A Topeka radio station is being recognized for going where few radio stations venture these days. Upper Room Radio, which is based in Family of God Church, is celebrating the 5th anniversary of bringing classic Christian tunes to listeners.
While most of its listeners are in the Topeka, Kan. area, the internet has made it go global and the station is now heard online around the world, streaming 24/7 at UpperRoomRadioOnline.com.
Listeners hear mostly Christian artists of the 70s, 80s and 90s such as Steven Curtis Chapman, Jaci Velasquez, Sweet Comfort Band, Stryper, Newsboys, Russ Taff, Amy Grant, Petra, Keith Green, dcTalk, Bryan Duncan and Randy Stonehill. The “good stuff,” according to many who listened to the evolution of Contemporary Christian music over the last 40 years.
Roger Randel may seem like an unlikely radio personality. The 48-year-old is pastor of the church and primary DJ, running the station from the church’s location at at 1231 N.W. Eugene in North Topeka.
Randel is no newby. He grew up around radio, as his father, the late Roger Randel Sr., was program director at KTOP-AM 1490 years ago.
“My dad was in radio for many years,” Randel said. “As a kid, I used to run around the studio, and it got into my blood.”
After taking over as pastor of Family of God Church in 2011, he began thinking about radio again. He started work on a project to create a low-power FM station that would play Christian rock oldies and feature local ministers.
After years of work and expense, KFGB-FM 97.7 was born, and went on the air Sept. 15, 2015.
The 100-watt station can be heard mainly on the city’s north side, but Randal is hoping to be approved for a power increase soon to cover the entire city and beyond.
In addition to classic Christian rock, Upper Room Radio also features radio nationally known ministers such as Pastor Rod Parsley, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Billye Brim, Keith Moore, Joyce Meyer and Chad MacDonald.
Several local ministers, including Rey Rodriguez, Cheri Havens and Sarah Griggs, come on the air for Bible studies during the week. Programs from the Rev. Max Manning and Scott Perkins, “The Country Parson,” also are featured on the station.
Randel himself is on the air with a drive-time program from 7 to 9 a.m called “Ride With Roger.”
Frank at Night is on 9 to midnight Monday through Thursday, and The Drive with Rick is on Monday through Friday 4-7 p.m.
Friday evenings also feature “Rock the Flock” with Rock Moderator Ang from 10 p.m. to midnight.
Family of God Church’s Sunday service is broadcast live at 10:30 a.m. each Sunday.
The rest of the time, the station’s computer is programmed to play Christian oldies on a continuous basis.
The Fifth Anniversary celebration will feature the TACO TUESDAY GIVEAWAY: The station will give away free tacos every Tuesday during the month of September.
The Taco Tuesday Giveaway will happen every hour during the live DJ shows: The Ride With Roger Show, The Drive With Rick, and The Frank At Night Show. When listeners hear the “Taco Tuesday Sounder” and are the first caller, they will a win a certificate for tacos.
Another feature of the celebration will be National Recording Artists CHRISTAFARI on September 23, at 7 p.m. at Family of God Church. A free-will offering will be taken.
When asked who deserves the most gratitude for the station’s existence and growth, Randel says its “all the many wonderful volunteers who have made these five years possible.” That includes his wife and family “who have been my rock,” he told Metro Voice.
For more information or to listen to Upper Room Radio, visit their website.
–Lee Hartman | Metro Voice
Go here to visit the Topeka Metro Voice Facebook page for local event notices, breaking news and local announcements. To help us spread the word, and to continue seeing our posts on your Facebook feed, “Like” the page and then like or share a story now and then, so that they will keep showing up in your feed.