The following is a letter sent to RW from reader Gary Shriver, who is station manager for KVHH(LP), “Christian Hits FM.” He responded to our call to learn how radio stations are serving their community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tell us about your own efforts; email Radio World.
Greetings for KVHH(LP) in Turlock, Calif.
Just a short story about how we have been able to help during these “tuff” times of COVID-19.
We here in California have been ordered to “shelter in place,” meaning no groups of over 10. All local non-essential businesses, schools and churches have been shuttered. It’s a ghost town out there. Unless of course you go to Costco first thing in the morning to stand in line and make a run on toilet paper! LOL.
Being a contemporary Christian format, our hearts go out to the local congregations that are forced to no longer meet. I came into contact with a local pastor with a pretty creative idea. He called me looking for a spare transmitter he could borrow because he wanted to have a “drive-in” church service where he could set up the worship service in the parking lot and all could come to church on Sunday, but stay in their cars at a safe distance.
Of course, I couldn’t offer a transmitter, but we did one better. We cobbled together an AoIP set-up and ran last Sunday’s service live over “Christian Hits FM.” It was a screaming success. Everybody loved it!
You should have heard the broadcast. During his sermon, whenever he made an uplifting statement of hope (where normally you would hear an “amen” from the congregation,) everyone in their cars started honking their horns. It was awesome and hilarious at the same time! The ambient mic picked up everything.
Makes me smile just thinking about it. We plan on doing this every Sunday morning until things get back to normal.
It has been an honor and a blessing to help our community in this way.