Dynamic Dallas/Fort Worth Station Delivers “Encouraging Music … Words of Hope”
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, Christian radio station KCBI 90.9 FM broadcasts hope in Christ from its studio in the heart of Dallas, Texas. The station touches lives across a broad swathe of its broadcast area, as listener demographics mirror the racial mix of north Texas. “We’re a radio station and not a church, so that breaks down a lot of the barriers … simply by providing things that Christ followers in general want to hear,” said station manager Matt Austin. KCBI not only reaches 400,000 listeners in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, it’s also accessible to a national and international audience through its website www.kcbi.org and radio aggregator websites such as iHeart radio.
While many Christian radio stations provide only music or teaching, KCBI is a hybrid station that offers both. Listeners can livestream music and talk radio or tune in to its 24/7 All Teaching Channel, featuring recorded shows by leading Bible teachers such as John MacArthur, Chuck Swindoll, David Jeremiah, Robert Jeffress, Tony Evans, June Hunt, Jim Daly, and Howard Dayton.
Answering the Call to Ministry Excellence
KCBI operates as a ministry, so it’s structured as a nonprofit, listener-supported station, rather than an advertising-based business. Like other listener-supported Christian stations, though, it relies on partnerships with local Christian businesses to help offset its expenses.
The station carefully guards its content to ensure its quality, earning it a reputation for outstanding ministry. In fact, the station made such a mark in Christian radio that, in 2017, the National Religious Broadcasters presented it with the NRB Station of the Year award. This is a high honor, given that there are more than 1,000 Christian radio stations in the United States.
KCBI staff take their faith seriously and integrate biblical principles and wisdom into their talk shows. Rebecca Carrell, who cohosts “Mornings with Jeff and Rebecca” with Jeff Taylor, is working on her master’s degree at nearby Dallas Theological Seminary, which has a close partnership with the station. Jeff and Rebecca have been an anchor in boosting the station’s audience from about 150,000 to 400,000 over the last five years,” said Austin. The hosts’ transparency is the one of the main reasons they connect so well with listeners. “Jeff and Rebecca share their lives on the air,” said Austin. ‘One of the things that work really well with them — and I think it’s the right thing to do — is that they just let their guard down and they’re honest with their listeners. They’re very transparent. They talk about their victories and their failures, but always through a common thread that there’s hope in Jesus.”
KCBI’s broadcasts have made a major impact inside area jails, where prisoners who have committed their lives to Jesus are leading “house churches,” Bible studies, and discipleship groups, encouraged and inspired by KCBI’s ministry. “We sometimes get page after page of prayer requests from prisoners for their fellow inmates,” Austin said. One inmate was so moved by their ministry that she mailed the station a pack of postage stamps as a donation. That’s especially meaningful because she said the prisoners have no money. Stamps are their currency, and they’re hard to get, so it was truly a sacrifice for her. The fact that God is blessing this ministry is evident in that the station comes in loud and clear at a prison that’s 130 miles away, far beyond its expected 70-mile signal range.
Is Christian Radio Still Relevant?
Christian radio is making more of an impact than ever. In an era in which the Internet is putting a chokehold on other forms of media — even carving a segment out of television — Christian radio, especially listener-supported radio, is not only holding its own but is steadily growing in influence.
Listener loyalty is high. According to the Salem/Nielsen/Edison 2014 Study, in a typical week, 31% of survey respondents spend five for more hours listening to Christian talk or sermons; 84% listen to Christian talk or sermons on the radio; and 81% listen to Christian music.
The Unique Benefits of Radio
Radio engages only the ears, so it doesn’t require undivided attention. That’s one reason it remains so popular even though it’s relatively old technology. Listeners can tune into radio while they’re driving, for instance. Visual media requires too much focus, making them impractical in many situations.
Also, radio’s use of the human voice creates more of a personal, one-one-one connection between the speaker and listener than other media. This gives the Word of God an advantage in connecting with the listener’s heart, which explains why evangelists used radio so successfully for decades.
