While attending Southern California Bible College, Bob Bowman and John Broger were given a vision for missionary radio that they shared with William Roberts, the pastor of a church that Bowman’s parents attended.
Roberts enthusiastically supported the plan and together with his church became the first to assist through prayer and funding what would become the Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC).
In 1945, Bowman, Broger, and Roberts officially incorporated and established FEBC with one goal in mind: broadcasting Christ to the world.
With nothing more than a heart to reach the lost and an understanding of radio’s ability to reach far and wide, they leaned on this promise from God: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will guide you with my eye” (Psalm 32:8).
With one country in particular on their hearts—China—they aired their very first broadcast from Shanghai. But after all mission work in China was shut down due to communism, FEBC established its operations in the Philippines, airing its first broadcast over local station KZAS in Manila on June 4, 1948.
International broadcasts to China started the following year, eventually drawing responses by the thousands and then by the millions.
Since then, FEBC has expanded to cover most of Southeast Asia, as well as Russia, Ukraine, Central Asia, Mongolia, and India. FEBC’s sister organization, Feba, broadcasts programs in Africa and the Middle East.
“When the Far East Broadcasting Company first started, our primary focus was China,” commented FEBC President & CEO Ed Cannon.
“But we saw how effective using media platforms [was] to convey the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the hearts of the people. [Now] it has spread all across the 10/40 window,” he added, referring to the rectangular geographic area stretching from North Africa through the Middle East to Asia in which two-thirds of the world’s population live – around 70 percent of which are without a thriving local church movement.
Today, FEBC’s programs are heard on AM and FM stations in 124 languages worldwide, as well as by satellite, the internet, and on SD cards through FEBC’s Gospel Speaker Box. FEBC is constantly researching what devices people are using to listen and looking for new ways to reach the furthest forgotten areas, such as Indonesia, where Gospel content was recently added on more than 100 rural radio stations.
“Because of the difficult places that FEBC is serving, where persecution has become the norm, we see a tremendously different response from the people,” reported Cannon.
“So, we will press on – in the remote villages, in the forgotten places, amongst the hardest to reach and the persecuted regions – until all have heard,” he said, concluding with FEBC’s tagline.
FEBC is a long-time member of NRB.