Morning Devotions celebrates 80 years on air

Inspirational radio show is 'life changing'

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MESSAGE OF HOPE: Major Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions, a daily radio show on Hope 103.2.

MESSAGE OF HOPE: Major Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions, a daily radio show on Hope 103.2.

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Radio program celebrates 80th anniversary.

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Australia's longest running radio program will celebrate its 80th anniversary on April 1.

Currently Morning Devotions broadcasts from Sydney on Hope 103.2 just after 9am every day presented by Major Chris Witts from the Salvation Army.

However, the show orginated on radio station 4BC Brisbane prior to Easter 1942 at 9.30am on Wednesday, April 1 (Good Friday was April 3 that year), and has also been known as Counsellor or Morning Interlude.

In 1949, Presbyterian Minister Reverend Vernon Turner, who later launched Hope 103.2, was asked to take over as presenter of Morning Devotions - the exact date is unknown.

The original quarter-hour program consisted of a short talk, two recorded hymns and a prayer, with the format eventually shortened to a talk and prayer lasting less than five minutes.

In 1953, Vernon moved to Sydney where he continued to record Morning Devotions on disc and sent them in to 4BC.

By then, he had also established The Christian Broadcasting Association, now known as Hope Media - that became the parent company of Hope 103.2 - which produced programs for commercial stations across Australia.

Morning Devotions became a daily feature on 2CBA Sydney in 1979, when Vernon launched the station now known as Hope 103.2.

The Rev. Vernon Turner

The Rev. Vernon Turner

Hope Media chief executive Phillip Randall said Morning Devotions today remained one of the most popular features on Hope 103.2.

"We've heard from thousands of listeners saying it is part of their daily routine.

"Many listen in their car before going into their office to begin work. Some have said the inspiration they've received has helped restore broken relationships, give life new meaning or even convinced them not to end their life.

"It's truly life-changing radio."

After presenting Morning Devotions over six decades, Vernon handed the baton over to now presenter Major Chris Witts.

Rev Vernon Turner's last edition was aired on 2CBA on August 30, 1997.

Morning Devotions can be listened to as podcasts here

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