Start Your Own Radio Ministry

Mortenson Broadcasting Company (MBC) began in 1960 as a pioneer in the early days of Christian radio. For fifty-years God has blessed our Christian radio stations as we’ve worked with national ministries and local churches, broadcasting the Gospel to those seeking hope. FM107.9 WEMM began ministering to the Tri-State and Kanawha Valley region in 1971. Helping to make and keep the home sacred, we are here to give the local church a voice through Christian radio.

Today, we are presented with new ministry opportunities through the combination of our powerful Christian radio stations, and the Internet with high tech streaming. Thus we now have new concepts to share with you as we partner with you in reaching those in need.

If we could take the passion of your heart and touch the lives of hurting, lost people beyond the four walls of your church, would that be of interest to you? Just think of the opportunity to minister one on one through the privacy of Christian radio and the Internet. Wouldn’t it be a blessing if a listener said you were a blessing to them through Christian radio, and that the Gospel message of hope that you shared changed their life? It would be all right with you if perhaps someone, or a family, were to become a member of your church because you touched their heart for Christ through Christian radio, wouldn’t it?

Charles Stanley, Pastor of First Baptist Church, Atlanta, often states at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention that without those of us making the airwaves available, his ministry would be confined to the four walls of his church. However, because of mass communications, his ministry is worldwide. Consider expanding the ministry and outreach of your church through FM107.9 WEMM to your community, and to all of our listening area.

Let us ask you: will you be a part in reaching the Tri-State region of Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia for Christ? Perhaps this will be the beginning of a nationwide radio ministry, as it has been for other MBC radio ministries that are now across America. Please realize that you can reach people who need the Lord when they are alone in their homes, in their cars, in their lives, where no one else can reach them. Let the Lord use you to proclaim the Good News that Jesus Christ saves and transforms lives, making them worth living. We invite you to reach out and touch the lives of those who need to hear the message of the Gospel that only you can bring to them.

Call Bryan K. Fowler at 304-525-5141.  Let FM107.9 WEMM be of service to you.

Consider…

  • You will reach the unseen, unknown person that needs to hear your passion of love. You will reach that person who only you can lead to Christ. You will impact and change the lives of both the lost and those who know Jesus as you teach and preach the Gospel of our Lord Jesus over FM107.9 WEMM. Your greatest reward for helping others may never be known until this life is over, and God Himself reveals the lives that He has transformed through you.
  • The sheep love to hear their shepherd’s voice, not just in church two or three times a week, but every day. It isn’t just the shut in that needs Christian radio, but those listening in the privacy of their cars, those alone at home or wherever they are, lonely and alone. It isn’t just those who are alone without someone else around, but those who are alone, yet surrounded by people who don’t talk with them, or understand them. Thus you can encourage, provide hope, motivate to greatness, teach them the life changing principles of scripture, and relate to them, one on one through the intimacy of Christian radio.
  • Your church family can invite their family and friends to listen to you through Christian radio by asking them to tune in to FM107.9 WEMM, and tell them what they think.
  • Give your people the opportunity to prayerfully and financially support their own pastor and church as you expand your ministry.
  • We recommend that you expand your ministry through Christian radio because through prayer you believe this to be God’s direction in your life. We also recommend that you do this first as a ministry to those who may or may not be able to give anything in return, but because you have a passion of love for the hurting, the lost and those in need of the life transforming power of the Gospel. Whether in this life or the next, it would be a blessing to know you have brought someone to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, or even as a Christian, their life has become worth living because of your teaching and preaching of the Bible, wouldn’t it? If perhaps an individual or a family were to join your church as a result of your radio ministry on FM107.9 WEMM, that would be a blessing, too, wouldn’t it?

To begin, you need to identify your strongest passion and the message you wish to share through Christian radio. Then, let us work with you in developing a tailored plan that helps you achieve our common goals.

Call Bryan K. Fowler at 304-525-5141. Let FM107.9 WEMM be of service to you.

