By Jeremy Reynalds, Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service
LAKE FOREST, CA (ANS (Feb. 28, 2015) — Veteran international journalist, Dan Wooding, is offering media outlets, Christian leaders, and anyone else who wants “to keep up with world news and how it affects Christians,” a free subscription to the ASSIST News Service (ANS) – www.assistnews.net — which has just been totally re-designed.
Wooding, 74, began this unique service more than 20 years ago, and it carries news about the persecution of Christians around the world, missions, stories on inspiring people who are making a difference, and popular culture. It is based in Lake Forest, California, and carries the banner, “Your Global Link with the World.”
The website can be found at www.assistnews.net, and was recently re-designed by a couple of Calvary Chapel pastors, Jason Gold and Matt Klein, who go under the name of Greed Begone, and provide excellent Internet services to Christian groups and ministries. For more information on them, just go to http://www.greedbegone.com).
With Wooding’s team of talented writers stationed in some of the world’s most dangerous places, including Egypt, India, and Pakistan, ANS brings subscribers up-to-date news and unique stories right into people’s in-boxes.
Many of these stories are carried widely around the world by the Christian and secular media and have also been picked up newspapers and other media, including USA Today, The Washington Times, The Minneapolis Tribune-Star, The New York Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Orange County Register (who recently featured Wooding as their lead story,) The Fox News Channel, and the BBC.
Wooding, who was born on December 19, 1940, to British missionary parents from Liverpool, and he moved with them to the UK when he was two years old, has been a journalist now since 1968.
He began his long career in London, when he worked as Chief Reporter for Billy Graham’s London newspaper, The Christian, and when it closed, he moved to The Middlesex County Times in Ealing, London, where he wrote the first-ever story on the zany Monty Python team, who made most of their programs in Ealing, and also about keyboard legend, Rick Wakeman, who for many years played with the British super group, Yes. (He later penned Wakeman’s official biography called Caped Crusader: Rick Wakeman in the 1970s, which carries a foreword by Sir Elton John, and can be purchased at http://www.amazon.com/Caped-Crusader-Rick-Wakeman-1970s/dp/1908728302#.)
After five years with The Middlesex County Times, where he became the Chief Reporter, he also became a correspondent for all of Britain’s national newspapers, including The Times of London, and eventually was given a staff job as a Senior Reporter with The Sunday People in London, which at that time had the second highest circulation of any newspaper in Europe, and later with The Sunday Mirror.
Specializing in crime, religion and show business, Wooding interviewed people like Ronnie Kray, Britain’s most infamous gangster, Robert Wagner, Johnny Mathis, Burt Lancaster, Kenny Rogers, David Soul, as well as Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr from The Beatles, and Pete Townshend and John Entwistle from The Who. He also interviewed Coretta Scott King, widow of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at St. Paul’s Cathedral, before she spoke at her late husband’s memorial service.
In 1975, Wooding flew to India to interview Mother Teresa in Calcutta and was also a London-based correspondent for The National Enquirer, America’s largest circulation tabloid.
After a spiritual renewal in his life, Wooding left this form of journalism and has specialized in eyewitness reporting of persecuted Christians around the world. He has since filed stories from Albania, Argentina, Burma, Brazil, China, Cuba, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Gaza and the West Bank, Grenada, India, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Malawi, Nicaragua, North Korea, South Korea, Romania, South Africa, Thailand, Uganda and Vietnam, to name some of the hot spots. (He was one of the first-ever Christian journalists to be invited to report from North Korea and he spent a week there filing radio stories for the UPI Radio Network in Washington, DC.)
His articles on Christians being persecuted for their faith continued to be published worldwide and his weekly commentary on Christian persecution was carried for ten years on the UPI Radio Network.
Dan Wooding was also an interviewer for BBC Radio 1 and LBC (London Broadcasting Company,) and now has a weekly radio show in America called Front Page Radio which originates from the KWVE Radio Network (www.kwve.com) and a monthly Internet TV show called His Channel Live (www.hischannel.com), which is seen in 192 countries around the world.
Wooding has interviewed many world leaders and personalities, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the South African social rights activist and retired Anglican bishop who rose to worldwide fame during the 1980s as a leading opponent of apartheid, and Muhammad Mansur Ali, the then Prime Minister of Bangladesh, who was tragically assassinated a few weeks after the interview, along with his family by a group of military officers. (Wooding says he was shocked to learn of his violent death a few weeks later while he was working on a shift at London’s Daily Express.)
He even worked with Billy Graham as part of his media team in Moscow, Russia; Essen, Germany; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Dan wrote a cover story on Mr. Graham and his son, Franklin, for The Saturday Evening Post, and helped to re-launch Plain Truth magazine with an interview with Billy Graham about how to be born-again.
What makes Wooding and his team of ANS writers unusual is that none of them [including Dan and myself] get a regular salary for their work – but each raises their own support and look upon themselves as “Media Missionaries.”
Rick Warren, senior pastor of Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, California, one of America’s largest churches, and author of “The Purpose Driven Life,” provided an endorsement for Dan Wooding’s autobiography, “From Tabloid to Truth,” which is one of his 45 books. Warren said, “Dan Wooding has lived one of the most amazing and exciting lives you could ever imagine.”
I certainly agree with that, and you can be part of this excitement and challenge, especially if you care about what is going on to our brothers and sisters in this increasingly violent world of ours.
Even many church prayer groups have signed up so they can pray each week for the many persecuted Christians that ANS regularly features. Their prayers are such an encouragement for people like Asia Bibi, who is under sentence of death in Pakistan for standing up for Jesus, and Pastor Saeed Abedini, the Iranian-American Christian leader who is serving eight years for his faith in one of Iran’s worst prisons.
So if you would like a free subscription, just go to www.assistnews.net and scroll down until you see the form where you sign up. By the way, your e-mail address will not be shared with anyone else and is only used to send you these ANS stories. (If you prefer to, just shoot Dan an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, with your name and e-mail address, and he’ll be happy to add you.)
Please also feel free to tell your friends and colleagues about this unique free offer.
Wooding concluded by saying, “I can’t remember a time in recent history when Christians were being persecuted and murdered for their faith in such high numbers. We are daily bringing stories about this situation so you can pray and help in any way you can.”
When you sign up, you will join a our worldwide ASSIST family. (ASSIST stands for Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times.)
We want you to join our “Global Link with the World” and thus become informed about what is going on from a Christian perspective at this critical time. This can be your way of changing history by becoming informed and then praying for these courageous believers. They need us desperately to stand with them as they are going through such trauma for following Jesus Christ. We must not let them down.
By the way, I would be remiss if I didn’t also tell you Dan has been married to his wife, Norma, now for nearly 43 years, and they have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren, all based in the UK. Norma is the volunteer administrator of ASSIST and Dan says that “we couldn’t run the ministry without her.”
1) Dan Wooding with Mother Teresa in Calcutta in 1975 after interviewing her
2) Rick Wakeman with some of the Wooding family during a visit to Southern California
3) Dan Wooding interviewing anti-apartheid leader, Archbishop Desmond Tutu during a visit to Sheffield, England
4) Dan chatting with Billy and Ruth Graham at their home in Montreat, North Carolina, after he had just interviewed Dr. Graham
5) Rick Warren with Dan Wooding at NRB 2013