Chapter 12 - "For It Is God Who Works"

 

Chapter 12- Expanding     

        When KHCB went on the air in 1962, the station had a power of 3,410 watts. Since KHCB's license classification gave the station the opportunity to broadcast at a maximum power of 100,000 watts, Christian Radio wanted to take advantage of this expanded outreach and increase to full power as quickly as the Lord allowed. But radio equipment is expensive, and after working so hard to get the station out of debt the first years on the air, the Trustees developed a policy of not borrowing money to buy new equipment or to cover operating expenses. As the Lord provided funds beyond those needed for the operating budget, the Trustees invested these monies toward improving the station's signal and increasing the output.

        Two basic elements of an FM radio station, the transmitter power and the antenna height, determine the station's broadcast coverage. The radio waves from an FM station behave very differently from those of an AM station. AM radio waves hug the ground, whereas the FM signal travels by line of sight. This means that for an FM station, antenna height is a crucial element. The taller the tower on which the antenna is mounted, the farther the signal will travel before the Earth's curve falls away and the signal does not reach the ground.

        From 1962 to 1977, the transmitter and antenna were upgraded several times and the height of the antenna was raised twice. The first enhancement came in 1964. On January 21 of that year, the Lord permitted KHCB-FM to raise the effective radiated power ten times to 34,100 watts through the use of a new, more powerful 10,000-watt broadcast transmitter. This improvement gave much better reception across the entire broadcast area. The station increased its power again in February, 1967 by installing a new broadcast antenna and raising its elevation to 370 feet. The effective radiated power was then 55,100 watts.

        In 1972, KHCB began raising funds to make the final upgrade to the maximum authorized power of 100,000 watts. From the first day KHCB went on the air, the Trustees had set the policy that no funds were to be solicited from listeners by coercion. The Bible states: "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver." (II Corinthians 9:7)

        The financial status of the station was to be mentioned only on a short five-minute program called "Sincerely Yours" in which listeners' letters were read and a daily financial report was given. Even when the station was going through serious financial difficulties, the staff did not waver from this policy. Each time a project arose, a special fund was begun so that listeners could give as the Lord led, and the report of that fund was included in the daily financial report on "Sincerely Yours."

        One such fund was established in 1972 and listeners began contributing to help KHCB buy a new, more powerful transmitter and antenna that would raise the output to full power. The cost for this upgrade was estimated at $200,000.

Living on Little and Giving Much  

        Special friends of KHCB at the LeTourneau Foundation heard of Christian Radio's need and offered to help by means of a matching gift of $100,000. The LeTourneau Foundation and LeTourneau College of Longview, Texas was founded by R.G. LeTourneau. Although R.G. was a humble, uneducated young man, his frank, heartfelt commitment to Jesus Christ as a teenager guided him to become the inventor of the biggest, most powerful, and most productive earth-moving machines of this century.  

        After the death of his firstborn son at 4 months, LeTourneau established the priority of "God first" in his life. Toward the end of his life, LeTourneau was living on an inverted 10 percent basis. He lived on only 10 percent of his profits and gave 90 percent to the Lord's work (More Than Conquerors: "Moving Heaven and Earth").

        Without the use of share-a-thons or other fund-raising techniques, the Lord provided the needed funds for the purchase of a new transmitter and antenna through listener gifts. KHCB was able to match the gift from the LeTourneau Foundation and purchased a 20,000-watt transmitter. The new equipment began operating in September of 1972. To the glory of God and to the joy of all the KHCB family, the coverage of Christian Radio doubled overnight and could now be heard fifty miles from Houston.

        Getting equipment to broadcast in stereo was the next major project which occupied the minds of the Trustees. Until this time, Christian Radio had broadcast a monaural signal. However, the FM radio industry was blossoming rapidly because the fidelity of the FM signal was far superior to that of AM radio. The advent of stereo broadcasting further enhanced the quality of the signal. More stereo receivers were now being manufactured and made available to the public. In 1974, the Lord directed the Trustees to begin a fund for the purchase of stereo equipment. The LeTourneau Foundation was once again instrumental in helping KHCB raise the needed funds through a generous $10,000 matching gift. In less than one year, KHCB listeners supplied the needed $10,000 and on November 10, 1974, KHCB-FM began proclaiming the Word of God in stereo.

  The Lord Provides A Generator

        Many of the enhancements to KHCB's signal came through the help of  Bill Cordell, a very talented engineer and Christian man. His prowess and technical expertise have been used of the Lord repeatedly over the years to help Christian Radio improve its facilities or purchase new equipment. His many industry contacts have made him a valuable consultant who has helped KHCB save money on many occasions.

        In 1978, the Lord used Bill to help KHCB purchase an auxiliary power generator. The staff and Trustees had been praying for months that the Lord would provide a back-up generator that could be used to keep the station on the air whenever there was a power outage. Bill had his eye open for any generators for sale and one day came across one that looked like a good deal.

        The Municipal Utility District (MUD) in Willis was selling its used generator for $15,000. Bill called Pete to advise him of this generator, but after hearing the price, Pete responded, "Bill, you know we don't even have 15 cents to spare much less $15,000. That is totally out of the question." Bill knew of KHCB's policy to not borrow money to buy equipment and respected Pete's position to wait till funds were available, but this looked like a once-in-a-lifetime offer.

        Bill kept his eyes open and several months later he found out that the price on the generator had dropped to $10,000. This was a great price, considering the generator was in very good condition and a new generator would cost $50,000. Bill informed Pete of the drop in price, but Pete maintained that it was still far outside of KHCB's financial possibilities. More time elapsed, and the price dropped again to $5,000; this time Bill approached Pete strongly urging him to at least drive out and take a look at the generator.

        A few days later Bill, Pete, Del and Chuck Underwood (who was KHCB's engineer at the time) drove to Willis together and all agreed that it was an excellent offer. After talking with the executive director of the MUD, Pete stepped out on faith and told him that KHCB would buy it. Pete advised him that it would take a few days to get the money, knowing full well that he had no idea where the money would come from. When they returned to the studios that afternoon, the secretary announced to Pete, "You'll never guess what came in the mail today." It was a check for $5,000 with a note that said, "For a special need."

        Pete looked at Bill and both men smiled at God's kindness to the station. The Lord honored faith and allowed the station to purchase this generator without having to borrow money or even share the need with KHCB's listeners. Pete later had lunch with the couple who gave this gift, and they rejoiced together at how God had used their contribution in such a timely fashion to meet an immediate need. They had felt the Lord prompting them to make this offering and their obedience brought honor and glory to His name.

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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