But it’s not just talk radio and teaching that penetrates the soul. “Music is powerful,” Austin said. “Sometimes a Christian song can go right past the filters and the walls that people put up when you’re just trying to talk to them about Jesus.”
Two-Way Listener Engagement
KCBI makes listener engagement a priority through a number of venues, such as its prayer center, praise wall, and listener testimonies, which help promote two-way communication with listeners.
Prayer Center (www.kcbi.org/prayer-requests)
To share prayer burdens with the station’s massive audience, listeners can visit the prayer weblink, click on the “Share Your Prayer Request” button, and enter their concern. The requester’s identity is kept confidential, but every request receives prayer. Each time someone prays for a request, he can record his intercession by clicking on the “I Prayed For This” button. The function tracks how many times a prayer has been lifted up. Some of the older requests have recorded more than 50 prayers. Anyone can pray for these requests, which makes this center an active prayer warrior site.
Praise Wall (www.kcbi.org/kcbi-praise-wall)
Listeners can also encourage others by sharing their praises and testimonies either online or live on the broadcast.
KCBI’s Community Involvement
“We believe we need to be a community radio station,” Austin said. “Of course, we have some theological boundaries that are important to us. We’re from a conservative evangelical perspective … if people are ministering in that lane, we’re open to working with all kinds of churches and we do frequently. We work with various denominations for Thanksgiving meal drives. We work with several parachurch organizations as well. If churches have an event coming … they can have those promoted on our station. Often we will be a part of the event.”
Following are some of the ways the station connects with the area:
The station works with Compassion International, and their goal this year is to sponsor 650 children. KCBI also promotes “Summer of Service,” which has built about 20 homes in the last few years through Habitat for Humanity.
Christian Events (www.kcbi.org/events-calendar)
KCBI promotes Christian events in their area. For example, KCBI recently highlighted “Together 2018,” an event dedicated to praying for our nation and worshipping Jesus; “Break the Silence 2018,” an initiative to address domestic violence from a biblical perspective; and “Your Weekend to Remember,” a marriage retreat sponsored by FamilyLife.
“Make Somebody’s Monday”
Make Somebody’s Monday is an event the station hosts each Monday to be a blessing. For example, this summer during a Dallas heat wave when the temperature regularly soared above 100 degrees, a local Christian HVAC contractor and regular listener donated and installed an air conditioning system to a woman whose air conditioner had failed.
“Get Caught Thursday”
Every Thursday, a staff member visits local businesses looking for employees listening to KCBI at work. Those who are “caught” receive a surprise gift.
“We’re just thrilled at what God is doing,” Austin said. “We’re amazed at His awesomeness and we view it as a tremendous honor and privilege to get to do what we do every day. We really hope we’re good stewards of it because it’s an amazing platform.”
Regardless of where you live, you can tune into KCBI through its website access and livestreaming. If you don’t already have a favorite Christian radio station, or you don’t have one in your area, you can listen to this station anytime of day or night.
“Encouraging Music – Words of Hope”
Listener-supported Christian radio
Visit KCBI and choose your favorite channel
Mornings with Jeff and Rebecca
Mid-days with Lauree
Afternoons with Christina
All Teaching Channel
Insight for Living with Chuck Swindoll
Grace to You with John MacArthur
Turning Point with David Jeremiah
The Urban Alternative with Tony Evans
Focus on the Family with Jim Daly
Pathway to Victory with Robert Jeffress
Hope for the Heart with June Hunt
Unlocking the Bible with Colin Smith
Walk in the Word with James McDonald
Leading the Way with Michael Youssef
Money Wise with Howard Dayton
–Download KCBI mobile apps for Apple and Android
–Post your prayer requests, praises, and testimonies
Connect With KCBI Wherever You Are
KCBI Programming Schedule
KCBI’s talk show and All Teaching Channel schedules
KCBI on Social Media
KCBI on Apps
Connect with KCBI through an iPhone or Android app