Far North Queensland has become the newest region in Australia to enhance its Faith FM presence with a new studio and radio show.
Coinciding with the recent Northern Australian Conference (NAC) Big Camp, the Townsville studio was officially opened on Sunday, 25 June. Located within the Conference office, the studio was mostly funded by Adventist World Radio (AWR) but built entirely by outgoing NAC president Pastor Darren Slade.
“We have always had a dream in the NAC to have a studio up here so that we can add to Faith FM’s national content,” said Pastor Slade. “Once AWR got involved and gave us a grant, that dream became reality.”
The grant received from AWR helped fund building materials, furniture and equipment, but Pastor Slade knew he could save on labour costs if he built the studio himself. Over the course of two and a half years, with occasional assistance from local pastors, Pastor Slade volunteered his own personal time to bring the studio to life.
“We’ve actually got quite a strong little Faith FM network up here,” said Pastor Slade, referring to the 20-25 radio licenses spread around the Conference. “We felt a studio would complement our network, but more than that, we wanted to contribute to creating great Australian content. There’s a lot of great talent lurking in the NAC that I believe we can tap into now that we’ve got a studio.”
With the assistance of Faith FM producer Brad Martin and content and promotions manager Pastor Robbie Berghan, the NAC team launched their first piece of content as the studio opened. “Talk from the Top” will now air every Tuesday afternoon and aims to share inspiring stories and testimonies from the top of Australia that impact people’s lives.
“From a national content perspective, we’re thrilled to have more outstanding, locally created content that’s inspiring and engaging,” said Pastor Berghan. “We’re looking forward to seeing the impact NAC will have across Australia.”
The funding received from AWR also helped secure a three-year part-time contract for producer Phil Pennington, who will assist in creating content.
“This studio is an excellent example of how the Church can work together at all levels, from AWR at the General Conference all the way to the local level,” said Faith FM manager Michael Engelbrecht.
Pastor Slade said there was a very positive feeling about the Townsville studio from local church members and is hopeful the excitement for creating content will spread across the NAC.
“We have 54,000 listeners across our territory,” he said. “What we do in this studio is actually the most significant thing we are doing to reach our community, more than anything else we’re doing from this office.”