Chapter 13 - "For It Is God Who Works"

 

Chapter 13 - New Studio Building

        By 1975, the Trustees realized that a larger facility was necessary with more office and production space to accommodate a larger staff and to allow local production of programs. Since there was no more space at the Almeda site, they began to look around Houston for a property that would be suitable to construct a new facility.

        One of KHCB's Trustees, Miss Winifred Bleeker, owned some property on South Boulevard which she made available to KHCB for this purpose. She had offered the property in 1973, but the Trustees felt that the timing was not right. Despite repeated offers from others to buy the property, Miss Bleeker was persistent in saving the property for KHCB. Her foresight and patience for the right timing gave the station the benefit of having a studio constructed on a prime site near downtown Houston.

        The Trustees estimated that the construction would cost $400,000, so a building fund was established with that goal in mind. Many kind and generous friends of KHCB began sending gifts for the building fund above and beyond the monthly budget needs.

        On the morning of July 15, 1977, KHCB held a ground-breaking ceremony dedicating the property to the Lord and asking the Lord's blessing on the future home of KHCB. The staff, Trustees, and many friends of the station came to witness this exciting moment. A small platform and about 50 folding chairs were set on the lawn near some shade trees. After some introductory words, Harvey Neal, then pastor of Gulf Way Baptist Church, led the group in a prayer of dedication.

        A rather comical scene took place when Trustee Del Underwood introduced Miss Bleeker. At length, he hailed Miss Bleeker's generosity and years of service to KHCB. He then asked Miss Bleeker to come forward and say a few words. Being an elderly woman, she took several minutes to reach the makeshift platform. In the meantime, everyone waited in hushed anticipation of what she would say. When she finally reached the microphone, Miss Bleeker shocked everyone with her one sentence speech: "I have nothing to say." Leaving everyone silently chuckling, she then left the stage, turned the first spade of earth, and returned to her seat. When Miss Bleeker passed away in February of 1993, the Trustees named the KHCB studios "The Bleeker Building" in honor of this fine woman who did so much for Christian Radio.

        The radio station chose to be its own contractor and during the ensuing two and one-half years Del Underwood volunteered countless hours of his time overseeing the construction. Initially, the Trustees decided that everything would be paid for in cash so that no money would have to be borrowed. However, a listener offered to lend the station construction money at a favorable interest rate to enable the building to proceed in a timely fashion.

        God touched the hearts of many very kind listeners to donate services to the station during this time. The firm Wylie Vale and Associates provided all the architectural services for the new building. Cecil Dunlap was the special representative on the job and Mr. Vale provided all the services at no cost. Using the floor plan designed by KHCB, Mr. Vale's firm furnished the engineering and exterior design.

        The structural and mechanical engineers also volunteered their services at a moderate cost. The structural engineer made sure all the walls were sound and could withstand strong winds and other natural disasters. The mechanical engineer laid out all of the electrical wiring and laid out the air conditioning system. All of the plants for the exterior of the building were a gift from another kind listener, Mrs. Hans Peterson, who owned a local nursery. A sign on the front of the building was donated by Anibal Martin.

        On October 7, 1979, hundreds of listeners joined KHCB at the dedication ceremony in the new studios. Dr. Theodore Epp, founder of the Back to the Bible Broadcast, gave a message entitled "Where to Now?" Video monitors were placed all around the studios and outside in the parking lot to accommodate the overflow crowd. It is estimated that over 1000 believers from all over Houston attended this special ceremony.

        The station was still $60,000 short of the building fund goal at the time of the dedication, but over the next few months, listeners continued to contribute to the fund, and by April 1980 KHCB was once again completely debt free. A question many people ask is whether Christian Radio is a cost effective means of propagating the Gospel. Missionary Radio reaches the Houston metropolitan area (over four million people) for less than $100 per hour, or less than two dollars per minute. This does not count the impact of KHCB via translator, satellite, or the Internet (see chapters 23-25).

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Palm Coast 89.3 FM

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