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United Christian Broadcasters

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

United Christian Broadcasters
FoundedChristchurch, New Zealand (1960s (1960s))
New Zealand
Key people
Hal Short (President)
WebsiteUCB International

United Christian Broadcasters (UCB) is an international Christian broadcasting and media group, founded by Rhema Media. Through affiliates in twenty five countries, it operates radio and television stations and publishes and broadcasts Bob Gass's daily devotionals The Word for You Today and Word For You (young adults' version - from 1st February 2023, this is only available via the UCB Player app[1]).

The group was started in New Zealand by Richard Berry, an evangelical Christian from Christchurch. In the early 1960s, Berry was inspired by Ecuadorian Christian short-wave radio station HCJB to set up a radio station in his garage. The station became a permanent operation in 1976, and in subsequent years it expanded throughout New Zealand.

The Rhema Media model was used to establish UCB affiliates in Australia, the United Kingdom, other Commonwealth countries, and beyond. In July 2010, UCB United Kingdom's UCB TV and the mobile TV and video on demand network Yamgo to launch the world's first ever live Christian mobile TV channel.[2]

The Word for You Today

The Word For You Today is a free, daily devotional written by Bob Gass[3] and distributed internationally by United Christian Broadcasters, as website content, as an email newsletter and as quarterly print editions. One million copies of the United Kingdom and Ireland print edition are distributed each quarter to UCB supporters.[citation needed] Other regional editions are distributed to subscribers, churches and Christian organisations in other parts of the world.

Gass started writing The Word for Today devotional readings in 1992. After positive response in the United States, he offered international rights to the devotionals to United Christian Broadcasters CEO Gareth Littler, with a first print run of 3,500 copies in 1994 being distributed to UCB supporters in the United Kingdom.[citation needed]

UCB in the UK

Broadcast areaUnited Kingdom
Christian Music
OwnerUnited Christian Broadcasters ltd
WebcastUCB Player

United Christian Broadcasters is a Christian media charity that exists to offer opportunities to hear, watch or read the Bible. UCB has two national Christian radio stations (UCB 1 and UCB 2), the UCB Player app, and several publications including two daily devotionals, the UCB Word For Today and Word For You for young adults. (From 1st February 2023, Word For You is only available via the UCB Player app.) They also run UCB Prayerline, staffed by volunteers who take calls from people requesting prayer.

UCB UK history

In 1986, UCB's founder Ian Mackie was inspired during prayer to provide a national Christian radio station. Operating out of a volunteer's spare bedroom, everything UCB owned was borrowed. In 1987, UCB did its initial broadcasts via Manx Radio in the Isle of Man, but this had limited geographical reach and only aired from 10pm until 2am. However, it did allow the station to bypass some of the UK's broadcasting laws and commence transmission earlier in the company's lifetime than would have otherwise been possible.[4]

In 1991, a UCB member[who?] met Bob Gass, who began to write devotionals for them. A year later, he started sending copies of them to his friends and supporters in the United States, where he had lived since he was eighteen years old. Gass offered UCB his devotional readings to encourage Christians to support UCB.

With no access to national AM or FM frequencies, UCB Europe was granted a licence to commence satellite broadcasting. UCB Europe became the group's flagship station, and in April 1993, UCB Europe was first broadcast to the UK via the Astra satellite. In 1994, the first edition of the UCB Word For Today, written by Bob and Debby Gass, was published, and 3,500 copies were distributed for free. In January 1995 the group launched UCB's telephone Listening Line, a service to support and pray for listeners of the radio broadcasts, along with readers of the UCB Word For Today. A small team began work covering the phone lines for six hours on weekdays. In 1998, UCB began working with other Christian ministries[which?] to staff Listening Line.