Here are some ideas to help you develop the needed funding of your broadcast:

  • Just as offering envelopes typically have a line item for a building program, missions, etcetera, include a line item for radio. Determine the costs of air time, production and any related costs and divide that by the number of members within your church who would support the broadcast with $1, $2 or a few dollars each week.
  • A variation of the envelopes concept would be to post a calendar within the church where members can sign-up to pay for a broadcast on a certain day or days.
  • Develop radio partners who pledge to give a given amount each month. Then determine what to give them in appreciation. This can be a copy of a message, a newsletter, a free book, a CD Bible series. It is best that your appreciation be an extension of your ministry. For example, if you are teaching on the family, offer a CD message or Internet download of a different message you preached on the same subject.
  • Dedicate a Sunday morning to raise the money to pay for the coming year. Call it Radio Ministry Sunday. During this service, share e-mail, postal mail and in person testimonies of those who have benefited from your broadcast ministry. Particularly if you have new members as a result of the broadcast, ask them to share with your congregation how they came to the church because of your radio ministry.
  • Form a group of business leaders from within the church or among your friends in the business community. Have them underwrite the program, giving them a word of appreciation at the end of each broadcast. If you are doing a daily Monday through Friday broadcast, for example, each of five businesses could have their own day of sponsorship. Please be sure they understand this will not be an advertisement for their business, but a mention of their business name, location, phone number and Web site address. (See our Sponsorship Policy for details.)
  • Develop multiple streams of income. The first stream should be that of outright donations as described above. The second should be income in exchange for gift offers, as described above. Gift offer values should range in value from $15 to $100. An example would be the most requested messages of the past year. Factor in the shipping value as a lot of profit is in shipping and handling. (The average listener gift is about $20 per month.)
  • Listen to other broadcast ministries, particularly those of nationally syndicated programs, and glean ideas from them as to how they develop their donor base.

Call Bryan K. Fowler today at 304-525-5141. Let FM107.9 WEMM be of service to you.

 

FM107.9 WEMM seeks a balance between local and national ministries. We also seek to represent the evangelical Christian community in the Tri-State region. For the most part, this means our programming is conservative. It also means that it is mandatory that our ministries believe in the:

  • Virgin birth of Christ (Luke 1:23-38),
  • The shed blood of Jesus on the cross as payment for our sins (Leviticus 17:11),
  • That Jesus Christ physically arose from the grave (John 20:27), and therefore
  • We serve the risen Christ (Matthew 28:6),
  • Who is alive today in Heaven (Acts 7:56) and
  • Is coming again in like manner (Acts 1:11)!

FM107.9 WEMM is blessed to have many of the nation’s best nationally syndicated broadcasts. We also represent some of the largest churches and local ministries. Smaller churches and ministries are also an integral part of FM107.9 WEMM . Size isn’t the issue, but the focus on the Lord Jesus Christ and the proclamation of the Gospel is all important. Many of our broadcasters have been on the air with us since FM107.9 WEMM began September 6, 1971, or the beginning of their ministry! We are grateful to the Lord Jesus Christ for this heritage.

Christian radio is a work of faith. We do it because God calls us, regardless of what results we see. May I ask you a question? What part will you have in the life changing communication tool of Christian radio, that God has raised up to proclaim the Gospel?

From time to time FM107.9 WEMM does have available program time for additional ministries. Pray about your part in changing lives through Christian radio. This is more than just winning the lost to Christ, though that is a part of Christian radio; FM107.9 WEMM is also nurturing Christians to maturity in Christ as they learn to live by God’s Holy Word.

Call Bryan K. Fowler at 304-525-5141. Let FM107.9 WEMM be of service to you.

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Call Bryan K. Fowler at 304-525-5141. Let FM107.9 WEMM be of service to you.

 

Can I receive professional consulting to achieve the best sounding broadcast, format and presentation?

Yes. Technology keeps changing, but let’s first look at what sound equipment you have. Then we can determine what, if any, additional equipment you may need. As for the program format, the most common approach is to have someone record your worship service and then fit your sermon into a daily or weekly broadcast. By the way, we can do the program open and close for you, making it easier for you or the person producing the broadcast. In regard to presentation, nothing would change in your pulpit style. If you do a broadcast in the studio type approach, then speak to the one person listening beside each radio, preferably someone you know. However, that concept is being multiplied, like the loaves and fishes, over and over. Should we discuss all of this with you, someone within your church, or both?

