Written by William S. Cooper in 1988, a member of the Radio Committee for about 35 years. Now deceased.
As I recall events that led up to our first Radio broadcast at the Marcus Hook Baptist Church, things went something like this:
There has been much discussion concerning broadcasting our Sunday Morning Services from 11 to 12 o'clock in the Official Board and the congregation also. A Radio Committee was appointed to look into the possibility of getting radio time, costs, and the church's responsibilities.
The committee consisted of the following members:
- Rev. G. Harold Hill, Pastor (Chairman)
- William C. Elliott
- William S. Cooper
- Mrs. Mary Jones (organist)
- Harry Metzer
- Mrs. Beatrice Downs (pianist)
The Committee visited stations in Wilmington, Delaware, Norristown and Philadelphia, but without success. We already knew that a Radio Station was to be built in Chester, so a meeting was held with the founder, owner, to try to get time for broadcasting. Mr. James Tisdale, the owner, told us that they were loaded with applications and could not come up with an answer at that time. He told us that he wanted a city church to have the Sunday 11-12 hour, one that would be responsible. I just don't recall the dates, but a short time after this meeting, WVCH was completed. WE were in contact with Mr. Tisdale at least two times after the first meeting before the station went on the air.
This 11-12 period had been given to a large church in Chester and as far as I know the church started broadcasting when WVCH went on the air in April, 1948. To the best of my knowledge, no more contacts were made with Mr. Tisdale.
At this point, we, as board members, were much in prayer for the situation trusting that something would happen in order to get radio time. And it did!
Unknown to us at Marcus Hook Baptist, the church that got the 11-12 hour wanted to drop the program in June and come back in september and pick it up again. WEll, to this idea, Mr. Tisdale said a flat "No."
About the middle of June, a representative of WVCH called Pastor Hill and told him that the 11-12 period was open starting Sunday, July 4th. Could we take it?
Well, you already have the answer. A group from the Radio Committee went up to the station to form a contract with Mr. Tisdale and so we hit the airwaves July 4, 1948. To my knowledge there has never been a Sunday Service missed on the air to this date, 40 years later.
The station set up the needed equipment for broadcasting and always sent an operator to handle it during church service.
I must mention the name of Mr. Chet Stebbins, our dear friend, that did most of the engineering for many years and until we built the new church. Also, we surely do appreciate the kind of relationship we here at the church have enjoyed with the owners and staff of WVCH during these 40 years of broadcasting.
July 4, 2008 marks the 60th Anniversary of our Broadcasting Association with WVCH 740AM Radio. We praise the Lord for this.
Marcus Hook Baptist Church (MHBC) in 1948, under the leadership of its Pastor, the Rev. G. Harold Hill, went on the air with a one-hour broadcast of its Morning Worship Service from 11:00 am to noon on Sunday, July 4th.
In 1948, a penny postcard was mailed to the MHBC church family as well as to folks in the surrounding communities, promoting the "On the Air" event from the sanctuary.
The broadcast was live and unrehearsed from the Church auditorium, with engineers from the Radio Station coming to the Church, in all kinds of weather, each Sunday morning until the new church building was occupied in 1971. The new building was equipped with a radio room operated by engineers of the Church, including Mr. Carl Hyde, Mr. William S. Cooper, and Mr. Richard Fisher. Men such as these transmitted the Service from the Church Auditorium to the Radio Station. Mrs. Beatrice Downs was at the piano for the first broadcast, and Mrs. Mary Jones was the organist. There has been an almost uninterrupted series weekly since 1948. The present Pastor, Rev. Jim Carroll, directs the broadcasts at this time.
We are grateful to Radio Station WVCH for their services and for the happy relationship with the managers throughout 60 years. Especially with Mr. Tom Harvey Moffit for at least the last 35 years.
As we soon begin another year of live broadcasting from our auditorium, it is with the earnest prayer that the Word of God shall go forth in mighty power to bring the lost to Christ as Savior, to bring a challenging message of love and healing for backsliders, and to bring comfort and edification for God's children who by reason of illness, afflictions, or other circumstances are not able to attend the House of the Lord. The letters, cards, and testimonies received through the years have indicated that the Lord has been pleased to use this avenue of ministry to achieve His purpose.