History, Mission, & Vision
WBNH History (short version) see below for long version
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8–9
The story of WBNH radio begins with one man’s obedience. In the late 1970s the Lord began to lay on the heart of Bubie Goodman a burden for a Christian radio signal in our community. And in 1980 a board was formed called the Central Illinois Radio Fellowship (CIRF) was incorporated.
In 1983 ten thousand dollars was invested for equipment that would receive a signal from the Moody Broadcasting Network transmitting by way of a sub carrier to a local fm station. The signal could only be received with a special radio designed to lock in on the Moody programming. Soon after an application was submitted to the FCC for 100 watts station that would be heard at 88.5fm, and on the last day for public filing an ecumenical group submitted an application for the same frequency.
“In early years, we really had no budget, just a few givers. We had a gentleman who happened to be from Minier pass away about that time, and to our surprise he left us some money in his will, about $28,000 that really came in at the right time to keep us looking good on the books,” explains Wayne Carmichael, CIRF Board. Later Bubie’s father-in-law gave an interest free loan of $50,000, which later he forgave. The station was operated from a small room in the basement of First Baptist Church.
The CIRF was responsible for programming from 6pm to 8am and signed on with a power of 3000 watts December 15, 1988. The ecumenical group shared the frequency airing from 8am to 6pm with the understanding that if either could not sustain financially, the other group would have the option of buying them out. “On Friday my husband had just resigned from Excel Foundry and really felt this [radio ministry] is what God wanted him to do. On Tuesday the other group went belly-up, so on Tuesday my husband had to start programming for 24 hours,” says Arlene Goodman, co-founder of WBNH. The station assumed the entire obligation for transmitter equipment and tower lease, and the power of the station was later increased to 4,500 watts. The board members personally guaranteed a $27,000 loan to complete the purchase of the equipment.
In 1990 SHARE had to reach a budget of $86,000, however with just 49 listeners consistently giving only $13,000 was able to be raised. A year later, an application was granted by FCC to increase power to 7,000 watts and the ministry hired its first full time employee--a station manager.
In 1994, WBNH entered Bloomington/Normal on 100.7fm and later in the year, the office and studios were moved to the Commerce Bank building suite 218 now known as the Sud building. A new automation system was installed to enhance the on air sound. Barb Trecek was hired as bookkeeper and a couple of men were hired to assist with production responsibilities. By 1998, share pledges had increased to over $163,000.
After many faithful years of service to our Lord, WBNH Founder and President Bubie Goodman went home to be with Him in May of 2001, leaving a legacy of an established radio ministry.
Later an administrative assistant, production manager, and operations manager were hired, and the Lord moved on the board to buy land. In 2005 property was purchased in East Peoria to build a tower, and in December 2010, WBNH moved to a new building at 1919 Mayflower Drive, on Route 9 between Tremont and Pekin. Our building includes three new studios and a full, finished basement. Now with a full team in place, land, a tower, our own building and over 25 years of ministry, WBNH would like to say, “To God be the glory, great things He hath done!”
To fulfill the great commission through radio programming that teaches God’s Word and inspires listeners to be followers of Jesus Christ.
Be a vessel for discipling the next generation of listeners with the teaching of God's Word and expand the radio outreach so that more will be drawn to Jesus Christ through solid programming and a connection with a ministry team who cares.
Doctrinal Statement of the Moody Bible Institute
(Adopted by WBNH as a Primary Affiliate of the Moody Broadcasting Network.)
God is a Person who has revealed Himself as a Trinity in unity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit--three Persons and yet but one God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; 1 Corinthians 8:6).
The Bible, including both the Old and New Testaments is a divine revelation, the original autographs of which were verbally inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21).
Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God, which is to say, He is Himself very God; He took upon Him our nature, being conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary; He died upon the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice for the sin of the world; He arose from the dead in the body in which He was crucified; He ascended into heaven in that body glorified, where He is now our interceding High Priest; He will come again personally and visibly to set up His kingdom and to judge the quick and the dead (Colossians 1:15; Philippians 2:5-8; Matthew 1:18-25; 1 Peter 2:24-25; Luke 24; Hebrews 4:14-16; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; Matthew 25:31-46; Revelation 11:15-17; 20:4-6, 11-15).
Man was created in the image of God but fell into sin, and, in that sense, is lost; this is true of all men, and except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God; salvation is by grace through faith in Christ who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree; the retribution of the wicked and unbelieving and the reward of the righteous are everlasting, and as the reward is conscious, so is the retribution (Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 3:10, 23; John 3:3; Acts 13:38-39; John 3:16; Matthew 25:46; 2 Corinthians 5:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10).
The Church is an elect company of believers baptized by the Holy Spirit into one body; its mission is to witness concerning its Head, Jesus Christ, preaching the gospel among all nations; it will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air ere* He appears to set up His kingdom (Acts 2:41; 15:13-17; Ephesians 1:3-6; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:6-8; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).
