You don’t mind if I congratulate you do you? The reason I can say it that way is because WBVN is celebrating 15 years of ministry this month, and we’re always aware that it’s because of two things that we get to celebrate anything at all. First, we really do believe The Father directed us to bring the station into the area in 1990. Secondly, we know for sure that we would not have been able to continue to do ministry here without the generosity of our listeners. That is why we congratulate you! You’re directly responsible for the effects of having had WBVN in the area. I’ve ways said that the testimony of WBVN must first point to the Spirit of God and His sure movement to establish the station. And secondarily, we would identify the role that listeners have played to keep us on the air all these years.
We started the initial steps to build a Contemporary Christian Radio station in 1988 with only about $5,000 dollars in the bank and no “deep pockets” to fund the ministry. Somehow, in a way only God could explain, WBVN began broadcasting on January 8th, 1990. There’s a tangled web of stories about how the impossible became possible during the two years that it took to get the station on the air, too many to mention in a short letter, but there was an essence of just watching God do what we could only imagine! We’ve never been smart enough, or clever enough, to bring WBVN to pass and continue for 15 years. Simply, we know who “worked the works” for this ministry.
The early days are still vivid in our memories. Our first contribution came from Rick and Laurie Chapman a couple months before the station went on the air. The first contribution received in the mail was from Charles Carter of Carterville, at that time a grandfather supporting the station because he knew it would encourage his grandchildren to hear the Gospel in a Contemporary Christian Music fashion. Our first month’s deposit to the bank was for $372, not a lot when expenses ran upwards of $9,000 a month. It took three years before our annual budget needs were met without additional capital being spent. Each year since, we’ve been able to “keep up” with the cost of broadcasting and keep CCM on the air. The hourly cost has risen over the years. We started out needing about $13.00 an hour to broadcast; today that figure is more like $19.00. Many people have been good to increase their giving or to start giving when others needed to stop. Each year it takes about 650 contributors to keep WBVN on the air. Some churches, businesses, ministries and individual families all make up the annual group that help financially.
We’ve had our share of miracles for sure. Sometimes we didn’t know how we were going to get through the “current crisis,” or how to prepare the next one. Having an understanding that the Father, who had encouraged us to “go and do” this in the first place, would supply the needed help to make WBVN “happen” comforted us in times of trouble.
FM 104.5 has offered a unique opportunity for thousands of believers to “be on the same page” by bringing people together for a single moment in time for praise and worship using CCM. I believe there’s a “regional importance” in having believers connected by an “encourager” throughout the day. I guess it’s more appropriate for a radio station to describe that occurrence as “being on the same wavelength.” Literally what happens is that all of us are listening, at the same moment, to a wavelength of 104,500 wave cycles per second. Oh, I know that’s some just some “mumble-jumble” for “radio heads,” but something is very interesting about it: if we don’t all get on that one wavelength, if we just move off it ever so slightly, we’ll not be able to hear WBVN. But when we find FM 104.5, we all gather for a common experience of Praise “on the other side of the radio.”
Amos 3:3 says unless two men agree, how can they walk together? The implication is they must be “on the same wavelength” to be productive in their effort. Finding the mind of Christ, and the common purpose of the Gospel, is essential for believers. We trust WBVN’s format does that, offering Christ-centered Christian Music 24 hours each day. 1Peter 1:13 encourages us to “gird our minds for action.” It’s important to let the Word of God affect our minds. Teaching, studying, sharing and sometime listening to “hymns and songs” are ways that gets done.
Moses wrote in Joshua 1:18 that the Word of God needs to be studied and meditated on in order for us to be successful. Clearly, God obligates us to “work on our thinker” in order to experience more of the Christian life. Having been freely given a spirit of Love, of Power and a Sound mind, we can access the “Mind of Christ” and be in daily contact with the Great Counselor, the Prince of Peace. We begin that process by permitting Philippians 4:8 to operate in our lives. Let our minds dwell on “whatever is True, Honorable, Right, Pure, Lovely, and of Good Repute, of Excellence and worthy Praise”. If we do that, according to scripture, the “Peace of God” will be with us. If we dwell on Christ, we will be able to overcome the biggest enemy we face, the thing that causes us to fail the most: our thinking!
Our trust has always been that having Christian broadcasting over FM 104.5, our minds (our thinkers) will be centered on Christ and as believers we would benefit. Added to tapes, teaching, books, preaching and praying, we believe CCM “makes a difference” in the way we’re all able to walk the Christian faith. We provide a daily opportunity to keep your mind on Christ by listening to Songs of Praise on FM 104.5. Believers’ minds have been changed during the past 15 years through WBVN. We thank you for the opportunity to do that. Surely, without the prayers and contributions of our listeners all the benefits from having the music, programming and artist testimonies at the concerts would have been missed, and we would not be as “peaceful” a people. Hebrews 12 tells us that if we will keep our mind on Christ, He will keep us in perfect Peace. That’s one of my favorite promises in the scripture and one I think is extremely needed in the world we live in today. For these 15 years I hope it’s been a joy to be on the same “wavelength,” 104,500 cycles per second. We love bringing you “the very best in Contemporary Christian Music on WBVN.” We look forward to year number 16