A New Journey
KEENE, TEX. – After months of fundraising, remodeling and moving piece by piece, Southwestern Adventist University’s radio station, 88.3 The Journey (KJRN), traveled to a new and improved facility on May 23, courtesy of Texas Health Huguley Hospital and other donors. Now broadcasting from the westside of campus, station employees are closer to the heart of Keene and better equipped to carry out their mission to support listeners in the walk of life.
The new building, formerly a doctor’s office, features a new recording studio that allows three announcers to record content at one time instead of two. Mike Agee, general manager and communication department chair said, “We’re loving our new space and we’re very thankful for Texas Health Huguley Hospital and our other donors who enabled us to move in.”
The new location is more visible and more welcoming to the community. Giselle Lopez, a DJ and morning show producer who recently graduated from Southwestern Adventist University with a degree in advertising and public relations, said, “Before the move, the station’s location was hidden away on the back side of campus and you wouldn’t really see the listeners. Now, lots of listeners come and express their appreciation and we can show our appreciation back.”
Serving listeners, in fact, has been the primary goal of KJRN under Agee’s leadership. “What we do here is never about our radio station; it’s always about our listeners, what they need, what our community needs. It’s not about us; it’s about them and about Him. We hope everything we do reflects positively on the God we serve,” Agee said.
Agee’s philosophy of putting listeners first comes from his faith, then a 40-year career in radio, in which he has worked for both commercial and listener-supported stations. In that time, Agee has learned if a radio station “works hard in the community, provides service and demonstrates commitment, the audience will respond.”
Fully self-funded for seven years and counting, KJRN saw an especially touching response from listeners during its recent fundraising events, Shareathon and Gideon’s Army, the latter of which raised $42,000 for the remodel of the new building. During those events, “Listeners came to volunteer, bring food or just hang out,” Lopez said.
Agee shared that employees are still “finishing pieces, still unloading boxes, still plugging in equipment,” but once they are settled, KJRN’s next initiative is to “build fundraising to a point where we can fund another full-time position, so we can keep growing and doing more in the community.” Agee hopes to make this goal a reality within the next 18 months.
Currently, the station employs about 10 students, along with a full-time program director, part-time office manager and part-time general manager. KJRN reaches approximately 50 to 60 thousand listeners each week. For more information, to request prayer or if you would like to partner with KJRN, visit 883TheJourney.org.
By Lindsey Gendke