United Christian Broadcasters
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|Founded||Christchurch, New Zealand (1960s )|
|Hal Short (President)|
United Christian Broadcasters (UCB) is an international Christian broadcasting and media group, founded by Rhema Media. Through affiliates in twenty five countries, it operates radio and television stations and publishes and broadcasts Bob Gass's free daily devotionals The Word for You Today and Word For You (young adults' version)
The group was started in New Zealand by Richard Berry. In the early 1960s, the Christchurch evangelical was inspired by Ecuadorian Christian short-wave radio station HCJB to set up a radio station in his garage. The station became a permanent operation in 1976, and in subsequent years it expanded throughout New Zealand.
The Rhema model was used to establish UCB affiliates in Australia, the United Kingdom, other Commonwealth countries, and beyond. In July 2010, UCB United Kingdom's UCB TV partnered with the mobile TV and video on demand network Yamgo to launch the world's first ever live Christian mobile TV channel.
The Word for You Today
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The Word For You Today is a free, daily devotional written by Bob Gass and distributed internationally by United Christian Broadcasters, as website content, as an email newsletter and as quarterly print editions. One million copies of the United Kingdom and Ireland print edition are distributed each quarter to UCB supporters. Other regional editions are distributed to subscribers, churches and Christian organisations in other parts of the world.
Bob Gass has described the devotionals as "a kick start for cold mornings, when you don't feel like reading your Bible or find it a bit dry". He started writing The Word for Today devotional readings in 1992 as various inspirations he had received in forty years of being involved in Christian leadership and from the Biblical principles instilled in him by his mother. After positive response in the United States, he offered international rights to the devotionals to United Christian Broadcasters CEO Gareth Littler, with a successful first print run of 3500 copies in 1994 being distributed to UCB supporters in the United Kingdom.
UCB in the UK
|Broadcast area||United Kingdom|
|Owner||United Christian Broadcasters ltd|
United Christian Broadcasters is a Christian media charity that exists to offer opportunities to hear, watch or read the Word of God. UCB has two national Christian radio stations (UCB 1 and UCB 2), the UCB Player app, and several publications including two daily devotionals (the UCB Word For Today and the Word For You for young adults). They also run UCB Prayerline, staffed by volunteers who take calls all year round from people who need prayer.
UCB UK History 1980s In 1986, UCB's founder, Ian Mackie, received two promises from God: a big move of God was coming to the UK to provide the nation with a much-needed national Christian Radio Station. Operating out of a volunteer's spare bedroom, everything UCB owned, from the typewriter to the filing cabinet, was borrowed. In 1987, UCB did its initial broadcasts via Manx Radio in the Isle of Man, but this had limited geographical reach and only aired from 10pm until 2am. However, it did allow the station to bypass some of the UK's broadcasting laws and commence transmission earlier in the company's lifetime than would have otherwise been possible.
1990s In 1991, UCB met Bob Gass, and a special ministry began. In 1992, Bob put pen to paper and began jotting down inspirations. A year later, he started sending copies of them to his friends and supporters in the United States, where he had lived since he was eighteen years old. These inspirational readings proved very popular, and Bob was astounded by the response. Having a vision for Christian radio in the UK, Bob offered UCB his devotional readings to encourage Christians to support UCB. With no access to national AM or FM frequencies, UCB Europe was granted a licence to commence satellite broadcasting. Thus, UCB Europe became the flagship station at the start and provided encouragement and support to thousands of listeners, and in April 1993, UCB Europe was heard for the first time across the UK via the Astra satellite. In 1994, the first edition of the UCB Word For Today, written by Bob and Debby Gass, was published, and 3,500 copies were distributed for free. January 1995 saw the birth and official launch of UCB's telephone Listening Line. This service was established to support, encourage, and pray for listeners of our radio broadcasts, along with readers of the UCB Word For Today. A small team began work covering the phone lines for six hours each weekday. The growth in demand for this service meant that in 1998, UCB began working in partnership with other Christian ministries to meet Listening Line callers' needs.
2000s From January 2003, UCB Listening Line became UCB Prayerline, operating from UCB headquarters in Stoke-on-Trent. In August 2003, Word 4U 2Day (now Word For You) was launched. This new devotional was adapted from the UCB Word For Today and was designed to help young adults spend time with God. In 2006, UCB Radio began broadcasting on regional DAB in the London area and four other areas of the UK, which allowed the radio stations to be more accessible. In 2007, UCB began a strategic alliance with OneHope, distributing Bible literature to children and youth across the UK. By 2009, the first promise to Ian Mackie was fulfilled as UCB UK (now UCB 1) began broadcasting nationally on DAB radio.
