Central Church Reaches 3000th Milestone
This coming Sunday June 21, 2020, Lansing’s Central United Methodist Church is celebrating a major milestone. The church will celebrate its 3000th broadcast in a continuous series over 1240 WJIM-AM. The broadcast started back on December 23, 1962. Central’s first live radio broadcast happened 96 years ago, November 9, 1924 on Ransom Old’s WREO, Lansing's first broadcasting station. It is believed that this was the first time a church service was broadcast live in the city of Lansing, and maybe the whole state and country.
The current series of broadcasts was the brain child of then senior minister Dwight Large. Rev. Large turned to member Bryan Halter, who was with WJIM radio station, asking him to find a way to get their weekly services live on the air. Bryan’s Methodist church in Illinois had connected its public address system to a phone line to feed sound from the sanctuary to the radio station. Fast forward to the 1970’s, as Jim Hepfer took over responsibility of the church PA system maintenance and the radio broadcast. A sound booth was constructed in 1976 with the help of Marion Stutes.
At Marion’s request Jim upgraded the system again in 1978 to the same system there today. As time moved on more improvements were made, along with digital delivery of the service instead of phone lines. Through the years, there have been many talented church members who have contributed to the quality of the broadcasts. Thanks to all of them for their devotion and contributions to this radio ministry. Also, a huge debt of gratitude to Bryan Halter, Jim Hepfer, and both Marion and Leora Stutes whose efforts through the years have made the broadcast the success that it is today. Central has come a long way since that first broadcast in 1924. The broadcasts continue each Sunday morning from 10:00 to 11:00, on 1240 WJIM-AM, now reaching and serving people around the world.