In Memoriam: Family Life Radio Founder Warren Bolthouse

Warren BolthouseFamily Life Radio Founder Warren Bolthouse passed away at his home in Tucson, AZ, on Monday, October 12. He was 88.

Born in Grand Rapids, MI, Bolthouse spent 30 years building the ministry of Family Life Radio and dedicated more than 50 years of his life to reaching others with the life-changing message of Christ.

He met his wife, Char, when they were teenagers singing and traveling with Children’s Bible Hour. They married in 1947. From there, the Bolthouses were called to be involved as music ministers and assistant pastors or youth directors for ministries in Pontiac and Detroit, MI, and Buffalo, NY. In the midst of this pastoral work, the couple dreamed of the day when non-commercial Christian radio would be heard in every home.

The Bolthouses took their then five children and moved back to Michigan, settling in the Jackson area.  It was there and then that the dream of Christian radio started to come alive.

Family Life Radio was born in the basement studio of the Bolthouse home, a clapboard house on Jericho Road, with a 30-minute radio program. That program expanded, airtime was given, and not long after, in 1966, Family Life Radio’s first station was on the air in Mason, MI.

Under Bolthouse’s leadership, Family Life Radio grew over the course of 30 years into a nationwide radio network with radio stations, translators, educational ministries, and a flagship program – now known as Intentional Living with Dr. Randy Carlson. Now, nearly 50 years later, Family Life Radio covers more than 16 million people in 40 cities and countless others online and through mobile streaming.

“Warren’s legacy to the building of the Family Life network runs deep and his shared message even deeper,” commented Art Brooks, President of the Arizona Broadcasters Association.

“The foundation of Family Life Radio was laid by Warren Bolthouse; a firm foundation from which he never wavered,” added Roger Bonney, a member of Family Life Radio’s Board of Directors. “He fought the good fight, and has finished the race. He kept the faith.”

Bolthouse was preceded in death by his wife, who passed away in 2007, and a daughter, Cheri, who passed away in 2011.

He is survived by four children – Jan, Donna David, Jim – and their spouses; 11 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service was held on Tuesday, October 20, and a memorial fund has been set up in honor of Bolthouse's life.

For more information on Family Life Radio and Warren Bolthouse, visit

By NRB Staff

Published: , 2020


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