2010s In 2014, UCB began a partnership with Freeview TV channel and TBN UK, and from there, UCB created and launched the UCB Player app, which provides inspiring videos, podcasts and devotional content. UCB celebrated 30 years of ministry in 2016, and their second radio station, UCB 2, expanded its coverage on DAB radio. In 2019, UCB celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the UCB Word For Today, which is distributed to over 400,000 readers in print and across digital platforms each quarter. Bob Gass, the author of the devotional, passed away in 2019, but before he was "promoted to glory" (as Bob would have said), he began a long writing project, which means that the UCB Word For Today can continue for many years to come.
UCB 1 (formerly UCB UK)
UCB 1 is broadcast nationally across the UK with Christian contemporary music and discussions of the news and current affairs from a Christian perspective.
Current radio presenters and shows:
|UCB Radio Presenter||Show Name||Time|
|Becs Millington||Drive||Mon-Fri / 4pm - 7pm|
|Chillout Praise||Tue / 10pm - 11pm|
|Saturday Breakfast||Sat / 6am- 10am|
|David Francis||Jazz Show||Sun / 9pm - 10pm|
|David Tanner||Jukebox Memories||Thu / 10pm - 11pm|
|The Sunday Show||Sun / 10am - 2pm|
|Gareth Cottrell||The Evening Mix||Mon-Fri / 7pm - 10pm|
|Saturday 5 Till 8||Sat / 5pm - 8pm|
|Sunday Rocks||Sun / 10pm - 11pm|
|LizzieCrow||Saturday Afternoon||Sat / 2pm - 5pm|
|Sunday Afternoon||Sun / 2pm - 5pm|
|Paul Hammond||Talking Point||Mon-Fri / 9am - 1pm|
|Saturday Night||Sat / 8pm - 11pm|
|Sarah Hine||Afternoon Line Up||Mon-Fri / 1pm - 4pm|
|The Vibe||Mon / 10pm - 11pm|
|Sunday 5 Till 8||Sun / 5pm - 8pm|
|Steve Best||Breakfast||Mon-Fri / 5am - 9am|
|Music News||Mon / 10am - 2pm|
|The Saturday Show||Sun / 5pm - 8pm|
|Vicky Gibbens||Talking Point||Mon-Fri / 9am - 1pm|
|Sunday Breakfast||Sun / 6am - 10am|
- Presenter schedule may be subject to change. See www.ucb.co.uk for full information.
UCB 2 (Formerly UCB Inspirational)
UCB 2 is broadcast nationally across the UK with worship music and inspiring teaching.
Current Radio Presenters and Shows:
|UCB Radio Presenter||Show Name||Time|
|Abi Gregory||Worship & The Word||Mon–Fri / 8pm – 11pm|
|Classic Praise||Wed / 7pm – 8pm|
|It's Saturday||Sat / 6am – 10am|
|It's Sunday||Sun / 6am – 10am|
|Anne Henderson||Afternoon Praise||Mon–Fri / 1pm – 4pm|
|Sundays||Sun / 10am – 2pm|
|Catherine Ball||Saturday Evening||Sat/ 8pm – 11pm|
|Chloe Wilson||Worship Today||Mon–Fri / 4pm – 7pm|
|Praise Now!||Thu / 7pm – 8pm|
|Saturday 5 Till 8||Sat / 5pm – 8pm|
|Matt Brown||Afternoon Praise||Mon–Fri / 1pm – 4pm|
|Worship & The Word||Mon–Fri / 8pm – 11pm|
|The Weekend Starts Here||Fri / 7pm – 8pm|
|Paul Larcombe||Saturday Afternoon||Sat / 2pm – 5pm|
|Ruth O’Reilly-Smith||This is My Story||Mon–Fri / 9am – 1pm|
|Sunday 5 Till 8||Sun / 5pm – 8pm|
|Samuel Ball||Start The Day||Mon–Fri / 5am – 9am|
|Southern Gospel||Tue / 7pm – 8pm|
|Sunday Afternoon||Sun / 2pm – 5pm|
|Sandra Godley||Gospel Grooves||Mon / 7pm –8pm|
|Stephanie Rose||Saturdays||Sat / 10am – 2pm|
- Presenter schedule may be subject to change. See www.ucb.co.uk for full information.
