Members in Action
Christian Witness Bears Fruit 50 Years Later
One never knows how closely people are watching, or how much they notice and remember of our Christian conduct. Seeds of faithful service to God can come to harvest years later. WSJB-LP, 96.9 FM, is a radio station operated by Adventist laymen, located in St. Joseph-Benton Harbor, Michigan. It’s one of a network of over 70 FM stations operated by or associated with RADIO 74 INTERNATIONALE in the USA.
But if WSJB-LP is on the air today transmitting the everlasting gospel from a 150-foot tower, it’s thanks in part to the faithful witness of a former Andrews University student who worked for the tower owner back in the 1960s. Radio station president, Anne Kantor, and her team, won the permit for WSJB-LP in 2013. But the original antenna site authorized by the FCC was poorly situated. Signals were weak over much of the metropolitan area. “We diligently searched for a better site,” recalls Ron Myers, founder and engineering director of RADIO 74 networks, based in France. “Rental prices on well-placed towers were beyond our budget. But we kept on praying and searching by faith. “Then one day, we noticed a free-standing tower at an excellent spot. The unkempt look of the technical shed, hidden in tall weeds, told us it was abandoned. We found the owner who’d long since left the state. “Richard Monroe once ran a successful two-radio business at Benton Harbor, and he’d bought the tower for renting out space to his clients. I called Mr. Monroe at his home in California and asked if we could use the tower in exchange for tidying up the place and paying the taxes. While he was thinking it over, I mentioned that our radio station would be Christian. “Christian?” he asked. “What religion?” I thought to myself, “Oh Lord. Here we go. If I answer wrong, he’ll say no.” So I sent a quick prayer up to the Father and bravely told the man, I am a Seventh-day Adventist. “You mean those people from Andrews University?”
“Yes,” I answered. “Well that’s wonderful! You know, I used to have a technician who was an AU student…a good worker, reliable and honest. His name was Pudge Forester.” I cut in to say, “I knew Pudge. We took a few classes together. We were both ham radio operators and both of us had pilot’s licenses.” “Wow! So you know Pudge? What ever happened to him?” Though I’d lost track of Pudge over the years, it didn’t matter to Mr. Monroe. If I was a Seventh-day Adventist and a friend of Pudge, then he’d be happy to let us use his radio tower at no cost. Since then, Richard Monroe and I have become friends. I’ve visited him at his home in Corona, California. He’s a fine man, of Protestant background, now well up in years and suffering from a back injury sustained in a domestic accident. We often pray together over the phone and his love of the Lord is growing. Meanwhile, WSJB-LP, St. Joseph-Benton Harbor, obtained permission from the FCC and FAA to reactivate the tower which is located near an airport. Our FM station is now joyously on the air from Mr. Monroe’s tower, singing God’s praises and sowing gospel seeds to a growing audience of listeners. Isn’t God amazing? See how 50 years later, He makes good on ordinary work, humbly and faithfully done with love and kindness!