Further Explanation of the Doctrinal Statement
WBNH History (long version)
Mr. & Mrs. Bubie C. Goodman, Jr. are the founders of WBNH. While working full-time at Excel Foundry, Bubie Goodman worked with a hardy handful of Christian volunteers with a similar vision, to bring WBNH into existence. In 1980, the Central Illinois Radio Fellowship was incorporated and WBNH was born. No, we weren’t on the air yet, but the work to get there had begun in earnest! In the early years of WBNH, the Board of Directors included men from several Pekin churches, including Don Rice, Jim Wolf, Wayne Carmichael and Clyde Laier, shown here in the back row. Mr. Bob Burdess also served, shown here in the front row, next to the late Dr. Robert MacKay and our founder, the late Mr. Bubie Goodman. So, how did WBNH actually get on the air? In 1980, when the station was incorporated, we wanted to receive a signal from another station and rebroadcast it, but research told us that this would not work. In 1983, we installed a satellite receiver that would receive the Moody Network signal and rebroadcast it on a subcarrier of a current, local FM station. But, you needed a special box to receive the signal!
At this same time, WBNH also submitted an application with the Federal Communications Commission for a 100 watt station on a frequency of 88.5. Another religious group from Peoria filed also for the 88.5 frequency. In 1987 the group wanted to share time with us but they made it known that they would broadcast anything that claimed to be religious! A large gift was received at that time that showed us God would help us proceed with our filing with the FCC. In October 1987, an administrative hearing ruled that the 88.5 frequency would have to be shared by our group and the competing group. With a shared agreement that WBNH would broadcast in the evening and overnight hours only, we went on the air on December 15, 1988. The first words heard on the new radio ministry came from the voice of Mr. Bubie C. Goodman, Jr. The station that shared the daytime license with us was only able to stay on the air about six months. The FCC had specified that if either station would fail, the other could buy them out. On July 1, 1989 we began broadcasting 24 hours a day!
Our first studio was a small room in the basement of the First Baptist Church in Pekin. Equipment used at the time included reel-to-reel tape machines, cartridge machines similar to an 8-track player, turntables and microphones on table-top stands.
Back in 1988, as it does now, the FCC required that a station identification be made at the top of every hour. Because the station operated with the aforementioned equipment that was manually operated, someone had to be there overnight to make the station breaks! The original “staff” members of WBNH were Bubie and Arlene Goodman, who took their sleeping bags to the station in order to be there overnight!
Dedication and perseverance would be words that described the early “staff” at WBNH Radio. Here, around 1990, are volunteers and early Board of Directors members Bob Burdess and Jim Wolf along with Arlene and Bubie Goodman.
Share, the annual WBNH friend-raiser held each spring, has always been a part of WBNH culture. It is our only on-air fund-raising campaign of each year. Our first Share was held on May 18, 1990. The hosts were two friends that are now synonymous with WBNH and Share – Moody Radio Network’s Mike Kellogg and Phil Shappard!
1991 was a big year in the history of WBNH. First, we were able to raise our power from 4500 – 7000 watts, making our signal even easier to hear in the tri-county area. Also, up until now, WBNH was airing the Moody Broadcasting Network signal only, in addition to simple recorded station breaks. We did not have a local sound. That changed in 1991 when the Board hired its first full-time employee, Station Manager Scott Krus.
Prior to 1994, WBNH was considered a local Christian radio ministry, licensed to serve the Peoria community. That then changed when we received permission from the FCC to broadcast in Bloomington-Normal. We went on the air in Bloomington on March 21, 1994. And WBNH was now able to serve not just Peoria, but much of central Illinois. The translator is now heard as W261BK, Bloomington, at 100.1 on the FM dial. Bloomington is indeed a vital part of the WBNH listening family.
When Scott Krus was hired as a full-time employee, WBNH was now poised to better serve the local community. Soon we hired a bookkeeper, Barb Tracek, and production personnel and along with volunteers, we had a staff that needed more room! God provided a new facility in 1995 when WBNH moved to what is now the Sud Building in downtown Pekin. Other staff members hired include Nancy Thelobald (Office Manager in 2001), Kevin Matthewson (Production Manager in 2002), and Dorothy Abbott (Bookkeeper in 2009).
In 2006, WBNH installed our main radio tower 500 feet tall that operates at 48,000 watts of directional power and is located in East Peoria. The signal is powerful enough to cover over 400,000 people in the listening area.
The facility in downtown Pekin served us well for 15 years, but when our lease expired in 2010, God provided again. We were able to purchase land and a building at 1919 Mayflower Drive, just east of Pekin and moved to our current home just before Christmas, 2010.
The current WBNH staff includes: Jim Huber (Station Manager hired in 2008), Daniel Cushman (Production Manager hired in 2006), Keith Lang (Operations Manager hired in 2009), and Carla Heiple (Office Manager and Bookkeeper hired in 2016).
In the past ten years WBNH has launched several new technological advancements in sharing the Good News including a new website (2009), smartphone app (2012), a Southern Gospel Internet Radio Station (2015), WBNH Praise! Internet Radio Station (2018), and new website with mobile design and functionality (2019).