Calvary Chapel Senior Pastor Jeff York's dream since the early 1990s has been the return of a Christian radio station for his congregation. In recent years, a fortunate turn of events has led to the realization of that dream.
In November 2011, a process that was started back in July 2007 finally resulted in the first on-air broadcast of Dove-FM, 90.5 WTWT based in Bradford.
"It was the first time in a decade that the FCC had a window open for non-commercial stations," said Board of Elders member Lance Pangborn.
After completing an application for a construction permit, "there was a lot of waiting and prayer," added Pastor Jim Stowe.
A year and a half later, in January 2009, the tiny congregation was informed of the good news. After a small entanglement with another radio station had been resolved, the WTWT Bradford station was granted a construction permit. In November 2011, York's dream came to fruition and Dove-FM's first station was on the air.
But it didn't stop there.
Dealing with the realization that the Bradford/Olean station wasn't reaching its intended audience in Warren County, the minds behind Dove-FM set out to acquire a location that would meet the needs of its congregation. After approaching WCTL, another Christian radio station headquartered in Union City, an offer was made to purchase translators that would do just that.
"We were sitting around wondering what are the chances WCTL would give up their translators," said Pangborn, a move most radio stations would never consider. "Once you acquire a permit for a radio station, it's not something you typically give up."
After some time, the offer made became a done deal. Dove-FM finally acquired the means to broadcast to its target listeners: two translators, one in Warren and one in Jamestown, N.Y., as well as a full-power station in Youngsville.
"Just like churches are not in competition, there is no sense of competition between us, WCTL and Family Life Network," Stowe said of the other Christian radio stations in the region.
This summer, the Dove-FM radio network will be adding its newly acquired FM translator, 98.7, in Jamestown. "It should be broadcasting by June," said Pangborn.
Proclaiming a message of good news to its listeners, the radio ministry of Calvary Chapel in Russell offers a broadcast of Christian contemporary music, classics from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and today, along with verse-by-verse Bible teachings.
"We are a listener supported, non-profit, non-commercial radio ministry," explained Stowe. "What this means is that we rely heavily on listener contributions to help support the station." Those interested in making a contribution, contacting the station, or for information can visit www.dovefm.org
Dove-FM can be heard on 88.5 in Youngsville, 100.7 in Warren, 89.1 in Tidioute, and 90.5 in Bradford all on the FM dial.
"We're such a tiny little church," said Stowe. "We have maybe 40 people on Sunday, yet we still set out for a radio station. We now have five."