NAMB Radio Ministry May Face End after 64 Years

The North American Mission Board will decide in the next few months whether or not to continue its radio ministry after 64 years of reaching listeners through hundreds of radio stations.

“Over the course of several months and as part of a comprehensive communications study, NAMB has been taking a close look at radio operations to determine their effectiveness and the viability of continuing this area of ministry,” the mission board said in a statement obtained by the Christian Post.

According to the April 28 statement, two employees working for the radio ministry were recently moved from payroll to contract status . No final determination, however, has been made regarding the future of NAMB's radio programming.

“Even if changes are made in present programming, there are viable alternatives being considered which will help NAMB achieve its major objectives and ministry assignments,” the agency stated. “We anticipate a decision sometime in the next few months.”

Although radio programs were once the mainstay of Southern Baptists’ broadcast ministry, the NAMB told the Associated Baptist Press that the programs currently produce no revenue and have dropped in popularity.

The radio programs, which once numbered almost a dozen, now comprise only of five remaining 30-minute radio programs – "Strength for Living," the preaching show known as "The Baptist Hour" when it launched the SBC's radio ministry in 1941; "MasterControl," a newsmagazine aired on about 350 stations; "Country Crossroads," a country-music show aired on about more than 400 stations; "Powerline," adult contemporary music, about 400 stations; and "On Track," contemporary Christian music, about 225 stations.

With the exception of the "On Track", all radio programs are more than 35 years old.

Currently, about 1,250 total radio stations air NAMB programs - since many stations carry more than one programming.