As one of TWR’s most long-standing partners, Evangeliums Rundfunk (ERF) Medien, a German Christian media broadcasting company, will celebrate their 60th anniversary in October 2019, many good memories and stories of the past six decades are brought to mind.
ERF Medien is a Christian media broadcasting company that offers programming aimed toward young and old alike; the healthy and sick; Christians and non-Christians; women and men. Founded in 1959 in Wetzlar, Germany, ERF was one of the first private broadcasters in Germany to spread the Gospel through the media - first by radio, and later on television and over the internet. (https://www.erf.de/erf-medien/unternehmen/english/32295?reset=1)
ERF and TWR
For TWR, the concept of the national partner came into being with the birth of Evangeliums-Rundfunk (ERF) of Germany. Hermann Schule, chairman of the German board of directors and coordinator of German programming in Tangier at the time, approached TWR in the 1960s for exclusive rights to the German-language programming in Monte Carlo. It was a difficult decision, but an attractive offer. It would make it easier for TWR to pursue other languages – those of Eastern Europe, for instance. Through the agreement, TWR handed over German-speaking outreach to the Germans themselves, and other broadcasters would be directed to ERF if they wished to continue broadcasting to German audiences.
No one really understood the significance of that first decision to allow the establishment of a totally independent, autonomous entity, but it started TWR on the path of national partnering relationships. In due course Evangeliums-Rundfunk, which is known today as ERF Medien, undertook the support of many worldwide projects. Throughout Europe today there are more than thirty national partner offices and studios broadcasting through TWR and on local stations. (Source: Great Things He Has Done – A Testimony of God’s Faithfulness Through 60 Years of TWR Media Ministry – 2014)
ERF in Africa
In January 1975 “Evangeliums-Rundfunk” (ERF) German Department for Africa was founded in Johannesburg, South Africa by Rev Martin Frische (Pastor at Stadtmission Johannesburg). In September 1978, Rev Frische joined ERF full-time and the ERF offices moved to Pretoria, South Africa. The new ERF studio was dedicated in March 1981, and in November 1987 the ERF-SA board was approached by Horst Marquardt (ERF-International) and Bill Mial (TWR-IHQ) to consider becoming the new partner of TWR in South Africa. In June 1993 the new board of TWR-SA was formed, with Rev Martin Frische as Executive Director, along with other board members representing various South African language ministries. Reverend Horst Marquardt represented ERF International on the board, while Andrew MacDonald represented TWR International. After 23 years in the radio ministry Rev Martin Frische resigned in 2001 as Executive Director of TWR-SA, accepting a call as pastor of a local church in Johannesburg.
Today, Rev Frische is retired, but still involved as consultant in the sending agency of TWR. Eberhard Haberkorn is currently coordinator of German programming in Southern Africa, and travels to Namibia every year to meet with the ERF-board and to visit German listeners, churches, organisations and individuals, many who are faithful prayer, financial or ministry partners of the German ministry.