The station relies on donations, and it needs about $2,600 for immediate maintenance; it needs actually a total of $7,000. If that does not happen, a piece of Kodiak’s history disappears.
Many of us had desired a radio station on our island for some time before Loren Bridges, a former radio station technician for the Billy Graham Association, came to town in the mid-70s. Lloyd Benton, a local businessman donated land to Loren for Kodiak’s first independent radio station. (Our only other radio was from the military base at the time.)
Mr. Bridges had built 34 Christian stations for the Billy Graham Association. A site was cleared out on Spruce Cape, and Lloyd poured the base for Loren’s radio tower, which still operates as KVOK.
Years earlier, some Kodiak people had expressed the desire to broadcast Christian information on a proposed radio station that a Mr. Frank Irik had begun to build where East Addition Park is now located. The tower base was poured in the early ‘60s along with a building that now is a residence on the NE side of the Aleutian Homes on Maple Street. Frank had vowed to never allow any religious broadcasting to occur on his station, and that promise was fulfilled ironically: The station was never finished.
However, Loren and Martha Bridges and his son Bob revived the hopes of many of us by introducing various Christian music and preaching on KVOK.
Businesses began supporting the station, but many threatened to cease their advertising if Loren kept placing Christian messages on the station. They wanted it purely secular. Bridges would then put Christian content on before and after business hours, which was well received by those of us who wanted such. I remember recording some precious songs by a Berg Chorale one evening.
That gave way to MBN on FM 107.1 via satellite. The Bridges were quite involved in getting this Christian radio station up and working through much help from a radio man in Homer.
KVOK was later sold to others; it remains a service to this community, as does MBN. Moody Broadcasting has other locations: Homer, Valdez, Unalaska and more. It is well supported in these areas, but not in Kodiak.
MBN brings sound Bible teaching programs, music, uninterrupted world news, children’s programs, a radio call-in talk show and more. We would surely miss this wonderful source of information should we lose it.
I hope many more Kodiak folks will tune in and support it.