Thursday, 30 July 2009


Spread the Word.

That's simply what she does — and has done for 40 years.

Dorothy Hilton, who will soon be 92, spread Bible-related materials wherever she could after making her first audio recording on a seven-inch reel of tape in 1969.

Some of the Bible teaching tapes, sent around the world, became a perpetual-motion generator for her ministry.

"I would just pick up the phone and it would be England, someone saying, 'I found a reel tape in the attic, and it's fascinating. Do you have more?'"

Hilton primarily published the lessons taught at Lubbock Bible Church by the Rev. Charles Clough in the 1970s, under her ministry of Alpha Omega Tapes. There were 1,550 of the lessons, and she had the entire collection.

For the past 17 years, though, she has become a part of the correspondence work done by the Lubbock-based Exodus Prison Ministry, which sends its study books to thousands of inmates.

She sometimes needs a walker to move to the copy machine after suffering a fall three years ago, but that doesn't seem to limit her portion of the work in producing 55,000 books a year.

The volunteers who staff Exodus get no pay for publishing the Bible lessons, but no one complains, least of all Hilton: "It means putting out God's word, and what a privilege. How much greater privilege could you have than to share his word?"

She said her philosophy is based on the Bible, and recommends it to others.

"It's really sad to be an atheist and not have a hope," she said.

Carla Hilton remembers watching her mother's ministry while growing up.

"She lives for sharing Christ with whoever will hear — that's been her whole goal in life. And her passion is how the prophecies in the Bible are now playing out in history," said Hilton, a nursing teacher in Lubbock.

She added, "Another of her passions is Israel. She knows that history circles around Israel, and that it will culminate with what God is going to do with Israel."

Joyce Hargis, director of Exodus, said Dorothy is the most evangelistic person she has ever met.

"She keeps us busy. When Dorothy gets to heaven, they will no longer call it a 'land of rest,' because she will put everyone to work."

Carla remembers that other work involved Child Evangelism and teaching Sunday School.

"But after the tape ministry was established, she would spend hours and hours counseling people in the tape shop when she wasn't running tapes. She would counsel people who were down and out or discouraged, or were just wanting to know about Christ."

Dorothy thinks the prison ministry is proving effective.

"We get notes that tell us that it's changed their lives," she said. "They always wind up, 'Pray for my family.' They also want their family won to Christ."

She sums up her faith this way: "It means eternal life. It means the only hope that anyone has — to hope for heaven, and to honor and glorify the Lord while you are here."