So, if you've just wondered to this page and you don't know why we are here, we'll try to explain.
In the late 1960s, across the globe but centered in southern California, disillusioned young adults, which many would call hippies, were searching for answers to life. They tried everything they could including drugs and sex. But they still were empty inside their spirits, where the real "them" lives.
At that time, churches were still "stuck" in their decades and even centuries old traditions of dry rules and regulations, most of which were man prescribed and not based in scripture. In what can only be called a "true" move of God's Holy Spirit, without the help of any denomination or preacher, young people started "experiencing" their creator spontaneously across the state and around the world. This has become known as the "Jesus Movement".
Much has been written about it and it's been studied and analyzed to death over the decades. And in that analysis most miss that one important fact: God was on the move in HIS timeline of events for the earth. Needless to say that this "new" move caught most ministers, preachers and churches off guard. As the young people of the 60s were expressing themselves in bizarre ways and with loud music, many found their way into churches, bringing their long hair, bell bottom jeans, bare or sandaled feet, and guitars with them. Some church people turned them away. But others welcomed them with open arms and displayed the love of God's son Jesus to them. One such pastor was Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel in the sleepy town of Costa Mesa, California. CCCM, as it would become known as, would become ground zero for the Jesus Music phenomenon.
Soon, the Jesus Movement and it's music swept around the world like a southern California wild fire. The love of God was being expressed everywhere in this new style of Gospel music. A similar move had already started in England with the beat music of the British invasion and that mini-move joined the musical tsunami that made its way around the globe. Radio programs like "A Joyful Noise", "Power Line", "The Scott Ross Show" and "The Good News, Power and Light Show" sprung up overnight. But mainstream religious radio broadcasting was slow and reluctant to include "Gospel rock" into its programing because many of the people who bought time on their stations as well as many of their older listeners considered this new style of music as being "worldly".
A few brave souls in different parts of the United States dabbled with adding the softer Maranatha! Music songs to their traditional lineup but they were walking on financial egg shells. KYMS in California changed from a rock format to soft Jesus Music in 1975, one of two stations in the nation to do so. WINQ in the Tampa, Fl area was the other. The difference was KYMS stayed with religious programs and some segments of the softer Maranatha! Music style while WINQ quickly went all the way by eliminating all religious programing and replacing it with a Top 40 music format, complete with energetic DJs, jingles, contests, giveaways, personal appearances at concerts, etc. No one else had done this before and WINQ now was the ground zero radio station worldwide for Jesus Music.
With it's nearly overnight success, WINQ became the premiere Christian Rock radio station worldwide. All of the record companies were calling daily to ask what songs were popular so they could encourage other stations around the country to push those too. Those labels would send WINQ "test pressings" of upcoming albums to test the listener waters and see what were the strong songs and which were not. This would help in nationwide promotion of that album and artist. Groups would send in rough mix reel to reel tapes of their new album even before the label heard it. Gary S. Paxton even sent an aluminum casting of a new album six months prior to its release. The station became so popular with its statewide signal coverage that a once ignored religious radio station was now showing up in the Arbitron ratings chart top ten.
One of the WINQ team members was a man with an established history in radio, Rob Whitehurst. After rededicating his life to the Lord in 1970, Rob became a huge fan of all of the aforementioned radio programs. Feeling a tug on his heart and receiving encouragement from Paul Baker and Andrae Crouch, he pursued studies at a local university earning a production position at the school's PBS FM station. From there it was a whirlwind of events that landed Rob a position at Christian Rock's flagship station, something he never saw coming or tried to achieve. Rob became one of WINQ's music directors and was reporting to the record companies each week what songs were popular with their massive audience so that the labels could encourage other up and coming stations to play the same songs. WINQ helped change Christian radio broadcasting and listening forever in it's few short years of existence.
In 1978 Rob felt the Holy Spirit once again guiding his path in another direction. He would soon work with various music and performance ministries, using his voice and his musical talents to spread the good news of Jesus to whomever would listen around the world. At the same time, his training in the recording studios, radio and with live sound made him a much sought after sound recordist for the film and television production industries.
Those who knew of Rob's background encouraged him to explore the possibility of taking the music of WINQ's heyday and make it accessible again in a radio format on the quickly evolving World Wide Web. He did just that and Jesus Music Oldies™ Web Radio was born in late 1998. The station ran until 2011 when the expenses of maintaining a full time online radio station became too much to pay. By that time, other stations had come online so Rob felt it was time to pull the plug and let the others go for it. Unfortunately, the government has meddled with hobby broadcasters and recently raised the royalty payment for music 100's of times higher than terrestrial radio stations have to pay, forcing the host site Live365 to cease operations putting thousands of stations offline.
After honing his craft in film production for more than 20 years, a dream that Rob always had finally came true. Out of the thousands of sound recordists in the world, Rob was asked to record the location sound for three foundational faith based movies: Facing The Giants, Fireproof, and Courageous. He would also work on two other Christian films and a documentary series.
So...what does all of that have to do with Why? The bottom line of all of the above was the sharing of the good news of Jesus with whomever would listen in whatever format was available at that time. Though Rob is retired today, that good news still needs to be shared in any and every way possible.
The Good News:
Adam and Eve, God's first man and woman, made a mess out of the idyllic life He had created for them. They were created with free choice but made the wrong choice. This opened up the world to a jealous angel called Satan to take over the world and made it that all people born there after would live a rebellious life. God was restrained by His own holiness and His spoken words from just forgiving Adam and Eve right then and there. So He and His son Yeshua came up with a plan to redeem mankind back from being a slave of the devil. That plan involved an innocent man taking the place of guilty mankind once and for all in the universal court of judgement. Jesus did that. All a person has to do is believe it and say so. No big religious ceremony or fanfare, just a simple acknowledgement that God sent Jesus to die for all sin, that he rose from the grave after three days, and that he now sits by the throne of God as Lord over all. It's just that simple.
Romans 10:9 in the Bible says:
"If you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." ~ ISV
That's just the simple truth of it all. If you've never done that before, why not today?
God bless you!