How can I find the investment needed for an effective radio ministry?

We’ve seen different ideas used over the years. Typically churches include their radio ministry as a part of their missions or outreach budget. However, on various occasions we have seen one individual within the church underwrite the full year agreement. In other instances, different individuals within the church have agreed to pay for one or multiple broadcasts in the course of the year. Just as special needs and projects come up in the course of the year for which your church does special fund raising, the same creative ways can be applied to underwriting your radio ministry. Are you willing to consider these ideas, or give thought to other creative ways to develop the investment?

How do I get the broadcast to you?

The most common form of delivery today is through an FTP site on the Internet. Alternatively, your broadcast can be live from your church, using equipment designed for that purpose, or we can receive it through the Internet. Also, you are welcome to mail or hand-deliver your program to us. When recorded, we prefer to have it in a digital format, such as on a CD-R disc. (Please let us know if you want the disc returned.) Which method would work best for you, or is there someone on your staff with whom you would want us to discuss this?

How long of a commitment do I need to make?

We ask for a 1-year agreement. (Many of our broadcasts have been on WEMM-FM for more than 10, 20 or 30-years.) However, if you are unable to complete the year or change your mind. We require a 1-month notice. Call Roger Manning and let him know you will be doing four more weeks of programs and then you will be concluding your broadcast agreement. That is fair, isn’t it?

I don’t have the technical interest, what should I do?

We are glad you asked. Most likely God has placed someone in your life that would welcome the opportunity to take care of the technical aspects of your broadcast. I was that person for 7-years at a church I attended. I was eager for that opportunity. Who is the first person that comes to your mind that might welcome this chance to get into radio? Who is the second, who is the third?

In ministering to others, what is my greatest passion?

Perhaps you have a passion to help families stay together. You may enjoy teaching on Bible prophecy. Or, teaching discipleship through evangelism may be the heartbeat of your life. Possibly we could help you fulfill the Lord’s calling on your life. Is there a dominant theme in your Sunday school teaching? What emphasis do you typically place on your weekday evening service? What about Sunday morning, Sunday night? Now, if we could help you get that Bible message to the masses, would you want us to work toward that goal?

May I have sponsors on my program?

Typically the question of sponsorship is a question of whether you can have businesses pay for the broadcast and then announce they paid for it. If a must, we can permit this, but there are restrictions on what can be said. You may thank your sponsors and name them, giving the business name and city. However, you may not give any kind of commercial. Thus, “We thank our sponsors: ABC Business, Huntington, ABC Company, Milton, and ABC Store, Barboursville for making today’s program possible.” Any sponsorship announcements would need to be approved in advance of broadcast by our corporate office. We also reserve the right to approve the selection of sponsors. Couldn’t the business or businesses just make the contribution to your church, without us announcing their sponsorship?

Should your broadcast ministry be Monday – Sunday, Monday – Friday or on the weekend, once or twice a week?

Apart from a special weeklong meeting at your church, when do you ever get the privilege to minister to your congregation all week? Thus we recommend a daily radio ministry. Then on Saturday, invite listeners to your Sunday and midweek services, advertise special events, interview a guest speaker, a leader within your church or have a member give their testimony. Sunday, broadcast your Sunday service. Consistency, frequency and longevity are key to achieving your ministry goals. May we tailor our radio station to your capabilities, desires and needs?

 Should your church have a radio ministry?

We don’t know. Perhaps radio isn’t for you. If we gave you, say 60-seconds to say anything you want to our radio listeners, what would you say? What would you say if we gave you one-hour?

We are hiring another staff member. What can we do when our funds are allocated?

Feature your new staff member on the radio. Let him be involved in a once a week program, promoting the church and his specific ministry. Then as your church grows, you could expand your broadcast ministry with us. Letting our audience know about this exciting new growth of your church would be all right with you, wouldn’t it?

We are in a building program, how can we have a radio ministry without the budget?

