MISSION STATEMENT: “Unity Broadcasting Network seeks to operate a Christian corporation in a manner worthy of God’s calling; to encourage: reconciliation with God, mature spiritual growth and to maintain the unity of the Spirit with God’s people by equipping the saints and spreading the gospel using broadcast media.”
Ephesians 4:1-32 / Romans 12:18 / Amos 3
Bro. Lealon had been broadcasting his "Glory to God Hour" at the station for two years, when God gave him the vision of full-Christian programming on TV-53. Bro. Lealon originated his idea of Christian television in 1987, after the management of the secular station announced that the station would be closing. Just as the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was born in a cold manger in Bethlehem, so was the birth of Christian television in Booneville, MS.
Coming into this world was not an easy task. In December 1987, in a little 10'x 20' tin storage building, Christian television programming was given to local viewers. TV-53 was only an UHF station with a one hundred (100) watt transmitter. Bro. Lealon and several dedicated volunteers found a way to make a dream come true. The owners of the station agreed to let Bro. Lealon Owens hold a "Praise-a- Thon" for twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week for, not coincidentally, 53 days. "It was 53 days for TV-53". Volunteers manned the phones while many preachers and singing groups took their messages and music to the people and success was achieved. One person called near the end of the Praise-a-Thon and pledged $53.00 for TV-53 starting a trend that took TV-53 beyond their goal. At the end of the 53 days, supportive viewers and volunteers had donated money and auction items to accumulate twenty-six thousand three hundred dollars ($26,300).
In January 1988, Unity Broadcasting Network and a board of directors were formed to oversee the management of the station. Through continued support from viewers and others, TV- 53 has grown by leaps and bounds. After this time the Lord blessed UBN with a 20 x 28 addition to the tin building for a temporary studio to continue broadcasting until March 1990 when UBN purchased 5.4 acres of land tha included a house. This purchase enabled the station to expand to two offices and a studio.
On April 26, 1996, UBN was granted income tax exemption under the Internal Revenue Code, 501 ( c ) (3) and became a government sanctioned non-profit organization.
Today, Unity Broadcasting is a full media company with huge dreams and visions on the horizon. Continuing Bro. Lealon Owen's mission, Unity TV was branded to create new and original content on local television to bring the community together in unity and to call people to unity with God.
Written By: Judy George after the death of Bro. Lealon Owens in 2001.
This town lost a very good friend this past week, Lealon Owens passed from this earth on August 10, 2001 after a four year battle with cancer and other health problems. He will be greatly missed, not just by his family; but by the thousands of people whose lives he has touched and greatly enriched by this ministry, not only on T.V. 53, but anywhere he happened to be.
His love and dedication to God, family, T.V. 53, and to the people of Booneville was evident no matter how far he traveled. I'm sure that there are plenty of people in Mexico and Oklahoma that will never forget this humble and gentle man who spoke of his love for God and concern for his fellow man, while fighting for his own life. How many of us can say that we live for God each day and put Him before anything else? Not too many I'm ashamed to say.
The more Bro. Lealon accomplished the more he desired to do. He was never one to sit back and let things happen. Everyone has always been welcome at T.V. 53, no matter what side of the tracks you came from. For some people around town this didn't set too well. Popularity was one thing that Bro. Lealon didn't worry about. Pleasing the right people never bothered him either, he would give you the same respect that you gave to him. As long as Bro. Lealon did God's work and pleased him, he offered no apologies to anyone else. How many of us can say that we are that true to God's Word?
How fortunate I feel to have had T.V. 53, with Bro. Lealon and his wife Jewel, in my family's life since it first started. Will and I have always supported the station through the years in small ways, because we always knew what blessings and uplifting comfort it gives to the people in nursing homes, the sick, the lonely and the ones that can't get out and go to church regularly. To many, it was their church!!! After my Will was diagnosed with cancer there were a lot of times that we tuned in to T.V. 53 to be comforted by the prayer and uplifting songs that were sent our way. No one can ever put a price on the blessings or comfort that we received during those times.
No, I don't think that this town gave him credit for all the things that he was able to accomplish. He was never given the key to the city, voted the man of the year, or asked to preach at some of the larger churches here in Booneville , but during his life he struggled every day to make this a better world for all of us. We can be comforted by the fact that God knows all the lives that Bro. Lealon has touched and that's all that really matters in the end. I, for one, will strive harder each and every day that I live and will always thank God that Bro. Lealon Owens has been such a blessing in our life and knowing him and his dedication has challenged me to all that I can do to be a better person. So many times we don't appreciate or realize what we have until we lose it. One of Bro . Lealon's most loved and requested songs was, "Have I Done My Best For Jesus?"
I think anyone who knew or worked with him would quickly answer, "Yes, Bro, Lealon, you have done your best for Jesus."
Unity TV is lead by a Board of Directors. This board serves to direct and lead the corporation alongside the employees in leadership positions. The Board is made up of a diverse group of people with different backgrounds and experiences with one common goal: to further the mission of Unity TV | Unity Broadcasting Network.