In the 1960s, George Smith had a vision for a Christian radio station in Erie, Pennsylvania.
So when the opportunity came to obtain a fledgling FM signal about 20 miles outside of Erie in Union City, Pennsylvania, Smith sprang into action. A radio engineer by trade, Smith brought together a group of 21 pastors and local Christian businessmen, and together they formed Inspiration Time, Inc., and purchased WBVB-FM from owners William Baker and Virgil Brown in 1967. The station changed its call letters five years later to WCTL, which stands for “With Christ There’s Life.”
Over the years, WCTL has grown substantially, going from the original 250 watts to 350 watts in 1968, to 3,000 watts in 1972, and then to 6,000 watts in 1992. It also has a number of translators rebroadcasting WCTL (FM 106.3) in other cities, including downtown Erie (FM 105.9), Girard (FM 93.1), and North East (FM 99.1).
Earlier this year WCTL came to an agreement with a local university to obtain the AM station that has been simulcasting their FM. Pending FCC approval, that AM station is able to be moved from its city of license to Union City, thereby allowing 106.3 to move into Erie, solving the station’s reception issues while also fulfilling the original vision of WCTL’s founder for a Christian station in Erie.
“This is totally God-ordained and orchestrated, and we are rejoicing,” reported Adam Frase, the station’s General Manager, to NRB Today.
A member of NRB since 1993, WCTL blends upbeat, lyrically sound contemporary Christian music with fun, positive airshifts and teaching programs that enrich the lives of listeners. It also actively participates in community-wide activities, and supports public schools with live high school football broadcasts, featuring testimonies from players or coaches at half-time.
By NRB Staff
Published: April 27, 2017