After months of fundraising, remodeling and moving piece by piece, Southwestern Adventist University’s radio station, KJRN 88.3 The Journey, traveled to a new and improved facility on May 23, courtesy of Texas Health Huguley Hospital Fort Worth South and other donors.
Now broadcasting from the west side of SWAU’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.
“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 Journey General Manager and SWAU communication department chair Mike Agee said.
The new location is more visible and more welcoming to the community.
“Before the move, the station’s location was hidden away on the back side of campus, and you wouldn’t really see the listeners,” DJ and morning show producer Giselle Lopez, who recently graduated from SWAU with a degree in advertising and public relations, said. “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,” Agee said. “It’s not about us, it’s about them, and about Him. We hope everything we do reflects positively on the God we serve.”
His said his philosophy of putting listeners first comes from his faith, and a 40-year career in radio, in which he has worked for both commercial and listener-supported stations. In that time, he 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, 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, Lopez said listeners came to volunteer, bring food or just hang out.
Agee shares that employees are still “finishing pieces, still unloading boxes, still plugging in equipment,” but once they are settled, 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.” He said he hopes to make this goal a reality within the next 18 months.
Currently, the station employs about 10 students, along with a full-time program director, part-time office manager and part-time general manager. The Journey reaches about 50,000 to 60,000 listeners each week.
The Journey will host an open house on July 27 at its new location, 213 W. Hillcrest St. in Keene, and welcome listeners, donors and community members to come see “where the magic happens.”
For information, to request prayer or to partner with The Journey, visit 883thejourney.org. And, of course, tune in to 88.3.