BBN - Bible Broadcasting Network covers Nassau, Bahamas

 

The newest and most powerful station to date of the RADIO 74 network signed on the air at sundown Friday evening, August 13th.  Some 200,000 people of the Nassau area can now hear beautiful RADIO 74 music and programs much of the day and night on 102.3 FM, via  BNN, Bible Broadcasting Network,  a service of Turning Point Ministries, a local laymen's group.

How this station managed to get a license and go on the air, is an extraordinary story of faith and determination.   Several years ago, Paul Miller, a humble auto mechanic by trade, sensed God calling him to go on radio.   Thanks to donations from a few friends, but mainly stretching his family budget to the limits, he and his brother Julian began teaching the word of God each weekend on the Bahamian state radio, ZNS, a 50,000 watt AM station.  The program called "Turning Point" was, and remains clearly heard each Sunday afternoon at 2pm across much of the Bahama Islands.  God has blessed this radio minsitry.  Thousands of people have heard Present Truth and many have joined God's church.

But Paul dreamed of expanding his ministry.  If he owned a radio station, he could broadcast around the clock with the same 300 dollars it cost for his 30 minute weekly slot on ZNS.

Then, last year, the Bahamian governement changed it's broadcasting rules permitting a few non-commercial stations to be authorized.  The application fee for such applicants was reduced from $10,000 down to around $600.  Paul Miller and his team siezed the opportunity.  They filed an application last December, and remarkably received their license only one month later.

Transmission equipment was ordered and the down payment made.  Several months passed as donations trickled in and as the team fervently prayed.  And they wondered who could install the transmission equipment for them and teach them how to operate it.  God had a plan.  In late June at Atlanta, Georgia, the Lord arranged a Divine appointment with RADIO 74's founder and chief engineer, Ron Myers.   A close friendship struck up between Paul Miller and Ron who sensed God calling him to go to Nassau and lend a hand.

Meanwhile, God provided donations to Turning Point Ministries including a loan of $30,000.  Funds arrived at the last minute as Paul and Ron met in Miami to pick up the 500 watt transmitter, a six bay antenna and coaxial cables.   It was amazing how all that equipment, a PC and the other studio equipment and tools somehow got packing into five suitcases and duffle bags for the short flight to Nassau later that afternoon.  More striking was how the Lord opened the way through airport security and customs! 

"I felt like the Apostle Peter being led out of prison, chains falling, locked doors opening, as angels led us past sleeping guards to liberty," commented Ron Myers.

The new station, on Peter Street, is not in the finest part of Nassau.  The land and building was formerly a junk yard.  When we arrived Wednesday, rusty cars were still being trucked away and the used tower had not been completely installed.  A massive crane arrived Thursday to hoist it into place.  But  two sections appearing to have been part of a very tall tower which had collapsed where too badly bent for use and were taken back down.  Instead, a third 20 foot section, less dangerous,  was bolted on top and guyed, making the tower a modest 110 feet tall, far short of the planned 150 feet.

We discovered that two of the six FM antenna elements were the wrong kind and could not be used.  Paul called and pressed the distributor to "overnight" us the right ones.

Meanwhile, cables were strung and connectors soldered on so that studio equipment could be linked together.  By sundown Friday evening, using just one of the six antenna elements at reduced power, the station was signed on for initial testing.   At last, we were on the air!  Gentle, beautiful Christian music was broadcast during Sabbath hours to the joy of listeners who were among the first to discover Nassau's newest radio station, in every way atypical of anything else heard on the island.

Sunday morning, urgent repairs continued to the building and the cyclone fence surrounding the property.  The leaky metal roof was covered with a tarpaulin, broken windows boarded up and a security alarm wired in to alert police in case of intrusion.

Ron climbed the tower to fine tune the antenna elements and connect the power divider to the feedline.  As he finished, a thunderstorm was approaching, lightening flashing only 10 miles away.   But the antenna was perfectly matched so that power could be increased to the full 2.5 kW, giving a strong, solid signal over most of the island.

A telephone line and audio adapter were installed during the afternoon in time for the first live transmission that evening featuring calls from delighted listeners.

Finally, on Monday, the satellite antenna was lifted onto it's brace near the base of the tower and oriented towards Galaxy 19 for reception of RADIO 74 (which of course was yet off the air due to the up-link failure at the main studio in France).    We also discovered that the satellite receiver  had a fault, so we borrowed one until a replacement unit could arrive from the States.  By 2 pm Monday, August 16th, the station was ready for full service.  Final installation had taken just five working days. 

What a joy to experience the birth of another radio voice for Jesus!

With a teary eye at having to leave so soon his many new Bahamian friends, Ron was driven by Paul to the airport.  While checking in, he discovered he'd misread the departure time on his ticket missing his flight back to Miami.  But he was able to get out stand-by on the next plane an hour later.

Let's be praying for this new FM station.  May God mightily bless and richly reward the faith and hard work of Paul Miller, his precious family, staff, friends, and the many believers at Nassau as they now have their own FM radio station to be exclusively used for winning souls to the Kingdom of Heaven!

To learn more about Turning Point Minsistries and how to help the new BBN, and to contact the local team, see their website:

www.tprb1023fm.com