Chapter 4 - "For It Is God Who Works"

 

Chapter 4 - The Lord's Ways

        In 1960, Doug Ford, a fellow church member, began helping Del and took over the job of raising funds for the station. Doug was an insurance salesman, an entrepreneur and a visionary with  zeal. He immediately set to work on a plan to make the station a business venture in which Christians could invest. Those involved were divided about whether or not to make KHCB a "for-profit" or "non-profit" corporation. Some looked at it strictly as a ministry, while others, like Doug, saw great potential for KHCB to be a thriving God-honoring corporation. He felt strongly that there was nothing wrong with having a ministry that made a profit. They all agreed, however, that the station should be non-commercial and that funds should come from listener contributions. Doug had an attorney draw up the paperwork for the station as a for-profit corporation under the name Houston Christian Broadcasters, Inc.

        He quickly began calling his Christian contacts in the business world encouraging them to become stockholders in the corporation. He saw KHCB as a ministry that gave investors an opportunity to have a return on their investment. As Doug and other Christians bought stock in the corporation, financing was provided to get the station off the ground. If the station grew and prospered, the stockholders would then get a return on their investment.

        Many of those who bought stock were friends at church who were aware of the pursuit to open a Christian radio station and regularly prayed for the Lord's guidance and blessing on these efforts. Through the sale of stock, $22,000 was raised for the station.

         A key piece of equipment in the operation of a station is a transmitter to broadcast the signal. Doug heard of a 10,000- watt FM transmitter which radio station KXYZ (FM) had for sale. This station had debuted in 1948 with a classical music format but the lack of a strong listener base forced it to close down in 1950. It was now 1960 and the station was still shut down. Doug shared the news with Del, who decided to investigate the possibility of purchasing the transmitter.

        What Del discovered in that visit was that not only was the transmitter for sale, but the entire station was on the market. The station was located on the top floor of the Gulf Building in downtown Houston, and the antenna was on the roof. Having the antenna on site was a significant advantage because there would not be a need to send the radio signal from the studio to a remote antenna location. The studios were fully furnished including an operating console which was practically brand new. The transmitter in particular was immaculate and was itself worth $35,000.

        The chief engineer for KXYZ, Jerry Chinski, was very kind and spent several afternoons with Del showing him the equipment and teaching him about FM transmitters and how they operate. Mr. Chinski was probably the foremost authority in Houston on FM broadcasting at that time. Del learned a great deal about the business from him.

        After looking over the situation, both Del and Doug felt that this station was ideal. Doug made an offer of $7500 for everything. To their total amazement, the local management accepted his offer without even making a counter-offer. After months of searching for an appropriate facility to begin a Christian radio station in Houston and finding nothing, both men felt certain that their dreams were finally going to come true.

        All the paperwork was prepared. In a very short time, KXYZ would become Houston's first Christian radio station. The only remaining detail was the formality of final approval from the station owners in California. The owners usually followed the recommendations offered by their local managers.

        Several weeks went by and the anticipated phone call from the local management finally came. So sure were Del and Doug that this was their answer to prayer, the news they received left them both in total shock. The owners in California sent word that they would not accept Doug's offer. In addition, they announced that the station was no longer for sale.   

        At first, this avenue appeared to be the leading of the Lord. Everything looked perfect. How could they have missed the Lord's leading so completely? Questions tumbled out one after another with very few answers. Was the Lord unwilling to move the owner's hearts? Was the timing wrong? How long should they pray and wait on the Lord? The only explanation given for the refusal was that the station provided a tax write-off for the parent company and selling it would not be beneficial to the owners.

        This turn of events put Del and Doug back to square one. Not until several months later did the Lord reveal to them why station KXYZ (FM) had not been in His plan for them. Through conversations with others in the field, Del discovered that what had appeared to be a "perfect deal" was not so perfect after all. In fact, it would have been a disaster had the Lord not intervened. It turned out that the transmitter they would have inherited was very expensive to operate. The output power tubes, of which there were two, cost $1100 each and had to be replaced yearly. In addition, since these tubes were no longer manufactured, they were difficult to obtain. The cost of maintaining this transmitter would have been higher than the payments on a new one. Furthermore, KHCB's future possibilities of upgrading the signal from a monaural transmission to a stereo broadcast would have been limited because of the antiquated equipment design.

        By closing the door to the purchase of this station, the Lord spared the ministry from a tremendous debt and early demise. Del was encouraged to see that the Lord was clearly controlling circumstances to keep him on the right track toward bringing Christian Radio to Houston. The Bible declares: "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)

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Table of Contents

Foreword & Preface
1. From Houston to the World
2. A Seed is Planted
3. Getting Started
4. The Lord's Ways
5. God Reveals His Best
6. The Lord Provides Personnel
7. Remodeling
8. Financial Struggles
9 Ministering Servants
10. KHCB Goes to the Rodeo
11. Programming
12. Expanding
13. New Studio Building
14. The Tall Tower
15. Volunteers
16. Changed Lives
17. Trustees
18. AM Station Acquired
19. Hispanics Launch Friendship Radio
20. Chinese Language Programming
21. The Gospel in Vietnamese
22. Translator Takes KHCB-FM to Bryan
23. Reaching for the Stars
24. To the Ends of the Earth
25. And the Work Goes On