Christian radio began through the diligent efforts of a group of concerned Christians burdened to reach the growing Houston area with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Several years were spent praying and also in negotiations with the FCC before a license was granted to operate non-commercial Christian radio in the Houston/Galveston area.
The first radio transmissions started on the FM band on March 9, 1962 at 10:30 P.M. The broadcasts of the Word of God were heard at 105.7 FM with a minimal power of 3,410 watts. January 21, 1964, the Lord permitted KHCB-FM to raise the effective radiated power ten times to 34,100 watts through the use of a new transmitter. This change gave much better reception across the entire broadcast area.
A few months after going on the air, KHCB-FM initiated a very important help to the ministry in which volunteers took over KHCB’s operations on weeknights and weekends. This gave many believers the opportunity of helping with the ministry while keeping the budget at a minimum.
Volunteers also took over the preparation of program schedules for mailing. These helpers continue to play a vital role in the operation of all stations.
On August 1, 1965, Houston Christian Broadcasters, Inc., the non-profit, non-stock corporation received tax-exempt status from the IRS allowing gifts to the ministry to be income tax deductible. KHCB has never sold broadcast time or commercial spots,, and has never charged programmers for use of air-time on the station. The Lord provides the necessary income for daily operation entirely from the gifts of interested people. Because of the Lord’s provision, KHCB has been completely debt free since 1969.
Power Increase/Stereo Broadcasting
KHCB-FM began broadcasting the Word of God with the maximum authorized power of 100,000 watts in the fall and winter of 1972-73.A new, more powerful transmitter and an updated antenna were purchased and installed for this purpose through special gifts from listeners, matched by a grant from The LeTourneau Foundation.
Until 1974, KHCB-FM was broadcasting a monaural signal. At this time, the Lord allowed further improvements with the purchase of stereo broadcasting equipment. On November 10, 1974, KHCB-FM began proclaiming the Word of God in stereo.
Studio Building Constructed
In 1975, property was provided through the graciousness of one of KHCB’s Trustees to allow construction of a new studio building. All this time, KHCB-FM had been leasing office and studio space. Listeners contributed to the “Building Fund” and raised $500,000. The station moved into this new home on September 10, 1979. Dr. Theodore Epp of the “Back to the Bible” broadcast dedicated the new facility during an Open House on October 7, 1979.
Tall Tower Built
Because an increase in tall buildings around Houston was blocking the reception of its signal, KHCB’s Trustees established a tall tower antenna fund to be used to improve the transmitting site. Through listener gifts, the “Tall Tower” site went into operation on September 13, 1985, allowing communities within an 80 mile radius of Houston to hear the signal. KHCB-FM now radiates its signal from an antenna height of 1600 feet, effectively increasing its coverage area four-fold.
AM Station Acquired
The Board of Trustees of KHCB spent several years praying that the Lord would provide an AM station in order to reach the various rapidly growing ethnic groups in Houston with the Gospel in their native tongues.
In December of 1990 AM 1400, a 1000 watt AM station was purchased, and after making some necessary repairs, KHCB-Galveston began broadcasting in English on February 4, 1991. One week later, “Radio Amistad” or (Friendship Radio) began daytime Spanish broadcasts of the “Palabra de Dios” (Word of God).
KHCB-FM had aired 90 minutes of nighttime Spanish programs since 1966 but the purchase of AM 1400 in 1991 permitted the Spanish programming to be heard all day Monday through Friday. In 2017, KHCB was able to purchase an FM translator in Houston that rebroadcasts “Radio Amistad” at 101.5 FM so more parts of Houston can hear the programming. The Spanish programs were discontinued on the KHCB Network in 2018.
Chinese Bible programming began on AM 1400 on weekends in June of 1991. Programs are broadcast in two Chinese languages: Mandarin and Cantonese. The Chinese ministry also broadcasts a one hour Mandarin program on the KHCB Network Saturday at 12am Central.
Translator takes KHCB to Bryan/College Station
In June of 1994, KHCB was able to improve the reception in the Bryan/College Station area by re-broadcasting the FM signal via a translator station in Bryan, TX. This 250 watt station broadcasts at 100.9 FM and covers a 15 mile radius.
Expansion to Other Cities
Since the purchase of AM 1400 and the Bryan translator other stations have been added to the KHCB Network. Listeners have participated in the purchase of these stations through the Expansion Fund which began with Phase 1 and in 2009 entered Phase 4. All English Network programming originates at KHCB-FM Houston. It is then related via satellite to stations all across Texas and into Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Florida. The English Network currently includes 43 stations: 30 in Texas, 2 in Arkansas, 7 in Louisiana, 3 in Oklahoma, and 1 in Florida. Our Spanish network includes 12 outlets in Texas, 1 station in Arkansas, 1 station in Florida, and 2 stations in Louisiana.
Through modern technological advances, KHCB’s Christian message entered the world wide web in May of 2000. Listeners have sent electronic mail (e-mail) from all over the world. KHCB’s website also gives listeners the program schedule and other information pertinent to the station. This medium serves Christians living overseas as well as non-Christians living in closed countries with little or no access to the Good News.
This year (2022), KHCB is excited to be expanding our menu of digital ministries! These include the new website, creating a new God-centered lifestyle brand within KHCB called Upliftd, a new app (coming in late 2022), a new stream called Upliftd (a ‘type’ of KHCB radio targeting young and middle aged-adults), and a broadening of KHCB’s presence on social media platforms.
KHCB has an application (APP) for “smartphones” that allows users to listen to KHCB’s Bible centered programming on wireless devices. There is no charge for the application. This customized app will allow anyone with a smartphone and corresponding data plan or Wi-Fi capabilities to listen to the KHCB radio internet stream from anywhere in the world.
The Work Goes On
God in His grace has allowed the ministry to continue and expand since its inception in 1962. He has sustained the work through the gifts of concerned listeners, through the volunteer work of people dedicated to serving the Lord, and the intercessory prayers of many.
Please pray for the Trustees and for the expanding outreach of KHCB around the world. Pray that the Lord would continually guide and give wisdom to lead the station according to His will.