Offering a unique blend of contemporary Christian music, Gospel-centered programming, and community outreach, WBNH 88.5 FM has been “bringing news of Him” to the central Illinois area since 1991.
WBNH radio was founded by Bubie Goodman, who had a vision for a Christian radio presence in his community in the late 1970s. In 1980, the Central Illinois Radio Fellowship (CIRF) was incorporated, and in 1983, an investment was made in equipment that could receive a signal from the Moody Broadcasting Network. WBNH signed on with a power of 3000 watts on December 15, 1988, sharing the frequency with an ecumenical group. The station increased its power to 4,500 watts, and in 1991, it hired its first full-time employee. Over the years, WBNH increased its share pledges and acquired land to build a tower.
Bubie Goodman, the founder and president of WBNH, passed away in May 2001, leaving behind a legacy of an established radio ministry. Today, with a full team in place and over 25 years of ministry, WBNH continues to thrive and give glory to God.
WBNH station manager and morning host Jim Huber, who has been with the station for 15 years, said, “The beauty of working in full-time Christian radio is that we simply are on the airwaves to proclaim Jesus Christ––at WBNH, that is our core mission.”
Throughout its history, WBNH has remained committed to providing listeners with a positive, uplifting listening experience that inspires and encourages them in their faith. The station’s programming continues to evolve and adapt to the changing needs and interests of its audience while remaining true to its core values of community involvement, education, spiritual growth, and the “purity of the Gospel,” accurately proclaiming the elements of Scripture.
In addition to its musical offerings, WBNH also features a range of talk shows and other programs that cover a variety of topics. From local news and events to national issues and current events, the station provides listeners with informative and thought-provoking content to stimulate the mind and feed the soul.
One of the hallmarks of WBNH’s mission is its listener-focused ministry that extends beyond the airwaves. The station regularly partners with local churches and other organizations to promote events and causes that are important to the community. WBNH is involved in a number of local initiatives and outreach programs, including a scholarship program for graduating high school seniors, a mentoring program for at-risk youth, and a ministry to the homeless and underserved populations in the area. Whether it’s a benefit concert, a food drive, or a charity fundraiser, WBNH is always there to lend its support and help make a difference in the lives of those around them.
“Here at WBNH, we introduce our local community to Jesus right here on our property,” said Huber.
Huber emphasized that the station’s dedication to engaging with the community is not just for the sake of community involvement itself, but rather, it is a deliberate effort to spread the message of the Gospel to as many people as possible. He underscored that the station views community involvement as a critical component of its initiative to share the Gospel and that every effort they make to engage with the community is ultimately directed towards that end goal.
Huber credited many NRB members who have influenced his career in broadcasting and Christian communications, including Erwin Lutzer with the Moody Church, Chuck Swindoll with Insight for Living, John MacArthur with Grace to You, and Dr. David Jeremiah with Turning Point Ministries.
Huber commended NRB for its hand-in-glove efforts with decision-makers on Capitol Hill and its initiatives to encourage and equip Christian communicators through the annual NRB International Christian Media Convention, which Huber and the WBNH team have attended countless times. As an NRB member, WBNH, Huber said, often looks to NRB for insight on the “radio industry, critical issues facing broadcasters, and how to navigate the trends of wokeness.”
“Christian broadcasters need the National Religious Broadcasters. They are out there slugging away for us in Washington, D.C.,” said Huber. “I encourage every NRB member to send someone to the NRB convention. Even though it is an expense, it’s ultimately a long-term investment in the radio ministry.”