Former HCJB World Radio President, Dr. Abe Van Der Puy, was honored with the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) Hall of Fame Award at NRB 2004 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The award was given for his outstanding and remarkable lifetime of service in Christian broadcasting.
Van Der Puy’s daughter, Lois Spragg, was present at the Tuesday evening anniversary banquet at NRB 2004 to receive the ward on her father's behalf. Spragg said that her father, who passed away on April 3, 2003, would have been "honored and humbled" to receive the award. "He would have given all the glory to God."
A six-minute video tribute was presented during the banquet, highlighting Van Der Puy's various accomplishments over the 57 years of his ministry with HCJB World Radio. Spragg said the tribute fit well with this year's NRB conference, which emphasized "personal spiritual growth and integrity—not just ministry."
Van Der Puy was president of HCJB World Radio for 20 years (from 1962 to 1981), during which he watched the mission grow from a tiny Ecuador-based operation to a worldwide ministry. In addition to being president, Van Der Puy also served as a manager of Radio Station HCJB, Ecuador filed director, Hospital Vozandes-Quito administrator and honorary board chairman. He also played an integral role in building up HCJB World Radio's North American ministries. For example, the World Radio Network was able to grow from a single station in 1978 to how it is today, with 23 FM outlets (mostly along the US-Mexico border) making gospel broadcasts available to 12 million people on both sides of the border. Van Der Puy served as the network's president for 14 years and was also the "Voice of Missions" for Back to the Bible for Bible for 12 years. In addition he served as president of NRB from 1975 to 1979.
Spragg commented, "When receiving the award, I told about how a few weeks before my dad died, Mincaye, one of the old Auca (Waorani) Indians, saw him in bed and said, "His spirit is leaving. But we have followed God's trail, and not turned back. You have marked the trail well for those of us who are left behind.' I think my dad from heaven would have said to those at NRB, 'Be faithful. Mark the trail well for those you will leave behind.'"