UCB Prayerline and Forces Prayerline
UCB provide a confidential telephone service called UCB Prayerline with trained Christian volunteers who pray for callers' issues over the telephone. The service is supported by churches from across the United Kingdom and receives around 70,000 calls per year. A parallel service, the Forces Prayerline, was started in Germany in 2005 and extended to the UK on 6 November 2008 at St Clement Danes Church, London, on the occasion of the annual Armed Forces Day of Prayer. This service supports servicemen, servicewomen and their families at home and abroad.
Rhema Media New Zealand
|Broadcast area||New Zealand|
|Format||Rhema: talk radio (1978)|
S Star: CCM (1997)
Life fm: CHR (1993)
Shine: Christian TV (2004)
|Owner||Rhema Broadcasting Group|
Rhema Media is the founding organisation of United Christian Broadcasting. It is also New Zealand's largest Christian media organisation, broadcasting four radio networks and a television station, and publishing the quarterly The Word for You Today devotional publication, from the Rhema Broadcasting Centre on Upper Queen Street in the central Auckland suburb of Newton.
The group's flagship network, New Zealand's Rhema, is an evangelical contemporary Christian radio network started in 1978. The initial programme/station manager, John McNeil, laid the groundwork for what became the network's relaxed talk and music format, in which a limited number of teaching programmes are intermingled with music, news and interviews.
Other stations include Southern Star, which plays classic contemporary Christian music and hymns, Life FM, a contemporary Christian hit radio network, and The Word, which broadcasts Bible readings. Rhema Media also operate Christian television channel Shine TV, which is available on Sky Television. UCB International previously owned, but never utilised, a network of New Zealand UHF stations now used by Prime TV.
Vision Christian Media Australia
Vision Christian Media (formerly UCB Australia) operates the nationwide network "Vision Christian Radio", (previously called Vision Radio Network and Vision FM). It also publishes The Word for Today and word4U2day, coordinates the Vision Christian Prayer prayer ministry and provides mailorder Christian resource service Vision Christian Store. It was featured in the Andrew Denton documentary film God on My Side. Vision's motto is "Connecting Faith to Life" and the radio network aims to make Christian Radio available for every Australian as a means to that end.
As at the close of 2008, Vision operated on over 360 licences, including low powered services in metropolitan suburbs and rural towns. It also operated some higher powered services in some regional areas and in Western Melbourne on 1611 AM. By mid 2015, Vision had expanded to over 600 relay stations, mainly LPON licences (low power open narrowcast) but also including Adelaide 1611 AM. Vision's talk and music programming is aimed at "unpacking" what it means to follow Jesus Christ in an understandable way.
Vision began broadcasting from small studios in Springwood, Brisbane, Australia on 1 February 1999. A few years later they moved into larger premises in nearby Underwood to better provide a 24-hour 7-day broadcast to some 300+ relay stations across the nation, plus listeners on the Internet and via satellite. Vision has been able to acquire over 600 high- and low-powered open narrowcast licenses and has quickly gone about the task of setting up a national network of relay stations across Australia, from the largest cities to regional centres and tiny isolated towns in the bush.
Many small to medium-sized country towns in Australia have benefited from the cost-effective approach of using low-powered FM transmitters. Although typically only one to ten watts, they usually give quite adequate residential coverage in small towns, depending on the antenna height above local terrain. The setup cost is very achievable for most communities and the ongoing cost is minimal due to low maintenance equipment with low power consumption – some even use solar power in remote areas.
In the twelve months following March 2001 a rapid expansion began, seeing the number of relay stations 'on-air' triple from around 30 to 90. Also in April 2001, Vision introduced Australia's first nationwide news service from a Christian perspective. Vision's News service is heard across their own network, as well as being accessed by a growing number of community stations who don't have the resources to produce their own news content. During 2003 Vision had opportunity to secure its first high powered open narrowcast licences, which were soon put on air.
The network quickly reached 150 relay stations by the end of 2003, and in the following year would see its first foray into AM radio sites in Shepparton, Bunbury and Kalgoorlie. Just prior to Christmas 2004 a further 17 High Powered licences were secured to be on air the following year. Vision's 200th relay station was powered up on Australia Day 2005 at the Central Australian town of Yulara – right next to Uluru (Ayers Rock). Yarrawonga in Victoria had the honour of station number 300 in late 2007 and a significant development occurred in late 2008 with the unexpected acquisition of a medium powered AM service in Melbourne (1611AM).
