Chapter 18 - "For It Is God Who Works"

 

Chapter 18 - AM Station Acquired

        A few years after KHCB went on the air in 1962, the Lord brought Ramon Boras to the station to help as a weekly volunteer. Born in Argentina, Ramon came to the United States as a young man and, although he spoke English well, his mother tongue was Spanish, and he felt a burden to reach the growing Hispanic community in Houston with the Gospel. Over a period of months, Ramon prayed and talked with Pete about the possibility of setting aside one hour on KHCB for programming in Spanish. Pete also prayed and brought the idea before the Board of Trustees.

        The Trustees were open to this missionary effort aimed at Hispanics, but were fearful that the interruption in programming with one hour of Spanish would alienate many English-speaking listeners. After praying and talking more, the Trustees decided to set aside 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. each weeknight for Spanish programming. This was agreeable to both Ramon and the Trustees since that hour is not a prime listening time for the English audience. Hispanics traditionally worked late-night jobs and could listen to KHCB while working. Ramon took on the responsibility of overseeing the Spanish programming, a job which he faithfully executed for more than 25 years. Through the years, this program gained a very strong following among Spanish speaking believers and only the Lord knows how many have come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through these late-night Spanish broadcasts.

        In the late 1980s the Trustees made a demographic study of the Houston area which revealed that the three largest foreign language groups in Houston were Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese. Knowing that the station could not increase the hours of programming in Spanish, they began praying about the purchase of an AM station that could be dedicated exclusively to foreign language broadcasting. They prayed regularly and searched diligently for more than five years. They made offers on a few stations but the Lord closed the door until 1990 when the Board came across KTUS, AM 1400 in Galveston.

        The owner of KTUS, Tom Wisehart, was well-known and well respected in Galveston, and the station was one of the most popular on the Island. AM 1400 went on the air in 1922 and has the honor of being one of the oldest radio stations in the entire United States.

        Mr. Wisehart retired in 1986 and sold the station to Breckenridge Co. based in Waco. Unfortunately, station revenues declined and within three years, Breckenridge Co. was facing bankruptcy. Mr. Wisehart had to repossess the station but failing health prohibited him from working to rebuild it to its former days of glory. He was losing as much as $10,000 each month so he decided to shut the station down. The Trustees of KHCB began negotiations with KTUS in 1989, and finalized the sale in December of 1990 for $150,000.

Repairs

        Several preparations had to be made before KHCB-Galveston would be ready to go on the air. The land on which the transmitter and antenna were located had been neglected for years and had to be cleared of trees and underbrush just to make the station operational. The transmitter needed fine- tuning and several parts had to be repaired or replaced.

        A second phase of the preparations involved transporting all of the broadcast equipment from the studio in Texas City to the KHCB studios in Houston. Engineer Dan Wales and other KHCB staff set up the equipment in a small booth and wired all of the equipment into the console from which the programs would be broadcast. A short time later, permission was received from the FCC allowing the AM station to share the facilities and personnel at KHCB's Houston studio and operate more efficiently.

        The final task was to install the equipment that would convey the signal from the studios in Houston to the tower and transmitter in Galveston where it would then be rebroadcast to Galveston and surrounding cities with 1000 watts of power.

        During these months of preparation, some Hispanic Christians headed by Albert Martin and Raymond Boras took on the task of pre-recording dozens of reels of Bible programs interspersed with music. Many of these had never been involved in a radio ministry, but with the experience they acquired recording these reels, they were later able to serve as the first volunteer board operators.

        Some of the Bible programs came from English programmers on KHCB-FM who also made their programs available to stations in Spanish. Others came from ministries in Latin America and the United States. In order to ensure that AM 1400 maintained a local appeal, Albert and Raymond contacted local pastors about having short devotionals or Bible studies in Spanish. By the time all the technical arrangements had been taken care of, the Spanish Christians were ready to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to the Hispanic community via Christian Radio.

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Madisonville 91.5 FM
Paris 89.3 FM
Port Arthur 106.7 FM
Port O'Connor 91.9 FM
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Arcadia 92.5 FM
Mansfield 104.7 FM
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Oklahoma

Chickasha 90.5 FM
Marlow 88.7 FM
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Florida

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