In Memoriam: Ward Childerston

NRB | November 10, 2022 | Member News

Ward Childerston, founder of NRB member station KGBI 100.7, former announcer and manager at NRB member KJLT 94.9, retired general manager of former NRB member WCRH 90.5, and longtime NRB convention volunteer, went to be with the Lord earlier this month.

Childerston graduated from Grace Bible Institute in 1954, and began his career in television in Omaha, Nebraska, working his way up to management. After several years in the TV industry, the Nebraska native pursued a career in ministry and began pastoring a church in Curtis, Nebraska.

After two years of pastoring the Curtis congregation, Childerston felt the call to radio and assumed the post of announcer for KJLT. Shortly after, he became the station’s coordinating manager.

Reflecting on his time with KJLT and the days of 45-rpm records and reel-to-reel tape, Childerston had said, “The change in technology is astonishing.  There were no transistors, it was all tubes.  FM stereo was not commercially available and 33 1/3 LP records were just starting.  But what has remained constant is the personal contact with the listener.  There’s a near intimacy that develops because you are invited into people’s homes and lives and become part of their family.”

In January of 1966, Childerston founded KGBI in Omaha, Nebraska. Looking back on the early beginnings of KGBI, Childerston had said, “It was a thrill to start KGBI….to organize, to develop the original programming and to give it to an audience that didn’t have any knowledge of Christian radio.  It was exciting and gratifying.”

In 1986, Childerston moved to Maryland to assume the role as general manager of WCRH. Childerston was known to reflect on how exciting it was to watch God work and present new opportunities to use for His glory.

When asked about his plans for retirement, Childerston reflected instead on his purpose: “My purpose is to live the rest of my life for the will of God… to be available for whatever. “

Childerston and his wife, Vonnie, were of great service to the NRB family over the years as faithful volunteers at NRB conventions.

“Ward and Vonnie were a great blessing to everyone who met them as they served at NRB conventions,” said NRB President & CEO Troy A. Miller. “Ward leaves decades of faithful Christian leadership and excellence in broadcasting as an example for the next generation in Christian radio.”

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