International (SAT7) — Terence
Ascott, Founder and CEO of
SAT-7, was awarded the Honorary Doctor
of Christian Ministries from Belhaven
University* at Orlando commencement exercises last week. Dr. Ascott was
also commencement speaker.
Belhaven University awarded the honorary degree in recognition
of Dr. Ascott's "extraordinary work and achievements
in promoting Christianity throughout the Middle East and North Africa."
Dr. Ascott pioneered Christian satellite broadcasting in the
Middle East and North Africa. In 1995, he–along with other Middle Eastern
Christian leaders and partner organizations working in the region–founded
SAT-7, the first Arabic Christian satellite television channel by and for the
people of the Middle East.
Dr. Ascott's vision, leadership, and perseverance–and his more
than fifteen-year history of effectively guiding the ministry–are indicative of
his selfless commitment to sharing the Gospel with the people of the Middle
East and North Africa.
Dr. Ascott has lived in the Middle East and served as the leader
for indigenous media ministries for more than 35 years. In 1973 he moved to
Beirut, Lebanon and helped launch an Arabic Christian publishing ministry.
After the start of the Lebanese Civil War, he and his family evacuated to Egypt
where he helped begin the Arabic youth magazine, Magalla. Published for
twenty years, Magalla was the first Christian magazine to be
successfully distributed on Egyptian newsstands.
According to some Arab
Christians, the publication was instrumental in bringing many people to Christ.
While working for the magazine, Dr. Ascott's ministry became involved in other
media projects, including video production, which opened doors to considering a
then-newly-emerging potential in satellite television.
On air for the first time in 1996, SAT-7 has grown from one
hour of programming per week in one language to a Network of five channels
broadcasting in three languages — Arabic: SAT-7 ARABIC, SAT-7 KIDS,
SAT-7 PLUS; Farsi (Persian): SAT-7 PARS; and Turkish: SAT-7 TÜRK.
SAT-7 reaches across 7 time zones to 22 countries in the
Middle East and North Africa, as well as 50 countries in Europe. The network
has an estimated 17 million viewers.
*Belhaven University is a Christian institution of higher
learning located in Jackson, Mississippi with extension campuses in other
locations including Orlando, Florida.