SHARPLES, W.Va. — Brothers Tim Williams and Tony Williams are taking their faith-based message and hand-picked programming to a 24-hour, seven-day-per-week television cable channel for viewing in Boone, Logan, Mingo and Wyoming counties.
“It has been a labor of love and faith,” said co-owner Tony Williams. “We are excited to spread the word of God and his miracles as far as we can.”
Accessible on channel 160 for Shentel Cable customers, the Williams brothers overcame obstacles to reach their goal of airing their first program in 2020 when they went live in early September.
The Williams brothers grew up in unincorporated Mifflin in Logan County, just minutes from the Boone County line.
The late Charles and Marion Williams raised their children in church in nearby Clothier. Tim Williams, 65, is an accomplished musician and can be seen on stage regionally playing the hits with variety band River Jam.
“Our parents were just the best,” said an emotional Tim Williams. “In 1965, when I first saw the Beatles, I told my dad I wanted a guitar. He payed $120 back then for a Kay guitar and an amp — and that was a lot of money to them back then. That was like $1,000 to us. We didn’t know it, but we were poor.”
Tony Williams, 69, has run Gospel Printing for over four decades and handles everything from embroidery to shirts and hats to license plates and paper-based products.
“There isn’t much that could cross your mind that I haven’t printed,” he said, laughing.
The Williams brothers got his first taste of radio when they worked for the old WWBB in Madison in 1980.
“We had a program on there and actually covered about three hours-worth but it wasn’t about us it was about the gospel we were playing,” Tim Williams said. “It hasn’t ever been about us and we’d play those programs. We were eventually on seven different stations in the 1980s, including WWVA.”
In the 1990s, they moved into cable-based gospel television work. They had a one-hour program at the time.
When Shentel Cable came to the area and bought out other providers, the brothers cultivated an idea. Their first attempt at getting back on the air fell on deaf ears, but after a second attempt at reaching an executive, they found themselves face to face with an opportunity.
“A young lady answered the phone back in January (2020) and it seemed like the Lord gave me favor with her and it wasn’t long before I got a contract in the mail, Tim Williams said. “I borrowed $8,000 to buy the equipment, and we were in business.”
He added, “We had some early problems with equipment, but we sorted all that out pretty quickly.”
The brothers said they would like to encourage local talent to reach out to them for on-air opportunities including musicians, pastors or other related groups. On Saturdays and Sundays, they air Bible-related programs for children.
“I fill the channel with gospel videos that I find on YouTube including Jimmy Swaggart and John Hagy and even older folks like AA Allen and Jack Coe,” Tim Williams said.
Tony Williams said the program schedule is based on random choices that he and his brother find that fit the theme of their vision for the station.
“You may turn on channel 160 and a program may be going off and you don’t know what is coming up next, and I think there is some excitement and anticipation related to that,” he said. “We don’t follow a tight schedule on the hour and start times may be staggered. We may have a 15-minute program on and the next one is 26 minutes.”
The brothers air their own program, “Miracle Prayer Time,” as part of their regular programming. For those who do not have Shentel Cable, the show is shared on their Facebook page of the same name.
Locally, the brothers also own the Miracle Prayer Time Worship Center in Clothier, for which the property was donated for church use only by Bill Pauley in 1991. Today it is used for church-related purposes including housing a studio for the ministry.
“He told me that if we used it for church use only, he’d give us the property and I did,” said Tim Williams. “That 40-by-60 building sat on that foundation that was already there perfectly. It really was a miracle how well it fit.”
Tony Williams added, “Everything we’ve been able to do through the ministry has been through God and he’s provided. He’s used us supernaturally in a miracle manner.”
Recently, the Williams brothers purchased another church in the area when they took over the Sharples Monclo Church of God, and they are holding services there at 6 p.m. Sundays.
The facility is perched on a hill with ample parking for attendees.
Tim and Tony Williams want to expand their outreach through the television station, social media and their newly acquired church.
Listen live to Miracle Prayer Time on WVOW 101.9 FM every Sunday at 12:30 p.m. and Shentel Cable Channel 160, along with a stream on the Facebook page.
For more information or to contact the Williams brothers, find Miracle Prayer Time on Facebook or send a private message Tim Williams through his Facebook page.