From January 2003, UCB Listening Line became UCB Prayerline, operating from UCB headquarters in Stoke-on-Trent. In August 2003, Word 4U 2Day (now Word For You) was launched, adapted from the UCB Word For Today and designed for young adults. In 2006, UCB Radio began broadcasting on regional DAB radio in the London area and four other areas of the UK. In 2007, UCB began a formal alliance with OneHope, distributing Bible literature to children and youth in the UK. By 2009, UCB UK (now UCB 1) began broadcasting nationally on DAB radio.

In 2014, UCB began joint broadcasts on the Freeview TV channel of TBN UK, and launched the UCB Player app, which provides videos, podcasts and devotional content. In 2016 a second radio station, UCB 2, was launched on DAB radio. In 2019, UCB was distributing UCB Word For Today to over 400,000 readers in print and across digital platforms each quarter.[citation needed] Gass died in 2019, but left several volumes of content for the service to continue distribution after his death.

UCB 1 (formerly UCB UK)

UCB 1 is broadcast nationally in the UK with contemporary Christian music and discussions of the news and current affairs from a Christian perspective.[5]

UCB 2 (Formerly UCB Inspirational)

UCB 2 is broadcast nationally across the UK with worship music and inspiring teaching.

UCB Prayerline and Forces Prayerline

UCB provide a confidential telephone service called UCB Prayerline with trained Christian volunteers who pray for callers' issues over the telephone.[6] The service is supported by churches from across the United Kingdom and receives around 70,000 calls per year.[7] A parallel service, the Forces Prayerline, was started in Germany in 2005 and extended to the UK on 6 November 2008 at St Clement Danes Church, London, on the occasion of the annual Armed Forces Day of Prayer. This service supports servicemen, servicewomen and their families at home and abroad.[8][9][10]

Rhema Media New Zealand

Rhema Media
Broadcast areaNew Zealand
FormatRhema: talk radio (1978)
S Star: CCM (1997)
Life fm: CHR (1993)
Shine: Christian TV (2004)
OwnerRhema Broadcasting Group
Technical information

Rhema Media is the founding organisation of United Christian Broadcasting. It is also New Zealand's largest Christian media organisation, broadcasting four radio networks and a television station, and publishing the quarterly The Word for You Today devotional publication, from the Rhema Broadcasting Centre on Upper Queen Street in the central Auckland suburb of Newton.


The group's flagship network, New Zealand's Rhema, is an evangelical contemporary Christian radio network started in 1978. The initial programme/station manager, John McNeil, laid the groundwork for what became the network's relaxed talk and music format, in which a limited number of teaching programmes are intermingled with music, news and interviews.

Other stations include Southern Star, which plays classic contemporary Christian music and hymns, Life FM, a contemporary Christian hit radio network, and The Word, which broadcasts Bible readings. Rhema Media also operate Christian television channel Shine TV, which is available on Sky Television. UCB International previously owned, but never utilised, a network of New Zealand UHF stations now used by Prime TV.

Vision Christian Media Australia

Vision Christian Media (formerly UCB Australia) operates the nationwide network "Vision Christian Radio", (previously called Vision Radio Network and Vision FM). It also publishes The Word for Today and word4U2day, coordinates the Vision Prayerline prayer ministry and provides mailorder Christian resource service Vision Shop Online. It was featured in the Andrew Denton documentary film God on My Side.

As at the close of 2008, Vision operated on over 360 licences, including low powered services in metropolitan suburbs and rural towns. It also operated some higher powered services in some regional areas and in Western Melbourne on 1611 AM. By mid 2015, Vision had expanded to over 600 relay stations, mainly LPON licences (low power open narrowcast) but also including Adelaide 1611 AM. Vision provides Christian talk and music programming. In September 2022 the number of relay stations was in excess of 780 across Australia.

Early history

Vision began broadcasting from small studios in Springwood, Brisbane, Australia on 1 February 1999. A few years later they moved into larger premises in nearby Underwood to better provide a 24-hour 7-day broadcast to some 300+ relay stations across the nation, plus listeners on the Internet and via satellite. Vision has been able to acquire over 600 high- and low-powered open narrowcast licenses and has quickly gone about the task of setting up a national network of relay stations across Australia, from the largest cities to regional centres and tiny isolated towns in the bush.

