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It began with a man named John Avery Whittaker, his ice cream shop, his best friend Tom Riley and the many people of the small town of Odyssey. These first 13 episodes established the foundation of what this series has become. A glimpse into the lives of Odyssey's residents as they make their way through life's joy and hardship, keeping their eyes focused on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Before becoming "Adventures in Odyssey", the show took on the name "Family Portraits" and aired during Dr. Dobson's radio show. Before each episode (not all of which were the standard 30 minutes), Dr. Dobson would comment on the theme that would be presented. This role would later be performed by Odyssey's own announcer, Chris Anthony. Each of these episodes are unique in that each one is about a different family in Odyssey. These families are then never heard from again, with the exception of Whit's family. The only characters who are consistantly heard throughout are Whit and Tom. The show also had a more dramatic spin on it and focused more on its adult audience in these first 13 episodes. The response to them from Dr. Dobson's listeners was so positive that it prompted Focus on the Family to continue producing the show... and still going strong since 1988.

#FP1: Whit's Visitor
Original Airdate: January 5, 1987
Scripture Reference: Malachi 2:13-17
Theme: Divorce
Categories: Family Portrait Episodes
Writers: Steve Harris, Phil Lollar
Directors: Steve Harris, Phil Lollar
Producers: Steve Harris, Bob Luttrell
Sound Designers: Steve Harris, Bob Luttrell
Characters: Jimmy, Davey Morrison, Tom Riley, John Avery Whittaker (Whit)

Whit finds a young boy named Davey Morrison hiding in his garage. The boy's parents are getting separated and Whit realizes Davey needs some help coping with the pain.

Included in Collections: Just In Time (Gold Audio #9), Family Portraits

#FP2: Dental Dilemma
Original Airdate: January 13, 1987
Scripture Reference: Psalm 27:1
Theme: Teasing / Fear
Categories: Family Portrait Episodes
Writer: Susan McBride
Directors: Chuck Bolte, Steve Harris
Producers: Steve Harris, Bob Luttrell
Sound Designers: Steve Harris, Bob Luttrell
Characters: Bob Forbes, Emily Forbes, Jean Forbes, Mark Forbes, Frank Graves, John Avery Whittaker (Whit)

Emily Forbes loves the dentist. But when her older brother frightens her with lies about her teeth, she fears Dr. Graves is going to pull all of them out!

Included in Collection: Family Portraits

#FP3: The New Kid in Town
Original Airdate: January 19, 1987
Scripture Reference: Proverbs 18:24
Theme: Making new friends
Categories: Family Portrait Episodes
Writer: Phil Lollar
Directors: Chuck Bolte, Steve Harris
Producers: Steve Harris, Bob Luttrell
Sound Designers: Steve Harris, Bob Luttrell
Characters: Jimmy, Roger, George Poindexter, Colleen Walker, Larry Walker, Shawn Walker, John Avery Whittaker (Whit)

After a meeting his new neighbors, Whit reaches out to make their daughter feel welcome being the new kid.

Included in Collection: Family Portraits

#FP4: No Stupid Questions
Original Airdate: January 26, 1987
Scripture Reference: Proverbs 18:15
Theme: Respect / Knowledge
Categories: Family Portrait Episodes
Writer: Susan McBride
Director: Steve Harris
Producer: Bob Luttrell
Sound Designer: Bob Luttrell
Characters: Chris Gottlieb, Carol Stevens, Meg Stevens, John Avery Whittaker (Whit)

Chris Gottlieb, a man in a wheelchair, and Meg Stevens, a girl with a lot of questions, form an odd friendship when they help each other out.

Included in Collection: Family Portraits

#FP5: You're Not Gonna Believe This…
[Was Remade As Episode #44: It Sure Seemed Like It To Me]
Original Airdate: February 2, 1987
Scripture Reference: Proverbs 18:7, Proverbs 22:1
Theme: Integrity
Categories: Family Portrait Episodes
Writer: Phil Lollar
Director: Phil Lollar
Producer: Bob Luttrell
Sound Designer: Bob Luttrell
Characters: Mr. Cunningham, June Haveman, Jaime Wentworth, Johnathon Charles Michael Stephen Wentworth III (Budgie), John Avery Whittaker (Whit)

Budgie likes to exaggerate and his cousin Jamie feels he just can't trust him anymore. After an incredibly over-the-top tale, Whit helps both Jamie and Budgie deal with their differences and accept each other for who they are.

Included in Collection: Family Portraits

#FP6: My Brother's Keeper
Original Airdate: February 16, 1987
Scripture Reference: Proverbs 12:18
Theme: Sibling rivalry
Categories: Family Portrait Episodes
Writers: Phil Lollar, Paul McCusker
Directors: Steve Harris, Phil Lollar
Producer: Bob Luttrell
Sound Designer: Bob Luttrell
Characters: Jimmy, Dean Callas, Mr. Callas, Mrs. Callas, Phillip Callas, Tom Riley, John Avery Whittaker (Whit)

Philip Callas gets angry during baseball practice and tells his younger brother Dean to go home. When Dean doesn't return home, the police get involved and try to track down the boy.

