On November 17, 2020, Rupert Salmon of the Spokane, Washington area became a trailblazer: He bought the television station operated by the Upper Columbia Conference and thus became one of the few black television station owners and in all likelihood became the first black Seventh-day Adventist station owner.
His journey began in Kingston, Jamaica. He immigrated to the United States in 1972, settling in New Jersey. He found out that he had an interest in computer programming and that is where he made his career-in building and developing computers.
He and his wife were homeschooling their children. It was on a trip to a homeschool seminar in Spokane, Washington that he fell in love with the Pacific Northwest and decided to make the cross country move to Spokane.
He became a member of the Spokane Valley SDA Church. His gifts and interests led him to the Audio-Visual (AV) department of that church-a department that he wound up heading.
While working there, someone made the life-altering suggestion that he work with Conference TV-the station owned and operated by the Upper Columbia Conference. He became a management consultant for the station.
It was while he was doing consulting for the station that he began to be impressed with what must have first seemed to be an outlandish vision: Instead of simply giving recommendations to others about the best way to fulfill their vision for the station, why not buy the station and institute the vision that the Lord had given him?
It seemed like an impossible dream but the Word declares that, “things that are impossible with man, are possible with God”. And so it is that the impossible dream becomes a reality this Friday, November 27, at 6:00 p.m., Pacific Time, with the series “40 Days of Preaching, Teaching and Prayer”. This is a nightly (except for Mondays) series held in collaboration with the North American Division Prayer Ministries Department and the Office for Regional Conference Ministries (ORCM).
Each night, a speaker from a Regional Conference, Pacific Union, North Pacific or Bermuda Conference affiliate, Oakwood University or the North American Division will speak through January 16. They will speak via the “Rays of Light” TV, or, roltv, which can be accessed through their website roltv.org. It features 4 different channels: 3ABN (which Brother Salmon says, has been “his inspiration”) The Hope Channel, the Slavic Channel (because of the concentration of people in the area from the Slavic countries-countries in Eastern Europe, e.g. Poland, Slovenia, etc.) and Channel 4.
The goal is for Rays of Light TV to be the delivery system for content that is produced by local Seventh-day Adventists Pastors, churches and individuals around the country-in particular, by Adventists of color. This programming can be accessed via Apple TV, Roku, and Glory Star and by downloading the Rays of Light app. Their theme is:
“Christian television-By the people and for the people”
We look forward to this historic beginning and pray God’s blessings upon Brother Salmon as he launches this ministry to the glory of God and for the expansion of His kingdom.