Ever since local Christian radio station WFBM (Wonderful Faith Bible Ministries) was founded 15 years ago, it has relied on community support to continue filling the airwaves with southern gospel music and a positive message.
Its annual Shareathon event, which includes an open house, live concerts and visits from area and state government representatives, is a big part of the station’s fundraising efforts.
The Shareathon will kick off today with an old-time camp meeting with singing and preaching sessions at 3 and 7 p.m.
On Friday, a presentation by Mifflin County Christian Academy will be at 9:15 a.m. Then, from noon to 1 p.m., the nationwide Stand in the Gap program will broadcast live from the WFBM station headquarters, and will feature Congressman Fred Keller. The program addresses cultural and moral issues from a constitutional and biblical perspective. At 7 p.m. Friday, True Heart Music will present a concert.
On Saturday, Vessels of Mercy and the Nottingham Four quartet will present a gospel concert, and the Nottingham Four will present a concert at 9 a.m. on Sunday; founding member Delmer Duvall will also be preaching that morning.
Denny Mallonee, pastor of Faith Baptist Church and general manager of WFBM, said they are also expecting a visit from David Rowe, and other state representatives and county commissioners, who will be interviewed on the station throughout the weekend.
In addition, prizes including dinner and concert tickets, will be given out.
Mallonee said the cost to operate all three stations each year is around $70,000. Their goal for the fundraiser this year is to secure $30,000 to keep the station running.
He said the mission of the station is to “broadcast the music and the message of the Master”. While their main format is southern gospel music, he said they play some hymns and easier listening music around the supper hour, and throw in some bluegrass from time to time. In general, it’s all gospel-style music, with short programs interspersed throughout.
Duvall, of the Maryland-based Nottingham Four quartet, said they have been a part of the Shareathon event nearly every year since it began. He said his group’s music can often be heard on the WFBM station, and he appreciates the message and music that remains the station’s commitment.
“We just really appreciate the work that they do,” he said, adding that where he is from, there is no blessing of a local southern gospel music station.
Central Pennsylvania is almost like a second home for the Nottingham Four. According to Duvall, “That’s the area we sing in the most throughout the year.”
He has also had the privilege of preaching in many revival services here.
“We’ve got a lot of friends in that area,” he said.
The Nottingham Four was founded nearly 46 years ago, when Duvall was a senior in high school. He is the last original member, and while the group’s members have changed over the years, the message hasn’t – and that’s what Duvall loves the most about what he does.
“Southern gospel is strong in the direction of pointing others to Christ,” he said. “It’s strong in pointing out just the tremendous ability that our God has. It’s like your every-day songs for every-day life.”
WFBM, established in 2004, is a non-commercial, educational radio ministry network, and an outreach of Beaver Springs Faith Baptist Church. It has grown to three stations — Beaver Springs/Richfield on WFBM 90.5 FM; Kulpmont/Mount Carmel on WFBA 90.5 FM; and Selinsgrove/Sunbury at WFBV 90.1 FM. The coverage reaches all or parts of 13 counties.
The network provides inspirational and educational family-oriented programming and music, as well as community-based news, weather, local events, and programs.