Christian Crusaders, radio ministry, Homer Larsen, Steve Kramer, about, history, broadcast, biblical truth, Gospel
Christian Crusaders Broadcastic Biblical Truth Since 1936
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Our Mission
. . . to proclaim Jesus Christ as Redeemer of the world and personal Savior to all those who receive Him. We proclaim Him through radio, personal visitation, written media and the internet.

Our Program
Christian Crusaders' thirty-minute worship service delivers a powerful and concise gospel message based on Biblical truth. Our service offers traditional hymns, scripture reading, and prayer for those who cannot attend church. Our listeners may be the homebound, ill, those who work on Sunday, those without a church home, or those who simply want to be strengthened and uplifted by listening to a Christ-centered message. This weekly program gives strength for facing today's challenges, while proclaiming Jesus Christ as Redeemer of the world and personal Savior.

Our Speakers

Homer Larsen
Rev. Dr. Homer Larsen
has been Christian Crusaders radio speaker since 1962, the third to hold that title since 1936. Rev. Larsen was born in Westbrook, Maine. He graduated from Dana College and Trinity Seminary, both in Blair, Nebraska. After his ordination in 1948, he served at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Atlantic, Iowa. He accepted a call to Nazareth Lutheran Church in Cedar Falls, Iowa in 1953 and retired as senior pastor in May 1996. Rev. Dr. Larsen received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. Rev. Larsen and his wife, Eunice, have three children: Natalie (Bob); Julie (Steve); and John (Laurie), and seven grandchildren.

Steve Kramer
Rev. Steven Kramer
, senior pastor of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Afton, Minnesota, has been Christian Crusaders' associate speaker since 2005. Rev. Kramer grew up in Livingston, Montana. He graduated from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1980 he joined Central Lutheran in Winona, Minnesota as youth pastor. He became the Associate Pastor at Central Lutheran Church in 1983. In 1986, he accepted a call to Shepherd of the Valley, where he continues to serve as senior pastor today. Rev. Kramer and his wife, Julie (daughter of Rev. Larsen), have two children: Sam and Martha. He currently preaches on the radio six times each year.

Our History

G.E. Melchert
In the year 1936, Rev. G. E. Melchert, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Waterloo, Iowa, and the Brotherhood of Trinity were concerned that a large number of the elderly and homebound were unable to enjoy the blessings of a Sunday worship service. Wanting to spread the Gospel message to the unchurched, as well, they felt called to start a radio ministry.

So it was that on September 6, 1936, the first Christian Crusaders radio program aired live from Trinity on WMT-AM. The first words the announcer, Byron Benson, spoke that morning proved to be prophetic:

"And now, we bring you a brand new religious program . . .  A program which we believe will capture the hearts of our radio audience . . .  A program destined to affect the spiritual lives of many."

Originally titled "Your Hour of Worship," the program consisted of an opening, lesson for the day, sermon, offertory, prayers, and special music. Eventually, the costs for an hour radio program became too much for the Brotherhood to support, so it was shortened to thirty minutes. Since that time, it has been recorded in a studio and sent to radio stations to be broadcast over the airwaves. The program became simply "Christian Crusaders."

Bruno Schlachtenhaufen
Following Rev. Melchert's retirement in 1956, Rev. Bruno Schlachtenhaufen, pastor of First Lutheran Church, Waterloo, became the second Christian Crusaders radio speaker. He served faithfully in this role until 1962, when he was elected the Iowa District President of the American Lutheran Church.

Rev. Homer Larsen, senior pastor of Nazareth Lutheran Church, Cedar Falls, Iowa, succeeded Rev. Schlachtenhaufen as radio speaker in 1962, and has been preaching over the airwaves since that time. Because of the longevity of his service and his powerful messages, he has become the voice of Christian Crusaders to thousands of listeners across the country.

In 2005, the Board of Directors of Christian Crusaders asked Rev. Steven Kramer to serve as Associate Speaker. In this capacity, Rev. Kramer has preached approximately six times each year, and eventually will succeed Rev. Larsen upon his retirement. Rev. Kramer is currently serving as the senior pastor of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Afton, Minnesota.

This ministry is served by an eighteen-member Board of Directors, who meet quarterly to set policy and make decisions based on the mission of Christian Crusaders. Each member also serves on at least one of eight standing committees: Broadcast, Budget, Investment, Personnel, Promotions, Nominations, Strategic Planning and Web Site.

A staff of two full-time employees, the Executive Director and Administrative Assistant, and a part-time Marketing Specialist take care of the daily functions and responsibilities of the ministry. Volunteers help with mailings and other tasks.

Totally supported by donations from its beginning, Christian Crusaders relies on the gifts of listeners - through GEM Club (Gift Every Month) members, Broadcast Sponsors, memorial gifts and bequests from estates - to keep the program on the air. Because of these many contributions, this ministry is now in its seventy-second year and is the eighth longest-running Christian radio program in the United States.

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