HCJB World Radio Gears Up for 75th Anniversary with Celebrations

Missionary radio broadcaster HCJB World Radio will celebrate its 75th anniversary this year, commemorating its first broadcast from Quito, Ecuador, on Christmas Day of 1931.

The Colorado Springs-based organization will hold a variety of activities throughout the year to celebrate its anniversary. It will launch the year of special events with a program from its headquarter at 10 a.m. (MST) on Jan.11, in combination with the mission’s monthly day of prayer.

“To me this anniversary is a wonderful milestone of reflecting on God’s faithfulness and a legacy of a number of generations that have been faithful in impacting the world through radio in so many languages,” said HCJB World Radio president Dave Johnson in a news release. “We can be absolutely confident that God wants to continue using us in the future. The key is realizing that all that has been accomplished has been done in the power of Christ—working through people.

“When you look at the history of HCJB World Radio, people have always been willing to take a risk to do what God is calling them to do,” Johnson continued. “We’ve never been in ‘maintenance mode,’ whether it’s establishing a hydroelectric plant in Ecuador, putting up huge transmitters and antennas, building clinics and hospitals, or setting the ‘World by 2000’ challenge, working with other broadcasters to make Christian radio programs available in all of the world’s major languages. All of these things caused people to start asking questions, pushing us beyond our resources. But when we look back, these are the stories we like to tell because God worked in incredible ways!”

The theme of the 75th anniversary is, “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” and the key verse for the year is Isaiah 26:12, “Lord…all that we have accomplished you have done for us.”

Events for the staff include the annual HCJB World Radio Prayer Retreat on May 3 and “Forever Family” reunions for all former HCJB World Radio Staff members in Colorado Springs on May 9-13 and Quito Sept. 8-18. Special receptions are also planned for staff members and government dignitaries in Quito in December. A series of events for donors will also be held across the United States at cities and dates to be announced.

Public events planned for Ecuador include the Quito Day concerts Dec. 1-3, an open house and sharathon Dec. 7-9 and a special Spanish service at 4 p.m. EST on Dec. 25 – the time of the first actual broadcast on Radio Station HCJB.

“What began with co-founder Clarence Jones playing ‘Great Is Thy Faithfulness’ on his trombone to a handful of radio receivers in Quito on Dec. 25, 1931, has led to focusing on discipling local believers and training them in mass media and healthcare around the world,” explained 75th Anniversary Coordinator Cheri Birkey.

“In the last 75 years the mission has developed a unique mix of radio and healthcare ministries, working together to reach all nations for Christ. In order to enhance these ministries, we want to integrate passionate discipleship and practical tools so that national believers are trained and equipped to complete the Great Commission,” she continued.

“What began in Latin America has expanded to other parts of the world. Lord willing, we will continue partnering with local believers and equipping them to do what we’ve been doing for 75 years—reaching people for Christ through mass media and healthcare.”

Together with local partners, HCJB World Radio now has ministries in more than 200 cities in more than 100 countries with Christian broadcasts in more than 120 languages and dialects. Thousands of healthcare patients are also meeting Jesus. Believers are being trained as missionaries, pastors, broadcasters and healthcare providers. HCJB World Radio hopes to integrate discipleship with practical tools to equip the growing church around the world and see lives transformed.

“What we are as a mission today is directly related to our past,” Birkey said. “The 75th anniversary is the perfect opportunity to celebrate God’s faithfulness. Throughout the Old Testament the Israelites were encouraged to remember God’s goodness. We hope not only to remember what God has done in the past through HCJB World Radio, but to celebrate what He is doing today and the mission’s vision for the future.”

A 75th anniversary book will be released in September, highlighting not only the history of HCJB World Radio, but current ministries and the organization’s future vision. A Vision Video in both Spanish and English will also be available to celebrate the vision through the mission’s various presidents, past and present.

HCJB World Radio launched its 75th anniversary website in English (www.hcjb.org/75) on Jan. 1, and its Spanish site (www.vozandes.org/75) will begin at a later date.