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Linwood attracts founders of GOD TV


Linwood is not Hollywood, but the small Leavenworth County town of about 400 people is now home to a pair of international TV personalities.

The Historic Harris House — a 15-room, 1883 mansion west of Linwood — recently was purchased by the co-founders of GOD TV, an international Christian television network that is available across the U.S. on the DIRECTV satellite system.

Rory and Wendy Stephen — who in 1995 started the Christian television network in Britain — purchased the home and its 11 acres in mid-April, according to records at the Leavenworth County Register of Deeds office.

But don’t expect Linwood to become the new headquarters of GOD TV. Even though the historic house has previously been used to host conferences and special events, an executive for the network said there are no plans for the house to be used as part of GOD TV’s operations.

Instead, the couple — who are best known by their on-air names of Rory and Wendy Alec — purchased the home to serve as one of their private residences, said Jeffrey Levinson, an executive for the network’s U.S. operations.

“The attraction of this particular property to the Alecs is that it has stunning grounds and will make a wonderful family home,” Levinson said via e-mail.

The home is a showpiece in Linwood. The house is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was built by former U.S. Senator William A. Harris, who during the late 1800s was active in the area as a buyer of land for the Union Pacific Railroad.

“It just has beautiful architecture inside and out,” said Steven Hertzog, who along with his wife sold the home after moving their photography and marketing business to Lawrence.

Levinson said he wasn’t sure how often the couple — who according to their Web site, have two children — will be at the property.

GOD TV is based in Jerusalem, and has its U.S. offices in Washington, D.C., and Orlando, Fla. The network has international offices in South Africa, Kenya, India, China, and Israel, according to its Web site.

The couple started the network in 1995, after meeting in Britain. According to the Web site, Rory — who serves as CEO of the network — is a native of South Africa, while Wendy — the network's director of television — was born in England.

The duo regularly host several events on GOD TV, such as the Global Day of Prayer celebration later this month, and a program called Apocalypse & The End of Times.


zettapixel 9 years, 1 month ago

oooh hey! How about setting the homeless camp up there? 11 acres to do the Lord's work. How magnificent would that be?!

ctrowbridge 9 years, 1 month ago

Tom, You're exactly right about it being west, not east, of Linwood. That was my editing error, not Chad's writing error. Thanks! Caroline Trowbridge, assignment director

Keith 9 years, 1 month ago

You sure need more real estate if the world is going to end.

myvotecounts 9 years, 1 month ago

Dear GOD TV: Church is not a building. Love, Paul

dandelion 9 years, 1 month ago

Well, it's a known fact that the people of Linwood are too cheap to pay for cops, and that it's a favorite spot for many illegal activities. I know an older gentleman who has lived there all his life and is considering moving, because he's scared of his neighbors. He thinks they are dealing drugs. Since these guys are rich, maybe they will have servants living there to protect their house.

bearded_gnome 9 years, 1 month ago

God TV is as insane as TBN, airing many of the same charismatic "word faith" hucksters John Hagee, Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland, etc.


linwood is a bit of a dump and the only people I ever knew from there were disipated drunks. fit right in with the false teaching nutbags of God TV.

tspanos 9 years, 1 month ago

It is a crime what they have done to this beautiful home. It's on the registry of historic places and never should have been allowed to paint it to look so hideous and paint the beautiful 120+ year woodwork inside. I know of 2 past owners who took amazing care of this gem. It used to be a painted lady. Now it looks like something out of a horror movie. Yes -- the funds should have been spent on people in need, not on people who think they need more.

tspanos 9 years, 1 month ago

omg!! are you crazy, you cant just paint a beautiful 120 year old house white. it looks ugly now. i am mad!!!!! i loved that house.

p.s. this note is from her daughter


mobugs2009 9 years, 1 month ago

To everyone that is trashing Linwood, let me say that although I don't love the town, we do live here, and surprise of all surprises we are not Methheads, we are simply hard-working people who couldnt afford to pay a high-ass payment on a house in Tonganoxie where we had been living, so wanting to live the American dream and own a home and build equity, we had to go elsewhere to afford something big enough. We haven't had one single thing of ours messed with unlike in Tongie where my husband's tools were stolen out of his truck the first week we lived there. We go to church, both work hard and have wonderful kids who get good grades, doesn't sound like there is any meth use going on here!! So dont assume that everyone who lives here is crap scum.

jleigh 9 years, 1 month ago

I had the pleasure of seeing several special events at the Harris House and the only white I remember is the brides dress on her wedding day. I think they could have used some assistance picking out colors to enhance their white pruchase BUT to paint that beautiful woodwork and take out that stunning carpet they had to be the ones on METH! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder or so they say but going strictly white even God is shaking his head however I'm putting into his hands P.S. Leave the town of Linwood alone their just trying to make it one day at a time like the rest of us. jleigh.

mobugs2009 9 years, 1 month ago

jleigh thank you for defending Linwood, it really is sad that they painted the Harris House white, I keep hoping that it is just to prime it. I looked at the pictures online when it was for sale, and it was gorgeous inside, painting woodwork on a house like that is a crime with all of the history and how old it is.

tspanos 9 years, 1 month ago

I agree about leaving Linwood alone. There are many wonderful people in the town and the area. And just like everywhere else - a few bad eggs.

MissinLawrence 9 years, 1 month ago

Did some previous owner paint the interior woodwork? Wouldn't they need premission from the Historic society before doing anything that could affect the historicness (yes i know this is not a word, but its too early to reallllly think about a better word)?

anon2 9 years, 1 month ago

Linwood is a great little town with some great people living in around it. But what has been done to the Harris House is the crime. How can they get away with these changes, I wouldn't think it would meet the critiria for a Historical home. The love and care that was put into that house to maintain it's history is important. My prayer is that the new owners will realize that what they have done is unexceptable and that they'll resell ASAP. Let us have that beautiful home back the way history means it to be.

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