From its beginning with one station in Cadillac, MI, Strong Tower Radio (STR) has functioned as a tool in the hand of both Michigan and Lake Region Conference church members.
The enthusiastic, positive response to early exploration in the Cadillac region produced the initial STR board comprised of area church members. In 2007, the ministry incorporated with the state of Michigan and applied for the construction permit to build a full power signal in Cadillac. The Holy Spirit opened the way to obtain several more stations and directed STR to wait upon Him for all growth opportunities.
When a station opportunity emerges, one of the first steps is to meet with area churches to determine whether they want a full-power FM radio ministry in their area. If not, STR doesn’t move forward, because the ministry doesn’t exist for itself. God raised up STR as a tool and sustains this ministry through members and listeners who are drawn to Jesus through the broadcast.
While no conference entity subsidizes the ministries annual budget, STR enjoys a strong working relationship within the Lake Union Conference, particularly with the Michigan Conference. Earlier this year, the Michigan Conference’s executive team worked with the North American Division and General Conference to resolve a new policy that had ended church members’ ability to give, through church offerings, to supportive ministries not owned by the Adventist Church, including STR. Thanks to their diligent efforts, members now have the option to support STR by giving to “Michigan Radio Ministry” either via tithe envelope or Adventist Giving portal. These member-given funds are then remitted to the conference treasury, where they’re aggregated and electively sent to STR.
Proclaiming the everlasting gospel in the context of the Three Angels’ Messages, 24/7/365, continues to be STR’s mission and purpose. Evangelistic series, Bible Q&A programs, health seminars, Bible stories, and uplifting music are just some of the formats used. Strong Tower Radio also provides a greater platform for Michigan and Lake Region Conference pastors through the weekday program called Fresh Manna, which broadcasts local sermons across the entire STR network. As of June 2020, that network includes online streaming at STR.fm.
Seventh-day Adventist churches and STR both have evangelism cycles and the two are closely linked. STR’s cycle begins with listeners tuning in and the testimonies of how they discover STR frequently amaze. As they listen, they’re soon searching their Bibles to confirm what they’ve heard and find that the messages are true. STR mentions Adventist churches and listeners frequently visit the church nearest them. Members greet them and begin cultivating friendships, which often leads to Bible studies with that member or the pastor/elder. This is commonly followed by commitment to the everlasting gospel in baptism and active discipleship within the church family.
People also visit local Adventist churches through personal invitation, outreach events, or other media ministries like Voice of Prophecy or It Is Written. Members introduce guests to STR, they begin to listen and receive a blessing as they hear God’s character proclaimed clearly from His Word. Though not the initial point of contact, STR helps nurture these listener’s spiritual development both leading up to a decision for Jesus and with continuing spiritual growth.
Maize Grace’s first point of contact was via STR broadcast. She had just moved to a rural home and discovered there was no cable, internet, or even radio signal! One day in spring 2016, she took her radio up the stairs to the barn loft and on the way up, the dial knob moved. When she turned the radio back on, STR came in clearly! The first message Maize Grace heard addressed tradition versus truth. She studied and found that the speaker spoke truth! She listened more and soon visited her local SDA church where she was lovingly welcomed. A church member began providing transport to church as Maize Grace no longer drives due to the residual effects of a car accident. Despite Satan’s obstacles thrown in her path, Maize Grace persevered as our Heavenly Father strengthened her. She signified her commitment to Jesus through baptism last fall at the Fremont Seventh-day Adventist church.
Gerald was looking for Bible answers and found them with both Amazing Facts and Secrets Unsealed material on their respective websites. He visited the Midland church where members welcomed him and also introduced him to STR – another key connection point! Gerald soon began listening to STR during his daily commute instead of another Christian broadcast. The daily programming helped to nurture his spiritual growth and decision to follow Jesus! Gerald was baptized last summer and is now an active member in the Midland church.
Each testimony showcases how church members and STR work together to reach souls with the everlasting gospel!
Our heavenly Father opened a significant growth window during 2022, with 8 new station permits granted by the Federal Communication Commission. The permits for these new stations, in varying development stages, provide a 3-year build out window, and coverage will reach much of Central and Southwest Michigan and the Western Upper Peninsula previously unreached by STR on the FM dial. Many are responding energetically with prayer and financial support for these new stations as area churches anticipate the blessing of this evangelistic tool in their region!
God wants to fill the churches with souls seeking complete connection with Him. Let us pray and prepare for the many souls that the Holy Spirit will bring into our churches through various ways, including the continued broadcast of STR, where God’s character is proclaimed.