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Many of you have written to us expressing an interest in knowing the history of the Berean Tape Ministry. We appreciate this and we will attempt to explain to you it's beginning and progress.

My wife, Chet, and I had the pleasure and privilege to sit under Bro. Ferrell Griswold's ministry for seventeen years and were greatly blessed by his faithful teaching consisting of the whole counsel of God.

Bro. Griswold died in 1982 and a few months later the church called Bro. Gary Roper to be our pastor. While Bro. Roper was with us his infant son was stricken with meningitis. This resulted in complete deafness due to the heavy doses of antibiotics given in order to save the child's life. About three years later, Bro. Roper and his wife found it necessary to move to Memphis in order to place their son in a special school for the hearing impaired. They desired for him not only to be able to "sign"but to be able to speak in order to communicate with all people. He was not sufficiently being trained in Birmingham, therefore, the necessity for the move to Memphis.

By this time, the church membership had been reduced to a fairly small number due to various reasons such as moving out of town, illness, deaths, etc. Instead of calling another pastor, the church decided to disband and we would all go our separate ways. We proceeded to dispense all of the church's assets such as property, furniture, money, etc.

Prior to this, I was in charge of recording and duplicating the tapes for the church. While in the process of disbanding, Bro. Roper suggested that Chet and I start a private tape ministry. We gave serious consideration to this and decided that it would indeed be a good work for the glory of the Lord and the good of His people for we knew the value of the tape library. It consisted of the master tapes of Bro. Griswold dating back to the 1950's up until he died.

Our willingness to start the tape ministry was presented to the church. The church then voted to give us the tape library, the equipment and money that was needed to operate the ministry. Soon, the church disbanded and then we were on our own. We must admit that we were very excited over this but have to confess that we didn't know where or how to start! By the time that we got the tapes, we discovered that they were all out of order and it took us several months to get them in the order that we thought they should be in. This was a tremendous job and we saw (after printing the catalog), that we made a few mistakes. However, these mistakes haven't been a problem. The Lord was surely gracious to us to this point!

The next step was - who would we send the tapes to - how could we get started? We were given ten names and addresses so we immediately sent them out and, in a few days, we got a letter from one of the recipients stating what a blessing the tapes had been and thanking us very much!! Well…..the Lord was so good to us by sending us just what we needed in encouragement through that letter! We then heard from others that we had sent to and then we started getting requests for tapes from people that we had never heard of. The word was getting around about these wonderful tapes. We gave to all who asked for them.

It wasn't long until the Lord opened a mighty big door for us. We were made aware of the annual Southern Baptist Founders Conference held, at that time, in Memphis, TN. This was a gathering of pastors, deacons and their wives. Some believed and some were coming into the understanding of the Doctrines of Grace. We were able to obtain a list of those attending the conference between 1983 and 1988. We sent tapes to all of the pastors that were listed and the response was wonderful. It became apparent, by the letters that we received, that the pastors were recommending the tapes to other pastors and, on other occasions, pastors would send us names of pastors asking us to send tapes to them. We were staying busy! Later, the Lord opened other doors for us to go into several seminaries to provide tapes for the students studying for the ministry. We are extremely grateful for this opening, also. Gradually, our ministry has primarily become a ministry to pastors, seminary students and missionaries. However, we always give to all people who desire them.

Another huge door was opened for us when Bill Clark, missionary and editor of the Evangelical Times in England, printed an announcement or advertisement in his paper about our ministry and the offer of tapes recorded by Bro. Griswold. This has resulted in extending our ministry to thirty foreign countries.

By now, year 2006, we've been in operation for 23 years and have been able to send our tapes into thirty five countries. We are so grateful that out Lord has been pleased to let us do this and it has been such a joy to us to be able to provide these tapes free of charge to all. We will continue to do so as long as the Lord provides. As we look back over the years, we see how our Lord of Grace has taught us and brought us along, step by step, in establishing this ministry. It was done so smoothly and we have such a LOVE for it!! Also, we have a treasure of letters from you out there that has been such a source of blessing and encouragement to us by telling us how much you have been blessed by the truth taught on these tapes. This is our great desire, that you will indeed be blessed and our Savior will receive all honor and glory!!

All of those long hours, year after year, that Bro. Griswold devoted to his study of God's glorious Word - seeking more and more of a deeper understanding - has most assuredly proven to be great blessings to many, many dear souls.

Truly, this can be said of Bro. Ferrell Griswold……
"He being dead, yet speaketh."
Hebrews 11:4


Berean Tape Ministry
New Castle, IN.
Randy Sidwell
E-mail: sidwell90@hotmail.com

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