Included in Collection: Family Portraits

#FP7: While Dad's Away
Original Airdate: March 2, 1987
Scripture Reference: Malachi 4:6
Theme: Absentee fathers
Categories: Family Portrait Episodes
Writer: Phil Lollar
Directors: Steve Harris, Phil Lollar
Producer: Bob Luttrell
Sound Designer: Bob Luttrell
Characters: DeWayne Brettman, Janice Brettman, Laura Brettman, Michael Brettman, Peter Oliver, Sarah Oliver, John Avery Whittaker (Whit)

While showing a family around a house that is up for sale, Whit tells a couple the story behind the house and why the former owners decided to move.

Included in Collection: Family Portraits

#FP8: The Letter
Original Airdate: March 9, 1987
Scripture Reference: Ephesians 6:1-4
Theme: Teen communication
Categories: Family Portrait Episodes
Writer: Steve Harris
Director: Steve Harris
Producer: Bob Luttrell
Sound Designer: Bob Luttrell
Characters: Stacy, Stan, John Avery Whittaker (Whit)

After her father embarrasses her in front of a friend, Stacy refuses to speak to him. Her mother intervenes and tries to prove to her how much her father actually loves her.

Included in Collections: Meanwhile in Another Part of Town (Gold Audio #14), Family Portraits

#FP9: A Different Kind of Peer Pressure
Original Airdate: March 16, 1987
Scripture Reference: Romans 12:2
Theme: Peer pressure
Categories: Family Portrait Episodes
Writer: Steve Harris
Director: Steve Harris
Producer: Bob Luttrell
Sound Designer: Bob Luttrell
Characters: Mickey Barton, Mr. Collins, Blair Hudson, Richard Hudson, Ruth Hudson, Jim Powell, John Avery Whittaker (Whit), Jerry Winters

The Hudson family is having trouble with peer pressure. The daughter, Blair, decides not be friends with a guy who is not considered "in" and her father, Richard, puts down a co-worker to fit in.

Included in Collection: Family Portraits

#FP10: In Memory of Herman
Original Airdate: March 23, 1987
Scripture Reference: 1 Peter 3:1-2
Theme: Salvation
Categories: Family Portrait Episodes
Writer: Phil Lollar
Director: Phil Lollar
Producer: Bob Luttrell
Sound Designer: Bob Luttrell
Characters: Hank, Amanda Hardwick, Randy Hardwick, Victor Hardwick, John Avery Whittaker (Whit)

When the Hardwick's family frog dies, they have to learn to deal with the death of a loved one and face some important life changing decisions.

Included in Collection: Family Portraits

#FP11: A Member of the Family (Part 1)
Original Airdate: March 30, 1987
Scripture Reference: Proverbs 3:11-12, Exodus 20:12, Ephesians 6:4
Theme: Discipline / Family conflict
Categories: Family Portrait Episodes
Writer: Susan McBride
Director: Steve Harris
Producer: Bob Luttrell
Sound Designer: Bob Luttrell
Characters: Jimmy, Tom Riley, John Avery Whittaker (Whit), Jana Whittaker-Dowd, Monty Whittaker-Dowd

Whit's grandson Monty comes to visit him but starts causing problems for Whit and the rest of the town when Monty starts acting out, feeling his grandfather has been treated him unfairly.

Included in Collections: The Adventure Begins: The Early Classics (Gold Audio #1), Family Portraits

#FP12: A Member of the Family (Part 2)
Original Airdate: April 6, 1987
Scripture Reference: Proverbs 3:11-12, Exodus 20:12, Ephesians 6:4
Theme: Discipline / Family conflict
Categories: Family Portrait Episodes
Writer: Steve Harris
Director: Steve Harris
Producer: Bob Luttrell
Sound Designer: Bob Luttrell
Characters: Jimmy, Tom Riley, John Avery Whittaker (Whit), Jana Whittaker-Dowd, Monty Whittaker-Dowd

Whit's grandson Monty comes to visit him but starts causing problems for Whit and the rest of the town when Monty starts acting out, feeling his grandfather has been treated him unfairly.

Included in Collections: The Adventure Begins: The Early Classics (Gold Audio #1), Family Portraits

#FP13: A Simple Addition
Original Airdate: April 13, 1987
Scripture Reference: Romans 12:10
Theme: Sibling rivalry
Categories: Family Portrait Episodes
Writer: Susan McBride
Directors: Phil Lollar, Paul McCusker
Producer: Bob Luttrell
Sound Designer: Bob Luttrell
Characters: Joe Rogers, Nicky Rogers, Shannon Rogers, Shelly Rogers, John Avery Whittaker (Whit)

In an effort to get attention, young Nicky does whatever he can to get his parents to stop thinking about their soon-to-be-born child.

Included in Collection: Family Portraits