IGH History

How it all started...

Brother V.E. Howard began preaching on Arkansas radio in 1934 when radio was in its infancy.  KTHS covered all of Arkansas and “all the middle states of our nation” according to his friend and fellow preacher, E. R. Harper.   He produced the Gospel Hour for 25 years and in 1963 he was invited to be the English speaking preacher on World Radio overseen by the Whites Ferry Road church of Christ in West Monroe Louisiana.  His broadcast and the oversight of the program were changed to the International Gospel Hour with this move.  “His ability as radio speaker, his knowledge of the Bible coupled with his ability to defend the truth, is unique”, continued Harper in his forward to “35 Years, Are You Listening?”

For sixty-one years he preached via radio and was known for the question, “Are you listening?” to  emphasize points or scriptures in his lessons. Many did listen and the Gospel was shared in many areas of the world.  The phrase is now inscribed on his gravestone.

Howard, at the age of eighty-four in 1995, on the advice of his physicians, transferred the International Gospel Hour to Brother Winford Claiborne and the oversight of the West Fayetteville church of Christ in Fayetteville, TN.  Wallace and Dauna Skipper, who had worked with Brother Howard for many years, moved to Tennessee to continue his work as Operations Manager with IGH.  At his passing in 2006 David Sain assumed those duties.

Claiborne, a popular instructor from Freed Hardeman University, remained as the Director of the International Gospel Hour until his death on November 18, 2014.  He spent the last three years in a wheelchair suffering from cancer but still continued to record programming each week.  In 2013 he announced at the annual Southeast Institute of  Biblical Studies lectures that Jody Apple would follow him as the third speaker of the program.

Jody worked closely with Brother Claiborne and he took over as the speaker upon Brother Claiborne’s passing and continued with the work until December 2019.

The International Gospel Hour is the longest continuous religious radio broadcast in America and is heard on radio stations across the country in 30-, 15- and 2-minute formats with six programs weekly.

Our Speakers

V.E. Howard

Founder
1934 to 1995
Known for the distinctive phrase "Are You Listening?" V. E. Howard, a Louisiana native, started International Gospel Hour in Hot Springs, Arkansas in 1934, and continued as its principal speaker for 61 years. His voice was instantly recognized by thousands who were listening as he forcefully and clearly preached the gospel of Christ. He preached in gospel meetings throughout the United States and baptized more than 8,000 people, authored many books and tracts, wrote several hymns, and published a songbook entitled "Church Gospel Songs and Hymns." His influence as a gospel preacher and broadcaster continues more than twenty five years after his passing.

Winford claiborne

Director
1995-2014
A life-long business man, educator and preacher, Winford Claiborne started working with International Gospel Hour in 1995. After nearly two decades serving as an instructor and annual lectureship director at Freed-Hardeman University, Winford started a new career when he was nearly 70 years old. With a personal library of nearly 15,000 volumes, Winford was both an avid reader and a prolific writer. His favorite broadcasts centered on the Christian home and biblical responses to contemporary cultural issues. After 19 years as the principal speaker, he succumbed to cancer on November 18, 2014. He will always be remembered as the consummate Christian gentleman.

Jody apple

Director
2013-2019
Preaching and teaching since 1978, Jody worked part-time with IGH beginning August 2013 and transitioned full-time in April 2015 and continued as speaker through January 2020. He served congregations in Tennessee, Puerto Rico and in the greater Philadelphia, PA area. He has taught in lecture series, workshops and evangelistic meetings, at Caribbean Christian College, Bear Valley Bible Institute (Pikeville, KY), Southeast Institute of Biblical Studies and currently serves as an adjunct for the Georgia School of Preaching. He and his wife, Evelyn, are privileged to live in the beautiful North Georgia mountains, where they work and worship with the Dahlonega Church of Christ.