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 west side of Southwestern Adventist University’s campus, 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. General manager and communication department chair Mike Agee 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. DJ and morning show producer Giselle Lopez, 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 88.3 The Journey since Agee took the reins nine years ago. “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, and a forty-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, 88.3 The Journey 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 says.
Agee shares that employees are still “finishing pieces, still unloading boxes, still plugging in equipment,” but once they are settled, 88.3 The Journey’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 eighteen months.
Currently, the station employs about ten students, along with a full-time program director, part-time office manager, and part-time general manager. 88.3 The Journey reaches approximately fifty to sixty thousand listeners each week.
88.3 The Journey will host an open house on July 27 at its new location, 213 W. Hillcrest Street in Keene, and they welcome listeners, donors, and community members to come see “where the magic happens.” For more information, to request prayer, or to partner with 88.3 The Journey, visit www.883thejourney.org. And, of course, tune in to 88.3.