Many small to medium-sized country towns in Australia have benefited from the cost-effective approach of using low-powered FM transmitters. Although typically only one to ten watts, they usually give quite adequate residential coverage in small towns, depending on the antenna height above local terrain. The setup cost is very achievable for most communities and the ongoing cost is minimal due to low maintenance equipment with low power consumption – some even use solar power in remote areas.


In the twelve months following March 2001 the number of relay stations 'on-air' tripled from around 30 to 90. Also in April 2001, Vision introduced Australia's first nationwide news service from a Christian perspective. Vision's News service is heard across their own network, as well as being accessed by a growing number of community stations who don't have the resources to produce their own news content. During 2003 Vision secured its first high-powered open narrowcast licences, which were soon put on air.

The network reached 150 relay stations by the end of 2003, and in the following year would see its first foray into AM radio sites in Shepparton, Bunbury and Kalgoorlie. Just prior to Christmas 2004 a further 17 High Powered licences were secured to be on air the following year. Vision's 200th relay station was powered up on Australia Day 2005 at the Central Australian town of Yulara – right next to Uluru (Ayers Rock). Yarrawonga in Victoria had the honour of station number 300 in late 2007 and a significant development occurred in late 2008 with the unexpected acquisition of a medium powered AM service in Melbourne (1611AM).

Christian Music Power Philippines

The Edge Radio
TypeRadio network
HeadquartersTaytay, Rizal
BrandingThe Edge Radio
Language(s)English, Filipino
FormatContemporary Christian Music
OwnerChristian Music Power
ParentUnited Christian Broadcasters
WebcastListen Live

In the Philippines, United Christian Broadcasters operates The Edge Media network under Christian Music Power (formerly UCB Philippines). The station is an advocate for a Christian worldview and is used as a training ground for students from 15 Asian nations to learn how to open low cost stations in their countries. It plays contemporary Christian music from a wide range of Christian artists of various nationalities, including local contemporary Christian artists.[11]

The Edge Media is available in two formats: The Edge Radio, a national radio station which is available nationwide via Cignal Channel 312 and worldwide via internet, with six FM stations across the country serves as affiliates; and The Edge TV, a blocktime program currently airs on Light TV in Metro Manila.


Branding Callsign Frequency Power (Watts) Location
The Edge Radio Philippines Cignal Channel 312 Nationwide
The Edge Radio Del Gallego[a] 103.3 MHz 5,000 Watts Del Gallego
The Edge Radio Guihulngan DYCI 92.9 MHz 5,000 Watts Guihulngan
The Edge Radio Kidapawan DXCD 101.5 MHz 5,000 Watts Kidapawan
The Edge Radio Ipil DXCW 92.7 MHz 5,000 Watts Ipil
The Edge Radio Trento DXYX 97.3 MHz 5,000 watts Trento
The Edge Radio Davao Internet Worldwide
  1. ^ Also affiliated with Bicol Media Network Group, Inc.

UCB Radio Canada

In Ontario, Canada, United Christian Broadcasters' Canadian affiliate operates six stations.[citation needed]


Callsign Frequency Power (Watts) Location
CKJJ-FM 102.3 MHz 15,000 Watts Belleville, Ontario
CKJJ-FM-5 94.7 MHz 50 Watts Maynooth, Ontario
CKJJ-FM-4 103.5 MHz 250 Watts Bancroft, Ontario
CKJJ-FM-3 100.5 MHz 50 Watts Kingston, Ontario
CKJJ-FM-2 99.9 MHz 50 Watts Brockville, Ontario
CHJJ-FM 90.7 MHz 250 Watts Cobourg, Ontario
CKGW-FM 89.3 MHz 15,000 Watts Chatham, Ontario
CJAH-FM 90.5 MHz 10,000 Watts Windsor, Ontario
CJOA-FM 95.1 MHz 250 Watts Thunder Bay, Ontario
CKOS-FM 91.1 MHz 40,000 Watts Fort McMurray, Alberta
CJLT-FM 93.7 MHz 2.3 kW Medicine Hat, Alberta
CIUC-FM 95.9 MHz 24,000 Watts Regina, Saskatchewan
CIHX-FM 103.1 MHz Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

