Chapter 9 - "For It Is God Who Works"

 

Chapter 9 - Ministering Servants

        The first three years that Christian Radio was on the air, five men had served as station managers: Doug Ford, Dick Semaan, Steve Garon, Clarence Shaleen and Jim O'Quinn. In September of 1965, the Directors were again looking for someone to fill the role of general manager. Jim O'Quinn, the manager at that time, had given notice to the Board that in February of 1966 he would be moving to Jackson, Mississippi. As the Board began to think and pray about who the Lord might want to fill that important role, one man who seemed to be a good candidate was Peter S. Steigerwald.

        Pete had heard about KHCB shortly after the station went on the air in 1962. Since FM radio was a relatively new medium in Houston, very few people owned radio sets with an FM receiver. After purchasing an FM receiver in the Fall of 1962 and tuning to 105.7, Pete immediately recognized the voice of station manager Dick Semaan with whom he had attended Lamar High School years before. What really impressed Pete as a listener was that he never heard the staff groan or complain on the air about the financial struggles the station was experiencing. Instead, God's grace was heralded as the reason that KHCB stayed on the air.

        Reflecting on those days, Pete states, "Talking about God's grace today is easy because KHCB is not struggling financially as it was when the station first went on the air. I praise the Lord for the KHCB staff and Directors in the early days as they maintained the Godly integrity of the station during the tough times."

        Pete's involvement with the station began after he called the station one evening and struck up a conversation with staff member Danny Tucker. In the course of the conversation, Pete learned that there was a shortage of volunteers to run the station in the evenings. On many occasions, Danny worked 12- to 16-hour days. The next week Pete showed up at the station and offered to be a volunteer. Jim O'Quinn, who was the station manager, nearly fell out of his chair because volunteers were not abundant and seeing Pete so willing to serve at KHCB was a pleasant surprise. Pete was trained over the next few months and took over the Wednesday evening shift as a volunteer board operator in December of 1964.

        The station soon became like a second home to him. He came to the station several times each week just to chat with the staff and help in any way he could. Del had an office next door to KHCB so he often saw Pete coming and going. During the summer of 1965, Del asked Pete to help him with a contract job working nights at NASA. Since Pete was going to school during the day to finish his undergraduate degree, he welcomed the opportunity to earn extra money to pay for schooling and other expenses. This gave Del an opportunity to get to know Pete better. He knew that Pete was a humble man, a hard worker and a man of integrity. Pete seemed to always be helping someone who had a need. These and other character qualities made him a prime candidate for the position of manager.

        Pete was in a transitional time in his career. He had quit his job working in his family's business in order to finish his undergraduate education at the University of Houston and then go to seminary. He had already been accepted by Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth. While completing his degree in management, Pete was preaching three times each week at Reagan Wells Baptist Church (about 100 miles west of San Antonio) where he had gone to church as a young child.

        The Directors felt that Pete had all the qualifications to make him an excellent station manager, but they knew Pete was headed to Seminary. Although the path of his life seemed to be set they decided to ask Pete anyway and let the Lord lead.

        In mid December 1965, Del invited Pete and his wife, Shirley Anne, to lunch and shared with them the desire of the Directors for Pete to become manager after Jimmy O'Quinn moved to Mississippi. Pete was excited about the possibility. He knew instinctively that working for the station would be sheer joy, but he and Shirley Anne felt an obligation to the small church in Reagan Wells. Was the Lord changing their plans? His immediate feeling was to accept the offer, but he and Shirley Anne both prayed to be certain that this was also the Lord's will for them.

        Incidentally, at that time, Pete believed that the only way he could serve the Lord with his life was by entering the pastorate full-time, but over the years he came to realize and has often preached that wherever the Lord places you is where you can and should serve Him. A person in the secular workplace is serving the Lord just as much as a pastor if that is where the Lord has placed him. After much prayer and soul searching, Pete and Shirley Anne felt confident that indeed KHCB was where the Lord wanted them to serve, and Pete accepted the position as the general manager, a position which he held for 26 years.

        Pete poured his life into the ministry. His dedication to Christian Radio was evident from the long hours he worked. On many occasions, he was up all night at the station making necessary repairs so that KHCB could be back on the air the next day.

        Pete's long hours at the station came from his love for the ministry and for the Christian community in Houston. But his involvement at KHCB required so much time that he neglected God's mandate to care for his wife and family, a trap that catches many men and women in full-time Christian ministry. Pete is thankful, though, that God in His grace allowed him in later years to rebuild and repair the strained relationships with family members. Pete says, "I would like to encourage believers to pray for all those in full-time Christian ministry that God would give them wisdom to keep their priorities straight."

        His capable, level-headed leadership helped bring the station out of debt and onto firm ground financially. In the formative days of the station, each day was a step of faith, trusting the Lord to provide the funds to pay the next bill. The station survived from day to day.

        During these challenging days, Pete never lost his love for people. He always had an eye open for people in need. Helping people was the uppermost thought in his mind. His sensitive, gracious qualities surfaced time and time again. If someone's car broke down, he was the first to offer a ride or to help fix it.

        In addition to his commitment to KHCB, year after year, until 1973, Pete faithfully traveled to Reagan Wells every other weekend to preach the gospel in that small church. Getting the gospel out is his top priority whether through the ministry of radio or preaching at a local church. Pete's example of Christ-likeness left an indelible mark on the station that will continue to guide the ministry for years to come.

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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