This is a time to start with what you have and grow. May we suggest a once a week broadcast ministry for now, then as your budget permits, we could expand?

What about denominational differences?

We do ask that prayer cloths not be offered over the air nor speaking in tongues take place on the air. Both of these practices tend to cause listener tune out. So as to keep our listeners for the next program, we request our broadcasters be respectful of others. As the saying goes, “If you can’t say something good about someone, then don’t say anything.” In the event you do feel the need to express disagreement, then be certain you are expressing your opinion on an issue, and not making an attack on a person, organization or religion. Even then, can’t the presentation of the Gospel message be made without first making a statement of disagreement?

What about political candidates and issues?

Particularly during an election or voting period, it is critical that there not be any endorsement of political candidates or issues that are appearing on the ballot, even if those are moral issues that are up for vote. In that regard, we ask that a political candidate running for office not be a guest on your program. As for moral issues appearing on the ballot, teaching the scriptures is one thing; referencing it from a political or voting perspective is another. Simply stated, our radio station is not a political platform. If there is any question about what you would say being political in nature, don’t say it. Instead, call Roger Manning at 522-2277. Do you have someone in mind or a concern that would need clarification?

What does it cost for a broadcast?

That depends. (Please call Roger Manning at 522-2277 for rates.) We custom tailor our radio station to your needs. Please tell us what you would like to have in the way of a radio ministry. Then let’s determine the needed funding. Finally, let’s decide what each of us needs to do to make what you want a reality. That would be all right with you, wouldn’t it?

What equipment do I need to do a radio broadcast and where do I buy it?

We’ve written a complete article on this subject. Please review our broadcast equipment page. However, to get started, you are welcome to record your broadcast here. Long term, we will be glad to evaluate what you have, suggest needed equipment and let you know where it can be purchased. You may already have what is needed. Please tell us what recording equipment you currently have. Alternatively, may we discuss this with your sound committee, or the person who presently runs your sound system?

What is the best time to reach the people to whom I want to minister?

That depends. Radio reaches different types of listeners at different times. So, for us to answer your question, we need to know the type of people you want to reach. Describe to us the typical listener you visualize speaking to through radio. That will help us to determine the time for your broadcast ministry. As a sidebar, though, let us just say that with our nearly 50-years of radio broadcasting with various Christian radio stations, we’ve observed it isn’t so much the time of the broadcast, as it is what you make of the broadcast. People typically eat two or three meals a day and often snack in between. Feed the listeners God’s word, and they will come and dine, regardless of the time of day (or night). How good of a “Chef” are you? How appealing can you make the scriptures?

What results will my church receive from having a radio ministry?

May we ask you what results you want? You know, I’m thinking of various churches that have seen weekly visitors to their church, new members, e-mails, and etcetera. However, I never see results, or perhaps I should say visible results, as being the purpose of a radio ministry. First, pray and determine if this is what the Lord Jesus wants you to do. If so, then do it, regardless of whether you see results or not. In my own life, the radio ministry that first reached my heart for Christ never ever heard from me! I remember listening to Christian radio for years and never wrote or contacted any of those broadcasters. Did they get results? Yes. I’m now in full time ministry through Christian radio. “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it (Isaiah 55:11).” So, are you willing to step out in faith through Christian radio, as you did in becoming a pastor?

What times do you have available?

It isn’t so much a question of what times do we have available, but where would your program best fit. That is we want the listeners that are there when you come on to listen to your program and then the broadcast that follows you. Thus we want to know your doctrinal beliefs, speaking style, program format, and etcetera to be able to recommend a time. Thus before we answer the question of available times, we need to know more about you, your church, and the type of audience you want to reach. To begin, may we ask you to tell us about your self and your ministry?

When I’m already too busy, how can I possibly add the time for a radio ministry?

We have many pastors on the air who’ve had that same question. Over the years we’ve seen creative ways to provide an effective radio ministry while minimizing the pastor’s time, or not taking any of their time. Typically, the person who operates the sound equipment welcomes the opportunity to be the announcer on your program and to prepare your pulpit messages for radio. A brief segment of studio time with you, to perhaps answer a question or dialog with your program host, can add a personal touch. When can we get started?

