SHEFFIELD — After eight years of praying and planning, the new WUNT Christian radio station will go on air at 1 p.m. Sunday, broadcasting out of its Sheffield site.
Program Director Paul Butler said WUNT 88.3 FM will go on air with a special one-hour program featuring prayers for the dedication of the station, interviews with staff and board members, and music.
"After years of praying and planning, it is exciting to be on the threshold of beginning," Butler said. "Our focus now begins to shift. Working to get a station on the air is completely different from keeping a station on the air. We look forward to growing into this new role. I'm sure there will be some bumps along the road, but it is our prayer that our programming and presence in Bureau County will foster unity in the local church as we work together to transform our community."
Due to a number of ongoing technical connection challenges linking the WUNT studio building with the transmitter site, the first week of broadcast service will offer primarily music programming, Butler said. Each evening, from 5 to 6 p.m., the radio will provide a meditative hour of music called "The Dinner Hour" which hopefully families across Bureau County will tune in for as background music during their mealtime, the station manager said.
Also, a special two-hour version of "The Dinner Hour" will play from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday afternoons, beginning March 31. WUNT will have a teaching hour Monday through Saturday, at 8 a.m. with Dr. R.C. Sproul's program "Renewing Your Mind" and 8:30 a.m. with "In Perspective" with Dr. Harry Reeder.
WUNT will also begin some locally-produced programs in coming weeks, Butler said. Those include "Community Voices with Linda Marlowe," at 7 a.m. Mondays and at 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, beginning April 1; "Growing Stronger Together with Meg Murphey and Marla Graham," at 8 p.m. Tuesdays and at 4:30 p.m. Saturdays, beginning April 2; and "Freedom Seekers with Pam Heil," at 8 p.m. Thursdays and 4 p.m. Saturdays, beginning April 4.
In time, WUNT hopes to offer special Sunday programming, a folk music program, Christian comedy hour and a classic Christian music program, Butler said.
On Thursday, WUNT founder Stan Tinker of RoadMap Ministries said WUNT has been eight years in the making. Though there have been challenges and discouragements along the way, he has held fast to the belief that WUNT is God's plan and needs to be done.
"I turned the radio this week during testing and heard that signal and thought about how this may actually change someone's life or give them support through difficult times and bring them closer to God, and it just blew me away," Tinker said. "It is really kind of a dream."
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