The Good News Network
The Good News Network is the umbrella organization comprised of GNN Radio, which broadcasts via satellite to 22 English speaking affiliates, and Radio Amistad, which broadcasts to six Spanish speaking affiliates. These affiliates are spread throughout Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Alabama.
The Primary focus of the Good News Network is to provide solid, Biblical teaching to share the Good News of Jesus Christ to the world and encourage believers in their walk with Him through programs such as FamilyLife Today, Grace to You, Insight for Living, Turning Point, MoneyWise, Point of View, and many more quality programs.
How It All Began
Clarence Barinowski wanted to solve a problem. As a traveling salesman for a family-owned animal feed business, he traveled over 50,000 miles a year. Spending so much time in his car made him wish he could hear some Christian broadcasting. But there was no way to make it happen over such a large territory. The startup cost to build a station was very high and the reach was limited to the coverage area for that station.
But God made a way. President Ronald Reagan deregulated the radio airwaves and at the right time, satellite technology made it possible to build a much more inexpensive broadcast facility. So, in 1982, Clarence incorporated the Augusta Radio Fellowship Institute and filed for a frequency. In 1984, the permit was granted and soon, a tiny Sunday School room provided by Bethany Chapel, became a radio station. The signal was sent via microwave transmitter to a tower in Sweetwater, South Carolina, from which it was sent out to listeners for the first time in November 1984. WLPE was on air!
At this point, Clarence was working full-time for ConAgra Feed Company, and so a lot of volunteer help was needed, especially for technical and engineering issues, as feeding farm animals did not lend a great deal of expertise in the radio industry. The learning curve was steep, but the very first FM Christian radio station in the area was finally broadcasting. All the sleepless nights were worth it as the dream was realized and listeners began to write and provide support for the ministry. At night, Clarence and his wife, Sylvia, would hand write receipts for gifts. But this was just the beginning.
Growth of the Network
As support increased, the vision enlarged. A search for places to put more stations in communities without Christian radio saw applications in Georgia for Jesup (WLPT), Vidalia (WGPH), Byron (WPWB), and Florence (WLPG) in South Carolina. Next, a group of Christians in Morehead City, North Carolina transferred their license to GNN which provided a powerful signal to the GNN lineup of stations. Growth continued when a large gift allowed GNN to build a station in Barnwell, South Carolina (WHBJ) and Fair Bluff, North Carolina (WGHJ). Most recently, stations were built like WFAL reaching south Atlanta to Macon, WJTB in Columbia, South Carolina, WJNA in the Clemson/Anderson/Toccoa area, as well as WZTR, serving Dahlonega, Georgia and surrounding areas. The remainder of areas covered are: in Georgia… WZIQ, Albany; WWGF, Donalsonville; WTHP, Gibson; WPMA, Greensboro; WLPF, Ocilla-Tifton; WNNG, Unadilla; WSJA, York, Alabama and repeaters in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and in Georgia… Richmond Hill, and Blakely. Far more than was ever dreamed has been accomplished, which has been a great blessing to many people in these areas.
All these stations were added without hiring any additional people! Satellites make it possible to send a signal from the main studio to all the different stations which then transmit to their respective listening areas, and all within a fraction of a second. The signal bounces from earth to space faster than a ping pong ball in a table tennis match.
An opportunity to purchase WBLR in Batesburg- Leesville, South Carolina allowed GNN to reach poultry workers in that area, as a large number of Spanish speaking people live and work there. Soon, more Spanish stations were added in Georgia…Soperton and Sparta, and repeaters in Lake Oconee, Lumber City, and Higgston.
We partnered with the Radio Amistad out of Houston, Texas to provide most of the music and content. Radio Amistad is Spanish for “Friendship Radio”, and it reaches a large Hispanic community with Christian music as well as teaching, such as “In Touch” with Charles Stanley, “Focus On The Family” and others, only in Spanish. These stations have been very effective in reaching these communities with the gospel.
Dolly Martin is our Program Director, and she regularly translates letters and forwards phone messages to us, detailing the impact of these ministries in our communities. If you would like more information about Radio Amistad, you can visit their website:
We, at the Good News Network, are grateful for God’s blessings and the many new listeners who have contacted us, and we look forward to continuing with our mission to carry God’s Word over the airwaves. We are thankful that a traveling salesman’s dream to have a local radio station has been fulfilled above and beyond, as God has blessed and multiplied this network which is now able to reach the world through the internet. Who would have ever thought that the lonely backroads of Georgia would reach so far?
The first station’s call letters were assigned as WLPE since no specific letters had been requested. One day while reading Philippians 4, Clarence was able to put some significance to the letters with the line, “Whatever is Lovely, Pure and Excellent.” The theme was continued with Lovely, Pure, True (WLPT), Good, Pure, Honest (WGPH), Lovely, Pure, Faithful (WLPF), but the pattern dropped at WPWB.