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¿by[Dorothy Grunbock Johnston
T h e s t o r y of how a 19- year-old ra dio station wrSJTiterally “ con- verted” is a modem qpracle! A house wife witnessed to her neighbor in her kitchen; the entire church prayed for the neighbor’s husband. Result: the conversion of a couple in the spring of 1958 and the switching of an or dinary commercial station to a Chris tian station dedicated to proclaiming the gospel by March, 1960. Formerly, the policy of KWIL, 1 ; 000-watt station in Albany, Oregon had been, “ Just a bit of religious flavor on Sunday. No other day. We don’t want to lose our audience.” Now beer and cigarette advertisers received let ters from Larry Gordon, a half-owner of the station, stating that when pres ents contracts expired, they would not be renewed. “ Because,” said he, “ I have been bom again.” In January, 1959, just seven months after his conversion, Mr. Gordon went on the air with his “ Shining Hour” program of gospel recordings, inter spersed with bits of testimony urging his listeners to be bom again. Ques tionable advertisers had been asked to leave. Now legitimate businesses with drew their advertising. “We don’t want to deal with a ‘religious fana tic’ ” was the reason given. Unable to raise the money necessary to purchase the other half of the sta tion’s interest, and having been boy cotted by local merchants, Larry Gor don saw his thriving station plunge onto financial rocks in a matter of months. It appeared that very soon KWIL would revert to a worldly sta tion. Alarmed, evangelical pastors cam paigned from the pulpits. “ Save Kwil ly for Christ” became the slogan. A non-profit organization was formed for the purpose of buying out KWIL. Memberships and the right to vote were sold for $10.00. Many small gifts and a few large ones turned the tide. Deadlines for mortgage payments of $15,000 and $20,000 arrived with only minutes remaining before banking hours closed. But God could not suffer His faithfulness to fail. On Monday, August 10, 1959, short $300.00, Larry Gordon arrived at the bank to pay what he could. Friends and strangers stuffed bills- into his pockets. The goal was met — almost to the penny. Would the FCC approve the transfer of ownership in the face of the recent
checkered financial/: pattern?; Chris- tiansprayed. The heathen raged. Sev en out of eight KWIL staff members quit, but not before urging the pub lic in a half-page newspaper ad to withdraw financial support from the “ Save Kwilly for Christ” campaign. “ It’s not scriptural to talk about be ing ‘bom again’,” thundered modern istic preachers from their pulpits. The immediate coverage of the station, ninety communities, were faced with the fact that a true Christian is one who lias been born-again. And God got Himself the victory. The FCC approved and now Kwilly is for Christ — 24 hours a day. Around the clock, high-calibre Christian pro grams, interspersed with news, is the daily diet. And souls are being saved and blessed. Listener-response is ter rific. Staffed now with born-again be lievers, the station that prayer built proclaims the good news of salvation by word of mouth and by music. One sponsor had been witnessing Larry Gordon: open Bible, open mike, open heart. to an elderly woman in his store. He had just finished quoting John 3:16 to her when the beautiful anthem, “ For God So Loved the World,” came from his radio speaker, naturally tuned to KWIL. That did it. The wom an broke down, acknowledging her need of a Saviour. Calls from honest seekers come into the stations at all hours. Once in a wee small hour of the morning, a man called the station for further light. Between platters, the Christian disc-jockey led the man to the Lord over the phone. The new convert was thrilled with his new found salvation. “ Tell folks on the air I’ve just been saved,” he begged, anx ious to witness at once. The announcer complied. A converted radio station is result ing in converted souls. As Lindy and Larry Gordon say, “ To God be the glory!”
THE KING'S BUSINESS
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