Christian Music Power Philippines
|Format||Contemporary Christian Music|
|Owner||United Christian Broadcasters |
(Christian Music Power)
In Makati, Philippines, United Christian Broadcasters operates The Edge Media network under Christian Music Power (formerly UCB Philippines). The station is an advocate for a Christian worldview and is used as a training ground for students from 15 Asian nations to learn how to open low cost stations in their countries. It plays contemporary Christian music including pop, hip hop, alternative, praise and gospel songs. It plays music from a wide range of Christian artists of various nationalities, including local contemporary Christian artists which fit its format.
CMPI/The Edge Media is available in two formats: The Edge Radio, a national radio station which is available nationwide via Cignal Channel 312 and worldwide via internet, with four FM stations across the country serves as affiliates; and The Edge TV, a blocktime program currently airs on Light TV in Metro Manila.
|The Edge Radio Philippines||N/A||Cignal Channel 312||N/A||Nationwide|
|The Edge Radio Strong South||DZKX||103.1 MHz||5,000 Watts||Lucena|
|The Edge Radio Del Gallego||DWGE||103.3 MHz||Del Gallego, Camarines Sur|
|The Edge Radio Guihulngan||DYJC||92.9 MHz||5,000 Watts||Guihulngan|
|The Edge Radio Kidapawan||DXCD||101.5 MHz||5,000 Watts||Kidapawan|
|The Edge Radio Ipil||DXCW||92.7 MHz||5,000 Watts||Ipil|
In Ontario, Canada, United Christian Broadcasters' Canadian affiliate operates 6 stations.
|UCB 102.3 Belleville||CKJJ-FM||102.3 MHz||15,000 Watts||Belleville, Ontario|
|UCB 94.7 Maynooth||CKJJ-FM-5||94.7 MHz||50 Watts||Maynooth, Ontario|
|UCB 103.5 Bancroft||CKJJ-FM-4||103.5 MHz||250 Watts||Bancroft, Ontario|
|UCB 100.5 Kingston||CKJJ-FM-3||100.5 MHz||50 Watts||Kingston, Ontario|
|UCB 99.9 Brockville||CKJJ-FM-2||99.9 MHz||50 Watts||Brockville, Ontario|
|UCB 90.7 Cobourg||CHJJ-FM||90.7 MHz||250 Watts||Cobourg, Ontario|
|UCB 89.3 Chatham||CKGW-FM||89.3 MHz||15,000 Watts||Chatham, Ontario|
|UCB 90.5 Windsor||CJAH-FM||90.5 MHz||10,000 Watts||Windsor, Ontario|
|UCB 95.1 Thunder Bay||CJOA-FM||95.1 MHz||250 Watts||Thunder Bay, Ontario|
|UCB 91.1 Fort McMurray||CKOS-FM||91.1 MHz||40,000 Watts||Fort McMurray, Alberta|
|UCB 107.9 Regina||CIUC-FM||107.9 MHz||13,700 Watts||Regina, Saskatchewan|
On 5 December 2014, the CRTC approved a new UCB outlet on 90.5 FM in Windsor, Ontario (CJAH-FM), which will broadcast at 1730 watts (10,000 watts maximum ERP). CJAH-FM would begin testing on 19 October 2017 and is expected to be launched 2 December 2017.
In 2019, UCB Canada announced that they had received permission to launch a station in Regina, Saskatchewan at 107.9 MHz.
- World’s First Christian Mobile TV Channel Available Globally As Yamgo Launch UCB[permanent dead link] at yamgo.com. Accessed on 2 December 2010.
- About Prayerline Archived 13 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine at http://www.ucb.co.uk. Accessed on 28 January 2011.
- UCB Prayerline at http://www.carrickfergusbaptist.com. Accessed on 28 January 2011.
- UCB to launch prayer line for Armed Forces Archived 26 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine at http://www.christiantoday.co.uk. Accessed on 28 January 2011.
- Forces Prayerline Launch in UK at http://www.rafcom.co.uk. Accessed on 28 January 2011.
- Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2014-628, English-language specialty commercial FM radio station in Windsor, CRTC, 5 December 2014
- UCB Radio 90.5 FM Windsor DEDICATION AND LAUNCH EVENT