversary with a special documentary broadcast at 5.30pm on Easter Sunday, April 21. The doco will feature Australian country rock and gospel singer-songwriter Steve Grace, who was one of the first faces to appear on the channel back when it launched in 1999.
Later this year, the station will also host an open day at its Sunshine Coast studios for ACCTV friends and supporters.