DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, when I wasn’t attending worship services at my church, Trinity Lutheran, Faribault, I switched on the radio. In the safety and shelter of my home, I listened to Sunday morning worship services broadcast on Faribault-based KDHL radio. I was grateful for the AM listening option. I could have watched live-streaming. But I preferred the less distracting radio delivery.
Eventually, I returned to in-person worship. But today I’m back tuning the radio to 920 AM at 8 am Sunday because of a health issue that leaves me sensory sensitive and more. I can’t tolerate the sound of the organ or the multi-layered sensory input of being among people in a busy environment.
That’s the backstory behind my personal appreciation of the Trinity Radio Club, which has broadcast church services for 75 years, first airing on April 25, 1948. That’s remarkable in longevity, in decades of sharing the Gospel initially via the air waves and then via live-streaming and other online platforms.
This weekend, April 29 and 30, the Trinity Radio Club celebrates its 75th anniversary during worship and during a special program between Sunday morning services. It’s important to commemorate and honor the work of long ago visionaries who embraced a radio ministry. They initially pledged $5/each toward the effort and also committed to paying 35 cents weekly to support the broadcasts. That doesn’t seem like much money today. But I expect it was a sacrifice in 1948, when the first broadcast cost $46.
Throughout its 75 years, the Trinity Radio Council (today the Trinity Radio Club) has remained strong in its mission of reaching people with the good news of salvation, whether locally or an ocean away. The club has continued to upgrade technology, to make improvements that assure uninterrupted transmission of services via radio and online. Unlike many churches during the COVID pandemic, Trinity was already up and running with a strong, safe and viable way of reaching and connecting with people outside the walls of the sanctuary.
For awhile, Randy and I (mostly Randy) were part of the club’s mission. Once a month, sometimes more, Randy would take a DVD of the 8 am worship service to a local nursing home. Sometimes I accompanied him. He would lead part of the service and then play the sermon part of the recording for residents. Many of them slept through the entire thing. But, yet, when Randy led them in The Lord’s Prayer, they would join in. No memory issues. No sleepiness. Just a roomful of the faithful praying.
That word “faithful” seems appropriate to insert here. Generations have committed to maintaining and expanding the Trinity Radio Club ministry. That comes via financial support and volunteering. When our tech-savvy son was in high school, he volunteered. Every broadcast and streamed service requires people in the soundproof studio working the computer, the switches, all the tech stuff I don’t understand.
But I understand one thing. I understand the importance of this ministry personally. When I can’t be in church, and there are others just like me, I can still be there.
I am grateful to those individuals who saw the need for a radio broadcast 75 years ago. I am grateful for the continuing expansion via technology. I am grateful for a congregation which financially and otherwise supports the Trinity Radio Club. I am grateful for listeners who also donate. It takes a joint effort, a team, dedication and hard work. And for the initial founders of the Trinity Radio Council, it took a vision based on faith to launch this ministry which has blessed so many, including me, during its 75-year history.
FYI: To learn more background on the Trinity Radio Club, click here to read a post I published in 2018 on the 70th anniversary of this ministry.
© Copyright 2023 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
What an incredibly important role they have played in the lives of so many. Their longevity speaks to that, and May they long continue
Absolutely important role. So thankful for the Trinity Radio Club.
I’m sorry that you can’t attend church. I hope it isn’t a permanent situation for you. I’m so glad you have the radio as an option! ❤
Thank you, Penny. I’ll post an update soon on what I am dealing with healthwise.
It’s pretty amazing.
I’ll forever be proud Dad’s name is on the list of 25 founders that includes many family friends and several of my teachers. That radio was there for Mom when she was home bound, now for you, so many in need. Even me. According to those that “study”, there’s 40+ verses referring to planting seeds, or 35 cents! Prayers for many more years broadcasting church and school! https://trinityradioandvideo.org/anniversary-time
Thank you to your dad for being one of those visionaries in the Trinity Radio Club Ministry. Yes, it’s been a blessing to those (like me right now) who can’t be in church.