This month, NRB member Moody Radio station WKES-FM celebrated its 60th anniversary, celebrating years of ministry to the Tampa, Naples, and St. Pete Florida community.
Bill and Marge Caldwell established the station in 1961 under Keswick Radio. It was originally known as WGNB (Westcoast Good News Broadcasters) and aired on 101.5 FM. When the station began, it was the only full-time radio ministry in the Tampa Bay area.
In 1973, the station made some changes. Besides changing its call letters to WKES, it also increased its power and began broadcasting in stereo. Four years later in 1977, the station along with the Keswick Christian School and Bible conference grounds were all donated to NRB member Moody Bible Institute. Caldwell continued to serve as the station manager until 1990 when Richard (Dick) Florence was brought on as the station manager.
In 1997, the station moved its signal to 91.1 FM where it continues to broadcast today. Moody Broadcasting began purchasing other stations in Florida beginning with WKZM, Sarasota in 1999 and adding WSOR, Naples and WHGN, Crystal River in 2003. These stations repeated the WKES signal making it a regional station broadcast throughout Central and Southwest Florida.
With the onset of internet streaming in 2003, WKES took the opportunity to expand the ministry worldwide and be heard anywhere in the world where there was internet access.
Over the years, a number of different radio hosts, station managers, program directors, and other staff faithfully served communities in Florida through their work at WKES.
Today, the listener-supported ministry continues to spread the gospel through preaching, teaching, conversations, and music. Its signals reach north and south from Ocala to Naples and east and west from St. Petersburg to Orlando.
The staff, management, volunteers, and supporters of WKES praise God for the opportunity to take the message of the Gospel to Florida and “the ends of the earth!”