In 2008 members of the Sharon Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, became involved in the operation of WTCG 870 AM, a local, daytime-only Adventist radio station. It was exciting when a listener occasionally walked into church on Sabbath morning, and soon the church members began dreaming about what God could do if they owned a 24-hour radio station. Research shows that listeners identify with radio personalities and respond to them as friends, so the members wondered what would happen if they owned a station and tapped into this listener phenomenon by broadcasting “personalities” who preached God’s end-time message to the community.
By 2012 specific prayers were being offered about purchasing an affordable radio station and finding a person with the skills to operate it. Within days, Tim Timmons, who has educational degrees and 30 years of experience in telecommunications, joined the Sharon Church. He was quickly made the elder overseer of the radio ministry.
Two years later, in 2014, the 24-hour AM HD Disney radio station in Charlotte came on the market at a greatly reduced price. Timmons negotiated for a lower price, even though the sale included 10.8 acres of land with four 172-foot towers, two satellite dishes, a building that housed the radio apparatus, and all the broadcasting equipment. Amazingly, Disney accepted the offer. Since local churches cannot own entities, a separate corporation, Charlotte Advent Media Corporation, was formed to control and operate WGFY. However, the broadcasting studio is located inside the Sharon Church, and is daily operated by Jeff Swinton, station manager, and Donald Robinson, radio ministry director.
With local programming by volunteer personalities who did become familiar friends to listeners, the church began reaping evangelistic results — so many that they have lost count! A local builder walked into the church three months ago after listening to the weekly prophecy seminars for three years. He faithfully attends church now, as does his family, and his construction crew listens to WGFY every day.
Michelle Duggan had never heard of a Seventh-day Adventist until she ran across WGFY while driving to work. She’s now a baptized member, and her husband, Phil Duggan, attends with her. Rarely does a Sabbath go by without a listener walking into the Sharon Church and asking to meet a personality they’ve been listening to on WGFY.
The Sharon Church’s new dream is that all the Charlotte-area Adventist churches will unite in evangelizing every WGFY radio listener. They invite all to join them in praying for this dream to become a reality so more people can come to know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
Carolina | March 2018