With today’s Internet, is radio the best choice for our media ministry?

Absolutely. We’ve married the two medias. Being on our radio station automatically places you on the worldwide Web. Let us share with you what some of our broadcasters have told us about their combined outreach. I’m thinking about a pastor who found his Internet ministry through our station to become so much larger than his church congregation, that he is now full time as a radio/Internet minister. We aren’t suggesting you leave your church, but you can see how extensive a ministry your church can have through the combined radio and Internet ministry we can provide. You would like that, wouldn’t you?

Call Bryan K. Fowler at 304-525-5141. Let FM107.9 WEMM be of service to you.

Our broadcasters are welcome to record their radio programs at WEMM where we have the needed equipment and staff to record your program for you. Please call Roger at 304-522-2277 to reserve a once a week recording time. Typically, though, within the first year our broadcasters want the convenience of recording at their church, home or office. To record a radio broadcast, you will need a quality microphone and recorder. If you wish to add recorded music or preaching, then you will also need a mixer and a playback unit, preferably a CD player.

Microphone: To begin, you need a broadcast quality microphone. Select a name brand microphone, such as AKG, Audio-Technica, Behringer, Electro-Voice, Sennheiser or Shure. Plus or minus $100 should buy a good microphone for speech recording, such as the AKG D 9000 High Performance Dynamic Microphone, Electro-Voice N/D767a Dynamic Supercardioid Vocal Microphone, or the Shure SM48-LC Vocal Microphone. The Electro-Voice RE20 Dynamic Cardioid Microphone is a broadcast industry standard. If you want a lavalier wireless system, then Musician’s Friend has a good selection, provided you spend $250 or more. Mack & Dave’s in Huntington also has a UHF Audio Technica Wireless system. Regardless of the recording equipment, use an external microphone rather than a built in microphone or the inexpensive microphones that come with some equipment, including conference microphones. (If recording on a church public address system, turn off the speakers and tone controls.)

Mixers: If you want to add recorded music or preaching to your broadcast, then a mixer will let you add either to your broadcast while recording it. A simple mixer would also give you a volume boost if needed for your computer sound card. Today’s mixers let you make a lot of adjustments to the sound. We suggest keeping the tone set to flat (no bass or treble boost or cut). The Alesis MultiMix would be a good choice; It has both USB and standard audio outputs. There are also other good mixers available, such as Behringer, Electro Voice, Mackie, Sony, Yamaha, and etcetera.

CD Recording: A CD recorder is an excellent means of recording a broadcast. Because the audio is recorded deeper into the CD-R disk than on a computer CD burner, there is less risk of skipping. CD recorders are increasingly hard to find, but some local consumer outlets still carry them. Mack & Dave’s carries a Teac recorder. Also, Marantz makes the CDR300 Portable CD Recorder that is available from of Bradley Broadcast (800-732-7665). (When recording CDs for broadcast, be sure to finalize the disk!) Also, only use name brand CD-R discs. We order ours from The Little Warehouse (216 398-0022). CD recording is giving way to computer recording. We get our best FM sound quality from wave files; for example, using Adobe Audition, save as a Windows PCM .wav file.

Computer Recording: We strongly recommend a Sound Blaster sound card, rather than the built in sound card that comes with your computer or notebook. Regardless of the sound card, request that you be able to plug a line level CD player or mixer into the card and a microphone into the card or directly into the computer. Also ask that it have a CD burner, be Internet ready and have USB ports. Various computer interfaces are starting to come on the market, for example: TASCAM Track Pack T1 US-122L with Mic & Headphones and TASCAM Track Pack T2 US-144L Recording Bundle with Mic. Only use name brand CD-R discs.

