DODGE CITY, KS. -- The Dodge City Daily Globe reported that the Presbyterian Church in the city began test broadcasting for their radio station, March 9, 2004. The tests, which began on Ash Wednesday, will set up an automated system that will stream Christian music, sermons and announcements twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.
“Our primary motivation for starting the station is to be able to broadcast our Sunday services to members who are homebound and unable to attend church,” explained the Rev. David Clipson, pastor of First Presbyterian Church.
“I can run the system from my home or from here in my office,” explained Clipson, past president of the Dodge City Ministerial Alliance. “The way the system is set up, it can go for years, interrupting only for the emergency system.
According to Rev. Clipson, First Church applied for a radio construction permit three years ago; staff members were surprised when they were notified that the license had finally been granted.
“The FCC gave non profits a one month window three years ago to apply for an LP, low powered, FM license, but we went three years and had not heard from them,” Clipson explained.
In addition to airing sermons and music, Clipson said the radio station, named, “Voice of the Presbyterian Church” would provide a stream of church-related announcements.
“One of the other things the station will provide is a way to reach the community and to tell about programs at the church such as Friendship Feast (a Monday through Friday hot lunch served to all who are hungry),” said Clipson, past president of the Dodge City Ministerial Alliance.
Clipson also mentioned that the radio station would be possible through the joint efforts of the First Church congregation.
“We have several DJs in the congregation and a leadership team of eight people who will determine our policies and help with the programming. We are studying and exploring the possibilities of how the station can be utilized.”
The “Voice of the Presbyterian Church” will be the second station to be sponsored by a denomination in Dodge city. The first religious station began eight months ago by the Catholics of Dodge City (KODC).
“When the FCC offered the window of opportunity to non profits, there was a lot of controversy about new stations cluttering the airways and taking away audiences from other stations,” Clipson said.
“But we aren’t going to be in competition with other Christian stations that broadcast in western Kansas. We have no interest in competing with commercial stations.
Clipson says the future plans of the radio station is full of potential.
“We will have pre recorded human voices, and someday maybe a live call in show for music,” Clipson said. “Eventually we also may get a news feed and talk shows, and be able to make available Bible studies, but it will take time to develop these things.”
“We are excited about our new station,” Clipson said. “We are just babies now, so we’ll have to wait and see how things progress in the future."