This year marks the 60th anniversary of an international Christian radio network that broadcasts the gospel in more than 150 languages from 32 transmitters located throughout the world.
Sixty years after its founding in 1954, the Far East Broadcasting Company now broadcasts a total 627 hours of programs each day, and reaches areas in which two-thirds of the world's population live, receiving in excess of 750,000 listener responses annually.
According to FEBC, the ministry's history dates back to the close of World War II, when countless soldiers were returning from the conflict in the Pacific, newly aware of the great spiritual needs of Asia.
Among those who had felt called of God to set up a radio ministry in Asia were FEBC co-founders John Broger and Bob Bowman, who envisioned a ministry that would bring the Gospel to the millions of Asia. One country especially on their hearts was China.
After being incorporated in 1945, FEBC aired its very first broadcast from a station in Shanghai. However, the project was short-lived and by early 1948 all mission work in China was winding down and an alternative site was sought.
According to FEBC, Broger's search around Asia for a likely place to locate its radio ministry eventually led them to the Philippines. Ideally located in the South China Sea, the Philippines had much to offer.
At the time, the Philippines was developing its own independence from the United States and the young nation was more than willing for FEBC to establish operations there, the ministry recalled. The first broadcasts, over local station KZAS (as it was then known) went on air in Manila on June 4, 1948.
International broadcasts to China were to start the following year and have since expanded to cover most of Southeast Asia, as well as Russia. Today, FEBC’s sister company – Feba – broadcasts programs in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
In addition, FEBC's work has grown such that there are both AM and FM stations worldwide – 41 total. Meanwhile, programs continue to broadcast via short wave from two major transmitter sites: the Philippines and Saipan.
In celebration of its 60th anniversary, FEBC president Gregg Harris, co-founder Dr. Robert "Bob" Bowman, and International Council Chairman Emeritus Jim Bowman are inviting believers to join them at two upcoming events.
On Apr. 28, FEBC will be holding its Knott's Berry Farm Resort Luncheon, and on May 6, the ministry will be holding its Ralph Carmichael Concert.
Information on how to register for the events can be found by visiting www.febc.org.