LA MIRADA, CA – Two students attending Southern California Bible College were given the vision to establish the Far East Broadcasting Company, which they incorporated in 1945.
Their initial broadcasting location was in Shanghai in the midst of the Chinese people whom the Lord had laid upon their hearts. The effort was short-lived, however, when China closed its doors to all missionary work in 1948.
Some people would have considered that to be the death of the vision. Not Bob Bowman, John Broger, or their supportive pastor, William Roberts. The vision remained the same, FEBC would have to find a different location.
On June 4, 1948, FEBC regenerated from station KZAS in Manila. By 1949, FEBC was equipped to air broadcasts from the Philippines, across the South China Sea, and into parts of China.
Now celebrating its 72nd year of continuous operations, Far East Broadcasting Company has expanded multiplied times and broadened its ministry to include AM, FM, shortwave, satellite, internet, and other digital technologies.
Today, more than four billion people have access to FEBC broadcasts. The majority live within the 10/40 Window and, together, comprise the greatest number of people who have not heard the Gospel.
“Until every man, woman, and child have heard the Gospel of Christ, we use media to communicate the Good News among the nations.”
FEBC broadcasts from 149 stations and transmitters covering 50 countries, including all of Asia and parts of Africa and Europe. Communicating in 124 different languages, the group transmits 842 programming hours per day.
One of the most impressive statements on the FEBC website is,
“Four billion people live within range of our transmitters. But the only figure we’re truly interested in is the number of people whose lives have been changed by Jesus Christ.”
It is difficult to ascertain how many lives have truly been transformed by a radio ministry, so listener responses constitute significant insights into what effect the broadcasts are having.
“One thing we know – people around the world positively thirst for God’s Word. Tired, tried, and troubled, they want to hear more of the Gospel, more about Christ’s message and promise of eternal salvation.”
They also know that last year, they received nearly 7.5 million listener responses, questions, and inquiries.
Hope continues to rise with regard to satellite and digital broadcasting, especially for the Chinese people whom the founders were most focused on reaching. Though the ruling party is tightening its grip on Chinese citizens, 1.5 billion people have cell phones – on which they can hear FEBC broadcasts.
The vision the Lord laid on the hearts of the FEBC founders was not simply to start a radio station when radio was king. It was to establish a ministry that would continually grow, reaching unto the uttermost parts of the world.
We offer the Lord our praise for the existence, the faithfulness, and the impact of the Far East Broadcasting Company.
- The Christian Post, The Far East Broadcasting Company goes on-air – June 4, 1948
- Far East Broadcasting Company, Official Website