On December 5, 2014, the CRTC approved a new UCB outlet on 90.5 FM in Windsor, Ontario (CJAH-FM), which will broadcast at 1730 watts (10,000 watts maximum ERP).[12] CJAH-FM would begin testing on 19 October 2017 and is expected to be launched 2 December 2017.[13]

On May 8, 2018, United Christian Broadcasters Media Canada received CRTC approval to launch a station in Regina, Saskatchewan at 107.9 MHz.[14] On July 12, 2022, United Christian Broadcasters Media Canada submitted an application to change CIUC-FM's frequency from 107.9 MHz to 95.9 MHz. Power will be reduced from 100,000 to 24,000 watts. Antenna height will be lowered from 149.1 to 140.5 metres (490' to 460') (EHAAT). The radiation pattern will remain non-directional.[15] On September 7, 2022, the CRTC approved UCB's application to change the frequency for CIUC-FM Regina from 107.9 MHz to 95.9 MHz.[16]

In December 2023, UCBMC acquired CJLT-FM in Medicine Hat from Vista Radio, giving it its second Alberta station.[17][18]

On June 1, 2024, UCB Radio (Canada) launched in Saskatoon, SK at 103.1 MHz.


  1. ^ "Word For You | United Christian Broadcasters". Retrieved 1 February 2023.
  2. ^ World’s First Christian Mobile TV Channel Available Globally As Yamgo Launch UCB[permanent dead link] at Accessed on 2 December 2010.
  3. ^ "United Christian Broadcasters". United Christian Broadcasters. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  4. ^ "UCB Cross Rhythms: A marriage made in heaven". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  5. ^ "United Christian Broadcasters | Christian Media Charity". 14 March 2020. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  6. ^ About Prayerline Archived 13 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine at Accessed on 28 January 2011.
  7. ^ UCB Prayerline at Accessed on 28 January 2011.
  8. ^ UCB to launch prayer line for Armed Forces Archived 26 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine at Accessed on 28 January 2011.
  9. ^ Forces Prayerline Launch in UK at Archived 18 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed on 28 January 2011.
  10. ^ Zunke (2017), p. 206.
  11. ^ Republic Act No. 8130
  12. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2014-628, English-language specialty commercial FM radio station in Windsor, CRTC, 5 December 2014
  13. ^ "UCB Radio 90.5 FM Windsor DEDICATION AND LAUNCH EVENT". 2 December 2017. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  14. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2018-155, New Christian music FM radio station in Regina, CRTC, May 8, 2018
  15. ^ 202203511 - CIUC-FM July 12, 2022
  16. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2022-244, FM radio station in Regina – Technical changes, CRTC, September 7, 2022
  17. ^ "CJLT-FM Medicine Hat - Acquisition of assets". CRTC. 4 December 2023. Retrieved 13 December 2023.
  18. ^ Dialogue, Broadcast (7 December 2023). "Radio & Podcast News - CRTC approves UCB acquisition of CJLT-FM Medicine Hat". Broadcast Dialogue. Retrieved 10 January 2024.

External links

Further reading

  • Zunke, Klaus-Dieter (2016). An der Seite der Soldaten: Der seelsorgerlich-missionarische Dienst evangelischer Werke, Verbände und Freikirchen als eigenständige Soldatenseelsorge (1864–2011). Berlin: Lit. ISBN 978-3-643-13632-9
This page was last edited on 20 June 2024, at 18:13
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