Posted by: calloftheandes | September 3, 2010

New Book Coaches Christians on Making Quality TV Programs

Converging passions for quality television and a desire to reach the Spanish-speaking world for Christ culminated with the June 2010 launch of a practical book from veteran HCJB Global missionary John Gowan.

Available in both English and Spanish, Christians, Let’s Make Good Television (Cristianos: Hagamos Buena Televisión), Gowan’s self-published book is available for “Christian groups that know they want to minister through television, but who have not had access to the professional broadcast world.”

“It’s written with Third World realities in mind, and frankly it’s inspired by the mistakes I’ve seen myself and others repeatedly make through the years just as much as it is by the professionals who have shared their expertise with me,” Gowan explains. “I’m convinced that Christians can and will produce some of the best programming on TV if we learn and respect these fundamental rules of professional television production and broadcasting.”

Gowan, 56, admits he’s part of the “first generation to grow up watching TV. Its influence both for good and bad is something I have lived first-hand since I was born.”

“Christian ministries were largely absent from this influential medium during its formative decades, for a wide variety of reasons,” he continued. “Now that so many ministries are finding their way onto the small screen, their lack of experience in the medium is often a barrier to being as effective as they might otherwise be.”

Gowan added that what is commonly known today as “Christian TV” is “unfortunately often not considered by mass audiences to be good enough to make them choose to watch it. But I’ve found that with even the most basic introduction to broadcasting theory and production techniques, their programs take a leap to a whole new level of audience impact. I love it when I get to have a part in making that transition happen.”

Gowan, the son of HCJB Global retirees Travis and Margaret Gowan, grew up in Ecuador. While in high school he appeared as an actor and singer in various productions at HCJB Global’s La Ventana de los Andes (Window of the Andes), the first TV station in Ecuador.

Upon graduating from Biola College (now Biola University) in communications and theater, he studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Pasadena, Calif. After marrying Sharon Hillis, a missionary kid from Venezuela, he taught theater arts at Westmont College for five years.

After joining Televozandes, the TV department of HCJB Global, Gowan directed and edited a variety of TV series while teaching acting and television courses at HCJB Global’s Christian Center of Communications. John co-wrote, directed and edited Televozandes’ award-winning feature TV movie, “Canción de Navidad,” a Latin American adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic book, A Christmas Carol.

Under Gowan’s leadership, Televozandes produced the Spanish versions of various Christian productions from North America and European ministries, including the Spanish dubbing of several episodes of Big Idea Productions’ popular series, “VeggieTales.” In 2004 Gowan was a translator and intercultural consultant for the filming of Every Tribe Entertainment’s “End of the Spear” and was one of the actors.

The Gowans continue to serve with HCJB Global in Guatemala, working with Asociación Viña and consulting with numerous television ministries across Latin America. Gowan is available for consultation or to arrange on-site bilingual training in TV production.

In addition to consulting in scriptwriting and general management, he is the dramatic director for “Deditos,” a video series of Bible stories told with finger puppets. “It’s a really innovative project being produced by the largely Mayan staff of Viña here in Guatemala,” Gowan said.

To order the book, visit (English) or (Spanish) or e-mail Gowan at


  1. […] Leonard and Imogene also played a key role in the programming at Reach Beyond’s Televozandes, the first television station to broadcast in Ecuador. They helped mainly with Spanish-language […]

  2. […] “they treated me like a visiting celebrity because of my participation in End of the Spear and my book, Cristianos: Hagamos Buena Televisión (Christians, Let’s Make Good Television). I’ll admit, I enjoyed seeing their eyes light up when they saw on screen what inexperienced […]

  3. […] for your ongoing prayers for safety in the face of whatever is ahead,” wrote John Gowan from his office in Guatemala where he works as a television producer and director of Christian TV […]

  4. […] “Over 50 percent of the people who wrote were those who didn’t know Christ as their personal Savior and they were (spiritually) hungry and wanting to know the Lord,” Finkenbinder recalled as he talked with Cummings. He summarized the program as “not churchy” and “not selling anything” such as a particular denominational belief but instead appealing to a wide array of people and asking them to consider Christ’s claims. HCJB Global aired the program on Radio Station HCJB – La Voz de los Andes (The Voice of the Andes) as well as the film version on HCJB TV La Ventana de los Andes (The Window of the Andes). […]

  5. […] Meeting with Radio Station HCJB staff, she told of her early work with La Ventana de Los Andes- the HCJB television station. She also worked in radio. Carmen and her husband, Chema, live in Atlanta where Chema […]

  6. Yo asistí a Coicom 2010 en puntacana, estoy interesada en adquirir otros libros del de Cristianos Hagamos buena television, como podría
    adquirirlos. mi telefono 6689384 cel 3143591514
    Cali Valle Colomba . gracias

    • John, I have known your folks since I was a little girl back in Wis when they were traveling; your Dad preaching and doing his chalk artistry, and your Mom playing the piano and singing. After graduating from Pillsbury Baptist Bible College, getting married, and my husband was drafted into the Army, we moved out to WA state. Your folks were in the Tacoma area, and I went to the service they were doing at an area church and got reacquainted. They stayed at our home in Puyallup and in our home in Olympia after we moved there several times. We have always stayed in touch at least at Christmas, though I remember talking to them after my husband passed away in 1995, as well. I did not receive a Christmas letter this past Christmas and have emailed your Mom several times with no response. I contacted HCJB and asked them about them, but no response. Within the past year, though, I emailed your Mom about the Whippoorwill song, and she sent me a rough copy of it that she had used to sing it, I am sure. I would appreciate it if you can bring me up-to-date on what is happening with them. They have always been a very positive influence on my life for Lord. Thank you!

      Connie Soiberg
      Olympia, Wa

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: