Our History (continued)
The facility which is now home for WKJV is over sixty years old. It has been home for several broadcasting companies and several different programming formats.The original construction was completed and signed on the air in 1948. Then it was WLOS FM which eventually moved to Macon Avenue in the same building which was shared with WLOS TV. The FCC rules included a prohibition of a radio and the TV station occupying the same building. Therefore the station was sold to the Greater Asheville Broadcasting Company owned by the John Jenkins family of Huntington, WV in 1969 with the call letters WKKE. The format was middle of the road-Top 40, with their main competition being WWNC which controlled the number one market in America for most of the years during the last half of the 20th century.
WKKE was changed to WRAQ in November of 1977, taking on an adult rock format, which was later changed to country, and then in 1982, the Jenkins Family hired Sid Hughes to become Program Director as WRAQ took on a Southern Gospel format. Later Ricky Seay became Program Director. Ricky is now the owner and General Manager of WHBK Radio in Marshall, NC. In 1988 the Jenkins family sold WRAQ to George H. Buck of New Orleans, LA. The station call sign was then changed to WTOO and was operated by the GHB Broadcasting Company. In June of 1992 the owner told the manager of WTOO that the station was not making money. He expressed that if the station was not operating in the black by July 1st, the format would be changed to Rock & Roll.
Pastor Doug Roland of the Maple Ridge Baptist Church in Candler, NC heard the news of the impending change. He then notified some of the area pastors. A meeting was called at Trinity Baptist Church on July 5, 1992. During the meeting of approximately thirty pastors and concerned individuals, a committee was formed to decide what direction to pursue in order to insure the station would remain Gospel. There were several options discussed. The direction decided upon was to attempt a buyout of WTOO from its then present owner.
Anchor Baptist Church in Pisgah Forest, NC where Dr. Randy Barton is the pastor, was asked to be the official purchaser and operator of the station. They agreed on the condition that the people in the Asheville listening community raise the $50,000 needed for the down payment.The Christian community responded to the call for help. Bro. George Lindsey, Bro. Steve Rhinehart, Bro. Doug Roland and Dr. J. Wendell Runion spent a total of one hour per day on the station airing a plea for help. The people and churches in the listening area gave a total of $53,000 in those five days and a total of 5 hours on the air. No one person could take credit for this happening. It was simply a move of God on the Christian community. A joint effort from many churches, pastors and people; and a miracle took place.
Pastor Barton and Anchor Baptist Church agreed to operate the station for a period of time until it could become successful and independent. It was clearly, solely under the ownership of Anchor Baptist Church and was operating under the umbrella of the church and Anchor Baptist Broadcasting which also operated WGCR 720 AM in Pisgah Forest, NC. They were asked to take the station because of their success in taking a small 1,000 watt AM station and upgrading it to a 10,000 watt powerhouse. WGCR now operates at 50,000 watts. The main reason being their fundamental Gospel format with conservative Christian music and sound Gospel preaching.
In October of 1992, the FCC granted a license to Anchor Broadcasting to take the ownership and management of radio station WKJV. These call letters were chosen because it would identify that it stood for the infallibility of the AV 1611 King James Bible. The first day of operation was an exciting time for everyone. WKJV signed on the air and played 1380 songs without interruption. A prayer victory celebration was held in the parking lot with the Harvest Time Quartet singing and Bro. Steve Rhinehart, who is pastor of Mt. Sheba Baptist Church in Weaverville, doing the preaching. During these days, the main announcers were Rusty Rector, Davy Shelton, Kristy Johnston, Larry Spears and Tony Maynor.
In January of 1996, Anchor Baptist Church sold WKJV to International Baptist Outreach Missions, Inc in Asheville, NC under the direction of Dr. J. Wendell Runion. The format of broadcasting remained the same.
On August 15, 2000, WKJV began broadcasting to the world via the internet at www.wkjv.com.
On September 17, 2001 WKJV received a power increase to become 25,000 watts.
In August of 2013, IBOM purchased Christian 1010 AM with 47,000 watts from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association which had present call letters, WFGW. The call sign was changed to WKJW and now joins WKJV with local Christian programming originating from the main studios at 70 Adams Hill Rd. in Asheville.
In April of 2018, Dr. J. Wendell Runion, founder of IBOM, went home to be with the Lord. Dr. Richard Smith is now the President of IBOM and The King’s Radio Network, WKJV and WKJW. Dr. Luther Spivey serves as Vice President and General Manager of The King’s Radio Network. Tony Maynor serves at Assistant Manager.
*Photos displayed on this page are property of The King’s Radio Network and may not be copied, duplicated, or used in any form without expression permission of the Management of WKJV and WKJW.