The Origins of the Far East Broadcasting Company
While attending Southern California Bible College, God planted in the hearts of two young men named Bob Bowman and John Broger a vision for missionary radio that would one day become Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC). They shared this vision with Reverend William Roberts, the pastor of a church that Bowman’s parents attended, who enthusiastically supported their plan; Roberts and his church were the first to assist FEBC through prayer and funding.
In 1945, FEBC was officially incorporated by Bob Bowman, John Broger and William Roberts and established with one goal in mind: broadcasting Christ to the world. They had no supportive board at the time, and were not affiliated with a specific church denomination. Instead, they followed God’s lead to launch a ministry that focused on sharing Christ with the people of Asia. With nothing more than a heart to reach the lost and an understanding of radio’s ability to reach far and wide, they leaned on this promise from God: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will guide you with my eye” (Psalm 32:8).
First Radio Station
Ideally located in the South China Sea, the Philippines had much to offer, and the newly established nation was more than willing for FEBC to establish their operations there. The first broadcasts, over local station KZAS (as it was known), went on the air in Manila on June 4, 1948.
International broadcasts to China started the following year and have since expanded to cover most of Southeast Asia, as well as Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. FEBC’s sister organization, Feba, broadcasts programs in Africa, the Middle East and India.
Circling the Globe
FEBC’s programs are heard on AM and FM stations worldwide, as well as by satellite and the Internet. We also broadcast by shortwave through our transmitter sites in the Philippines, sharing Christ in 105 languages to hard-to-reach minority groups. Our total number of languages is now 124 worldwide, with broadcasting hours totaling 842 a day. Four billion people live within range of our transmitters.
But the only figure we’re truly interested in is the number of people whose lives have been changed by Christ. Last year, we received 2.26 million listener responses, many attesting to transformed lives.
That’s why FEBC was launched…and that’s why we continue. To share Christ with the world.
The Legacy of Dr. Bob Bowman