We decided to try internet radio in 2012, at a time when God was allowing doors to close, and we prayed faithfully for God to open a door and show us what He would have us do next.
Jim - lost his job on the air, when the station was sold, and Arlene with him. Jim had been doing mornings at the same station for 14 years, being allowed to set up his own format and follow as the Lord led him each day. Arlene came on board the last year. Some decisions had to be made.
Not wanting to move from an area where God had led, and Arlene's Dad, Stan, lived nearby, both of them took on part time jobs.
But Jim's calling was still radio. A job can be replaced, but a "calling" is for life. So the idea of internet radio started to squirm around in our minds, until one night Jim was awakened at 4 am to run to the computer and register the domain, "Jesus Radio Worldwide".
Over the next several months, we worked on setting up a station from scratch. Neither one of us was very technical, so there was a lot to learn, and equipment that needed to be obtained. At every turn, funding turned up when it was needed, technical assistance showed up as required, and equipment was "gifted" to us. It's good to remember when things get difficult, that at every turn, something miraculous happened; as God remained faithful.
Jim had never been fond of "Christian jukebox" radio, and never followed the industry standards of using music when they released it, playing only recent songs, and sub-standard music. He always had a gift for choosing the best music and putting it together in a way that worked.
In addition, Jim's personal music library was huge, with four+ decades of great Christian music to choose from.
So, in putting Jesus Radio Worldwide together, we purposed in our hearts to do - or not do - certain things; here are a few of them.
= Not choose music based on the dictates of the industry or any other factor. We simply want to play music that sounds great and has a Christ-honoring message.
= Not to cater to the female audience only, as many Christian radio stations do. We felt that if mostly females listened, or if mostly females went to church, - that it was something to be rectified, not catered to or exploited - since Jesus died for ALL. We want to engage a masculine audience ALSO - and Arlene personally believes that there are a lot of ladies who would love to "rock" to great music!
= Most of the stations have a lot of biographical and commercial material on their station and websites about the artists and singers whose music they play. We decided not to do this. As the name implies, Jesus Radio Worldwide is about bringing the message of Jesus to the world, using the internet. It's not about promoting music or ticket sales or music sales. It's about Jesus. We believe that most of the Christian artists out there are doing it for the right reasons - to spread the gospel - and so we don't expect any of them would mind the way we have chosen to proceed. And while we appreciate all the musicians and singers that have created great Christian music, we are all working together on the same thing, spreading the message of Jesus.
= The choice of music is critical. Many hundreds of people have told us how they were affected - their lives were affected, by the music they heard. How they listened carefully to the words, or were suddenly drawn in by content that they desperately wanted to hear. Actually, that is exactly how Jim got saved - listening to Christian radio, and later - the same with Arlene; listening to Jim on Christian radio. So both of us believe in the power of music in God's hands.
= We want to remain independent - so that we can follow where God leads. We're not sure how all that is going to work, but we feel it is important to let the Spirit lead, not marketing trends or program directors. Or station owners.
= As much as we all love music, we need teaching too. We have been searching for the best ministries to engage, and Sunday teachings. A three or four minute song can only get so deep, so it will usually contain "milk". But we all need the meat of the word too, so good teaching is necessary.
= We want to be genuine. We want to be just - ourselves. We want to share what we have and what we are - with whatever audience God gives us. One of the reasons why Arlene listened to Jim on the air for so many years was because he was so down-to-earth, and so honest about his life. We want to continue that tradition with Jesus Radio Worldwide.
= Arlene is a writer, and Jim has greatly encouraged her to continue that effort for Jesus Radio Worldwide.
At this time, Spring of 2013, Jim has a part time job as a limo driver, and Arlene in retail.