‘Day1’ announces new leadership and a partnership with Pitts Theology Library

The Alliance for Christian Media (ACM), the nonprofit broadcasting organization that produces the nationally broadcast ecumenical radio and podcast program ‘Day1’, has entrusted Pitts Theology Library at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology with the full digital archives of its radio program. Formerly known as ‘ The Protestant Hour, ’ ‘Day1’ has been broadcasting sermons weekly since 1945. As part of the partnership agreement finalized this spring, Pitts will steward more than 3,800 sermons in a new digital space, which will also feature ongoing Day1 programming.

The Board of Trustees of the Alliance also announced Katie Givens Kime will lead the Alliance as President and CEO and will serve as ‘Day1’ Host and Executive Producer, following her interim leadership since Peter Wallace’s retirement in August 2023.

“These partnership and leadership decisions represent so much trust and wisdom on the part of ACM Trustees, of Pitts and Candler,” says Kime, who led ACM in securing a $1.25 million grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. to support the digitization and innovative use of the digital archives. “As ‘Day1’ continues, every week, to proclaim God's hope for a hurting and divided world, we are excited to collaborate with Pitts Library on the creative use of archival sermons, combined with excellent new sermons from today’s leading Protestant mainline preachers.”

Jennifer Friday, chair of the Alliance for Christian Media Board of Trustees, notes that the partnership between ‘Day1’ and Pitts ensures access to the legacy of the outstanding ‘Day1’ preachers for a new generation. “The trustees are pleased that the archive will be preserved for future generations,” she says.

Bo Adams, Margaret A. Pitts Distinguished Director of the library, says ‘The Protestant Hour’ and ‘Day1’ archives are among the most significant collections of audio preaching from the 20th and 21st centuries. “For nearly 80 years, the Protestant Hour/Day1 program has delivered some of America’s greatest preachers into people’s homes each Sunday through the radio,” he says. “Now we have an opportunity to provide access to this treasure trove of preaching to anyone, anywhere through the power of digital technology.” The library already features an exhibition of Howard Thurman’s sermons.

Chair of the ‘Day1’ Advisory Council, Thomas G. Long agrees. “These archives are a treasury of the finest American preaching over the last three quarters of a century,” says Long, Candler School of Theology’s Bandy Professor Emeritus of Preaching. “Hundreds of outstanding preachers are in the collection, including Samuel M. Shoemaker, an Episcopal priest whose ministry was influential in the creation of Alcoholics Anonymous; Thelma Adair, the first female African American moderator of the United Presbyterian Church; and best-selling memoirist and religion writer Barbara Brown Taylor. The Day 1 archives can teach us much historically, even as the sermons in the collection continue to form and inspire faith today.”

The collection also contains a sermon by Clovis Chappell, one of the country’s most popular preachers in the 1930s and 1940s, which will add to Pitts’ already expansive collection of Chappell’s sermons and papers.

The partnership is the result of years of collaboration between Pitts and ACM and launches a three-year project that marks a big step in the effort to preserve and provide access to a sizeable portion of America’s Protestant broadcasted preaching history.

As part of this agreement, Pitts will incorporate the archives into its digital collections, ensuring open access to the full ‘Day1’ and ’The Protestant Hour’ repertoire through a robust website. Each sermon will be discoverable through enhanced metadata, including Scripture references and biographical information of the preacher, and each will be accompanied by a fully searchable transcript. “Pitts is quickly becoming the largest repository of Protestant preaching in America,” says Adams. “The integration of the ‘Day1’ archives into Pitts’ digital collections will not only preserve these invaluable recordings, but also make them accessible to a global audience. It’s a transformative addition to the study of the history of preaching and the teaching of different preaching styles in America.” The ‘Day1’/’The Protestant Hour’ archives will be digitized and stored in the cloud, allowing broader and easier access to sermons.

“It is a critically important moment for Day1’s past and its future,” notes Kime, a Presbyterian minister who earned her Ph.D. from Emory University’s Graduate Division of Religion. “Day1 is pivoting to remote production of high-quality, weekly radio and podcast broadcasting, and continuing to lead as a voice of American mainline Protestant preaching in exciting new ways, all in partnership with Pitts Library, charting a more secure future for this ministry.”

Kime brings to the organization years of experience building collaborations at the intersection of faith, media and the public square. Previously, as the Director of Religion and Civic Engagement for the faith-based media non-profit Odyssey Impact (2018-22), Katie envisioned, launched, and obtained funding for the international Odyssey Fellows Program, equipping faith leaders with new media skills.

She earned her M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary and her Ph.D. from Emory University and was a member of the Post-Doctoral Teaching and Research Faculty at the Universität Bern in Switzerland in 2017-18, and served as the Associate Pastor for Mission, Adult Education and Young Adults at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Ga., for six years. Before that, Katie worked at Marble Collegiate Church and at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, both in New York City.

‘Day1’ began broadcasting in 1945 as "The ‘The Protestant Hour’" and has been on the air every week since. ‘Day1’ is a ministry of The Alliance for Christian Media, an ecumenical nonprofit media ministry based in Atlanta, Ga. The Alliance was created in 2004 after the merger of The ‘The Protestant Hour’, Inc. and the Episcopal Media Center, which was also founded in 1945 and originally called The Episcopal Radio and TV Foundation. The Foundation produced Emmy award-winning TV programming like the “Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” and “Shadowlands.” The Alliance for Christian Media is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and serves as the parent organization for ‘Day1’ broadcast programming. Hear all the weekly radio, online, and podcast programs at Day1.org.