At New Song Community Church in Bismarck, ND, a software program called JockeyPro is keeping 3,500 contemporary Christian songs in rotation, broadcasting through the facilities new 100 watt radio transmitter. The Christian station is the result of a project 9 years and $35,000 in the making. On Monday, the station began broadcasting its first songs as the result of many years of work and planning.
The project was spearheaded by Kurt Chaffe, the youth pastor at New Song church. The station was inaugurated last Monday, but according to Chaffe, the dream has only been partially fulfilled. Eventually, Chaffe wants to have over 10,000 songs in the collection within the station’s 10 mile radius, and be able to broadcast in digital as well as analog signals.
The station currently targets Christian youth and young adults between the ages of 13-25. They play the "newest, freshest, most energetic" Christian music, Chaffe said, with a bit of secular music with the right message.
Broadcasting Christian music with a good message is only one of the ways that the station will benefit the community. The station organizers would like to see more interaction from the community and individuals, allowing kids to come in and deejay, or even offer deejay time as part of local college and high school communications courses. It is not often that members of a community can work so closely with a radio station, and organizers hope to offer groups and individuals the experience of working with the station.
The new station, KLBE-LP at 100.7 FM, wants to fill a niche within the radio spectrum. There are other Christian stations in the area, but those appeal to people over 30 years old. The music played by KLBE may be mistaken for music coming from the town’s other secular stations – hip hop, rap, and almost every musical genre can be heard – but the message of Christ is within these tracks.
Although this is just the beginning of the project, many additional projects are planned. Chaffe hopes to acquire a mobile transmitter that can be used for broadcasting local events such as worship and praise services from churches. Also, he hopes to spend about $20,000 more for other equipment, including a recording facility to complement the broadcast station.