FROM MINNESOTA to Sweden to Saudi Arabia, people are listening to worship services from Trinity Lutheran Church, Faribault.
That may not seem remarkable in this technological age. But the longevity of this Minnesota-based ministry—seventy years—and its basic beginnings are remarkable. In April 1948, a group of men founded the Trinity Radio Council with the goal of broadcasting services on KDHL radio in Faribault. Just three months after that station formed and weeks after the Council initially met, the first Trinity worship service aired at 8 a.m. on April 25, 1948.
With promised payments of 35 cents per broadcast per Council member, this ministry into the southern regions of Minnesota, western Wisconsin and northern Iowa launched. Today those live radio broadcasts cost $175, but reach a much wider audience. And well beyond radio.
Worship services (at 8 a.m. Sundays and on other special church days) are also live-streamed, available for online viewing, aired on the local community cable channel and shared with care center residents.
From a simple RCA microphone, a basic switchboard and a transmitter, broadcasting has advanced to high tech with multiple cameras, computers and more.
Yet, the purpose of sharing these worship services remains unchanged. And that is to bring Christ to the nations, to spread the good news of salvation. In a recent sermon, Trinity Senior Pastor, the Rev. Dr. Michael Nirva, referenced Romans 10:17 as he noted the Trinity Faribault Radio Club’s 70th anniversary: So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
That word of God centers worship at Trinity. And that’s visible in the radio room angled into a corner of the sanctuary. Todd Voge, who today leads the radio and video ministry, gave me a quick tour. While Todd showed me the brains of the operation condensed on a computer screen, pointed out the transmitter and more, I noticed two bibles sandwiched between a telephone directory, song books and devotionals. In a cramped room filled with all sorts of high tech stuff, the printed bible still holds a place of importance.
This ministry remains important to Trinity with generations of families involved and committed to its continuance. Within my family, my husband once a month takes a DVD of the morning’s worship service to a local care center and shows it to residents. And when my son was in high school, he volunteered in the radio room. While I’m not a volunteer—the computer aspect is enough to scare me—I’ve occasionally listened to worship services on KDHL when I couldn’t make it to church.
I am grateful to the original Trinity Radio Council members for having the foresight and the faith to start this ministry. They saw the potential in radio, in a ministry which has endured for 70 years. And expanded well beyond what they ever imagined.
FYI: To learn more about the Trinity Faribault Radio Club and/or to listen to/watch worship services, click here.
© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
That is a very long time of radio ministry. How wonderful and how many lives have been reached. Our local White Squirrel radio station transmits local services including our own church service as well and I think it is a wonderful ministry.
How wonderful to hear that your church also has a radio ministry.
White Squirrel Radio. You know I love that name.
What a great ministry…and for 70 years. That’s wonderful. Is this the church you attend?
Yes, I attend Trinity, which is along Fourth Street right across from McDonald’s.
This is so cool Audrey. 🙂
That it is, for something to have continued for 70 years…
This is such a blessing. I remember listening to worship services on the radio with my great grandmother when she was declining and couldn’t physically attend her home church. It meant so much to her, as I know this radio ministry means to so many others.
What wonderful memories for you with your grandma.
How wonderful the FDN did a feature, those of us without a subscription and no more free reads, rely on you and the KDHL FB page for important home town news. Dad was active in the 1940-50s with his elder duties, Mother as so many, was blessed through her 45 yrs. with MS. Every Sunday morning we remember the KDHL service announcement greeting and service. The cinnamon rolls could wait. Thanks so much for this post!
Sandra, thank you for sharing your story of what the Trinity Radio Club ministry meant to your family. And thank you to your dad for his faithful service.
That is wonderful! There aren’t a lot of things that last that long these days.