Editing Software: Like a word processor, audio editing software lets you add, delete and move different sound files around within your radio program. For example, to put together a ½-hour broadcast, use a recorded introduction and close, recorded music and perhaps a sermon you preached elsewhere. (For a ¼-hour broadcast, do the same, but leave out the music.) Then, add some personal comments and put it all together in the desired sequence. An excellent example of what we’ve described here, is the True Word of God broadcast, Sundays at 2:00 PM on WEMM-FM. However, a simple recording where you speak from the start of the broadcast to the finish, without inserting any prerecorded audio, also sounds good. We have broadcasters dong that, using their pulpit sermon notes or outlines as the basis for their WEMM radio broadcast. Adobe Audition and Sound Forge are industry standards in editing software. Both make professional and scaled down versions of their programs. Audacity, Cake Walk, Fast Edit, and GoldWave are other programs that have been recommended to us.

When starting a new recording session in Adobe Audition, in the “New Waveform” dialog box, set the Sample Rate to 32000, Channels to Stereo, and the Resolution to 16-bit. A sample rate of 44100 is CD quality, which surpasses the frequency range of FM radio. Therefore use a sample rate of 32000. When saving the file to your hard drive as an MP3 file using Adobe Audition, save it as an mp3PRO© (FhG) (*.mp3) file. To save the file as CD quality, choose Options, and then from the drop down menu: 224 Kbps, 44100 Hz, Stereo (12.6:1). However, for FM broadcast quality, choose Options, and then from the drop down menu: 192 Kbps, 32000 Hz, Stereo (14.7:1). Alternatively, if your program is voice only, other than perhaps a theme song, you can create smaller files by saving your programs as mono. Choose Options, and then from the drop down menu: 96 Kbps, 32000 Hz, Mono (14.7:1).

Disclaimer: In stating the difference between CD quality and FM broadcast quality, note that we are doing so for informational purposes only. Mortenson Broadcasting Company pays the necessary licensing fees for you to broadcast music over our airwaves and through our Internet streaming. However, apart from this, any recording of copyrighted music by you for other purposes needs to be covered by obtaining your own licensing agreements.

FTP Site: While you can bring or mail a CD to us that you record on your computer, you can also upload it to an FTP site on the Internet. An FTP site, typically associated with a Web site, is a password-protected location on the Internet where you can place your radio program. WEMM can then retrieve it from the Internet, saving you the cost and time of bringing or mailing us your program.

Timers: Rather than watch the clock, use a countdown timer to keep your broadcasts on schedule. If you need a timer to help the Pastor in the pulpit stay on time, then Microframe(800-635-3811) has timers for that purpose. However, in the studio, office or home, a personal timer or stopwatch that counts down is all you need. The Invisible Clock (888-602-2588) countdown timer that silently vibrates or has adjustable beep volume is an excellent choice. If you need assistance with the recording and timing of your radio broadcast, call WEMM at (304) 525-5141 and ask for Laddie Smith, our Program Director. Note: Our timing is very precise. Therefore if your program runs over and gets cut short, call Laddie and request his help in the recording and timing of your broadcast.

Remote: Broadcasting live from your church, office or home is still feasible. Ideally, we recommend using a Comrex, such as the BlueBox. The Barix Instreamer/Exstreamer also works. These are available from SCMS. (Don’t order either without verifying compatibility with our equipment. Also, we can get Comrex equipment for you at a discount price.) Call Bryan at 304-522-2277 for assistance in broadcasting live over WEMM.

If all of the above seems overwhelming or beyond your present financial capability, then use the “shop at home” principle. As a pastor, could you use the sound equipment at church or do you already have some equipment at home or the office? Buy what you need, but don’t buy “all the bells and whistles” at once to get started. For example, all you need to get on the air is a microphone and a recorder. Later, you can add a mixer, software and a CD player.

Finally, please don’t get hung up on perfection either in getting the sound just right or spending lots of time editing out a cough, mistakes or putting together an impressive broadcast. After all, radio used to be live and church services are recorded before live congregations. So, you don’t need to make a “big production” out of it. Our WEMM listeners simply want to hear the preaching and teaching of God’s Holy Word. So, keep the recording process simple and focus on communicating with your listeners. As for the technical stuff, avoid cassette and stay close to the microphone (6 to 8-inches from your mouth, in line with your shoulder, and thus aimed at an angle toward your mouth). If you need help, call Bryan at 304-522-2277.