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PUBLISHED: 2:54 PM on Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Rising to the challenge
Church launches rock radio station

Photo by Amanda Gragert
With the flip of a switch, a dream six years in the making was finally realized.

The 100 watt Juneau radio station KVIM 92.7, called Vertical Impact, was launched by members of Calvary Fellowship Church at the stroke of midnight April 1 in an effort to reach young people ages 13-30, said pastor and station manager Brian Ewing.

"My desire as a pastor is to reach that segment of people after high school who fall off the map. There are really a lot of desperate people, and there's no way to reach them because no one sees them," Ewing said. "It's my heart's desire to get into their homes and give a message of hope."

While the station plays Christian music, it's not your grandmother's hymnal tunes. Throughout the day music is in the contemporary rock genre and goes into hard rock at about 8 each night.

"It's real edgy, almost grungy," Ewing said. "The board that oversees the station is made up of mostly older people, and they've been real open minded and want to reach youthful people a lot."

The station also features short Bible lessons.

Helping with the station are teenagers Paul Stephens as program director and Miriah Brown as music director. Each did their part to prepare for the radio station to form by going to conferences, learning to use equipment and choosing songs and material.

"I've pulled a lot of all-nighters. It was more work than I thought it would be, but it's been totally worth it," Stephens said.

The project began in 2000 when Ewing heard about the Federal Communications Commission opening up spots for low-power stations. He said it has taken time to get approval from the FCC and other agencies as well as raising funds. The station is funded through community fund-raisers and donations from church members. Ewing said cost has been about $30,000 to date.

"People have given so liberally," he said.

Ewing said that about 10 other people are involved with the station, and it is important to him that the students take control of the station's direction.

"It's fun to let them do it. I'm just a guiding hand, but we want the kids to be involved as much as possible," Ewing said.

Stephens said more than a year ago he felt that he "was on a path of destruction," and he feels honored to be able to make a positive impact through KVIM.

"Basically this is our pulpit," Stephens said.

"When we went on the air I had this indescribable feeling. I was so happy and am still happy."

Brown said the station was supposed to launch last fall, but legalities prevented that.

"I really learned to wait on God and his timing," Brown said.

Vertical Impact's studio is in a house near Auke Lake, which the church uses for functions and Bible studies.

The church meets on Sundays at Dzantik'I Heeni Middle School.

For more information about the station, send an e-mail to kvim@alaska.net or call Calvary Fellowship Church at 780-4618.

Stephens said he hasn't heard any bad comments about the station and personally enjoys the music that KVIM plays on the air.

"God has taught us a lot of patience through this," Stephens said.

"It's the raddest station ever."

Miriah Brown and Paul Stephens serve as music director and program director, respectively, for KVIM 92.7 in Juneau, which was launched on the air April 1. The station, dubbed Vertical Impact, is a ministry project of Calvary Fellowship Church.


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