Thirty Four Years and Counting

How does one measure 34 years? When compared to the age of a California redwood tree, 34 years isn’t long. But for a Christian radio station dependent entirely on the generosity of dedicated individuals who can’t even hear its sound, 34 years is a long, long time.

World Christian Broadcasting was chartered in 1976, and for the next seven years dedicated itself to the creation and building of a station in Alaska that would broadcast the Good News of Jesus to one-third of the world’s population. As it has been doing for 34 years beginning in 1983, each day it continues to cover China, Russia, and the Pacific Rim with life-giving messages that introduce searching people to the Gospel.

In looking back over our 34-year broadcast history, names immediately come to mind. Earlier than anyone else, in the 1940’s Maurice Hall began dreaming of the day a shortwave signal could travel great distances with life-giving messages. In the 1970’s he found soulmates in Lowell Perry, Charles Whittle, George Bridges, and others who joined forces in the incorporation of World Christian Broadcasting. The ink was hardly dry on the incorporation papers before Lowell Perry, Ken Ferguson, and Hal Frazier were killed in a plane explosion over the island of Martinique while searching for a site upon which to build the first international shortwave station.

Working through their tears and heartache, the Board of Directors reconstituted itself and proceeded to look for another site. In 1979, land at Anchor Point, Alaska, was purchased on which to build a station whose signal would cover the continent of Asia. Bob Scott was selected as the first president of World Christian Broadcasting, and his first invitation was to F. M. Perry, recently retired as a Foreign Service Telecommunications Advisor in Washington, D.C., to become Director of Engineering. The Perrys moved to Alaska where F. M. designed and oversaw the construction of the station on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska, one of the most breathtakingly scenic places on earth—but more importantly, a place ideally suited for the launching of shortwave signals directed to the east and southeast. The next year Kevin Chambers was hired to manage the “state-of-the-art” technical development and expansion of World Christian Broadcasting. Kevin is currently Vice President of Engineering, responsible for both our Alaska and the Madagascar stations.

Thousands of work hours went into the engineering, planning, and physical construction of the Anchor Point station. Buildings were built, the 360’ X 360’ antenna was constructed, a 100 kw transmitter was put into place, and testing began. Finally the big day came: on July 22, 1983, permission was granted by the FCC in Washington, D., for us to go on the air. The next day, July 23, 1983, KNLS formally began its first broadcast day. Though we experimented with broadcasting a few other languages, soon the decision was made that Chinese, Russian, and English would be our daily fare. A second 100 kw transmitter and antenna were added in 2005. 

In 2004, a decision was made to begin construction of a new station in Madagascar, just off the southeastern coast of Africa.  Twelve years later, on Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016, the station signed on for the first time with three antennae—one directed west, one north, and the third east.  From Madagascar we broadcast six languages—English, Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, and English with a distinctly African sound.  Between our two stations, virtually the entire inhabited world is within the sound of our shortwave signals.

Though our corporate headquarters were originally in Texas, our first programming center was in Ohio. In 1989 all offices—corporate and programming—were relocated to a uniquely designed 10,010 sq. ft. facility on 1.35 acres of land in beautiful Franklin, Tennessee. As more and more people heard the message, responses continued to mount. In the six months following the opening up of the Soviet Union, 21,102 requests were received for Bibles and correspondence courses. Under the leadership of Charles Caudill, our present President, the influence of KNLS grows. Upgrades continue to be made: all engineering throughout the building has been recently reconfigured to ensure start-of-the-art digital capability.

Others have noticed what’s happening with approval and applause. Abilene Christian University presented to us their “Excellence in Evangelism Award,” and Pepperdine University honored us with their “Distinguished Ministry Award.” In 2015, Lipscomb University presented Charles and Kathy Caudill with their “Kopio” award, named for the Greek word kopio as used in Colossians 1:29, “working to exhaustion to the glory of God.” President Charles Caudill is widely respected professionally, having served as president of the National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters.

Gayle M. Crowe

Andy Baker, Vice President - Development      World Christian Broadcasting
605 Bradley Court, Franklin, Tennessee 37067, TEL: 615-371-8707

~ World Christian Broadcasting is a 501(c)(3) organization ~