Through Jan. 15, the Impact Network is holding a telethon called Detroit the City of Hope, to help in its efforts to give back to the community.
According to Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, founder and president, Impact Network consists of spiritual, social, political, and community oriented programming. It broadcasts on Comcast channel 397 and on channel 40 (formerly WLPC, channel 26) on regular TV.
Jackson is senior pastor of Great Faith Ministries International. He purchased the station last March and has been broadcasting since April.
“Basically, we’re raising funds to help our efforts in making sure we have the type of money that we need to get these programs produced,” he said, adding that part of the money will be used to help Impact Network build.
“What Impact wants, what Impact represents, is impacting the whole man — spirit, soul and body,” Jackson said, adding that he believes he needs to do more than just preach to and pray for people.
“I believe you have to help with the needs of the people,” he said. “Jesus Christ impacted the whole man. He impacted with the spiritual need, also the physical need. We have in our city homeless people. We have people who are disenfranchised. We have people who are not connected.”
Jackson also said that Impact Network not only wants to build out and have positive programs and productions, but, via the telethon, is asking Detroiters to help invest in the lives of those who are disenfranchised.
General anager Terry Arnold said the social programming provided by the Impact Network includes community empowerment and community awareness.
“These social programs will include everything from health education all the way to spiritual and general education,” he said.
“In our community we have a void in exposure, especially in the medical field,” Arnold added.
“What we want to do is expose our community to social lines of health and means of health,” he said. “In other words, we want to empower our community and let our community know how important health education is, living a healthy life, getting annual check-ups.
According to Jackson, the type of programming varies, and includes talk/reality shows, music videos, news, family programming, films, cooking shows, spiritual programming, comedy and community development.
“Impact Network is a spiritually-based, family-oriented network that will help better the lives of our citizens through our programming,” Jackson said.
“Also, when you look at the situation that we’re having with our seniors and our youth, we’re talking about programs that will help enlighten them and better their knowledge on what’s available,” Jackson added. Arnold said social issues include “anything that can impact the community.”
Impact Network broadcasts 24-7. The ultimate goal is community education and reinvestment in city.
“We’re building a brand new, state-of-the-art facility in the city of Detroit,” he said. “We want to work with the mayor’s initiative to reinvest in the city of Detroit.”
Jackson appreciates the support Comcast has given the station and for what Comcast does for the city as a whole.
He added that the Impact Network will be the first 100 percent minority- and women-owned TV station with a Christian base. He also noted that it’s in the city. “That’s one of our community reinvestments,” Arnold said.
He also said while Impact Network is a for-profit business, it’s main purpose isn’t just to serve as a TV station; the main goal is community reinvestment.
“Since channel 62 left the board when it comes to community, we don’t have that now,” Jackson said. “We have the big corporate broadcast houses. We don’t have a station now to give us an outlet where we can come in and voice what’s happening in our region. And that’s very important.”
At one time an independent, African American-owned station, channel 62 has been a CBS affiliate since 1995.
Jackson said if we’re going to build the community up, it’ll take the entire community, not just the mayor’s office or the police department.
Arnold said it’s a blessing that Bishop Jackson, who this month is commemorating 25 years as a pastor, was able to take over WLPC, which he said originally went on the air in 1980.
“But if we get heavily into debt, it’s not going to survive,” he said. “So periodically there will be fundraisers through telethons. This is in support of the reinvestment in the city of Detroit.”
Jackson said Impact Network’s supporters include several well-known ministers from around the country.