United Christian Broadcasters

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United Christian Broadcasters
FoundedChristchurch, New Zealand (1960s (1960s))
New Zealand
Key people
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.[1]

The Word for You Today[edit]

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[edit]

Broadcast areaUnited Kingdom
Christian Music
OwnerUnited Christian Broadcasters ltd
WebcastUCB Player

United Christian Broadcasters is a Christian media charity that exists to offer every person in every place at every moment of the day, the opportunity to hear, watch or read the Word of God in a relevant and engaging way. UCB has two national Christian radio stations, UCB Player (On Demand Christian TV) and publications including two daily devotionals (the UCB Word for Today and the Word for You for young adults).  They also have UCB Prayerline, staffed by volunteers who take over 70,000 calls each year from people who need prayer.  

The company is based in Stoke-on-Trent. It did its initial broadcasts via Manx Radio in the Isle of Man, although this gave limited geographical reach and only from 10 pm until 2 am, 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.[2]

UCB 1 (formerly UCB UK)[edit]

UCB UK is broadcast nationally across the UK with a format of entertainment, the latest Christian music, news and current affairs, as well as thought-provoking interviews and discussions.

Presenters include Steve Best (breakfast), Paul Hammond (mornings), Gareth Cottrell (afternoons), Rebecca Millington (drive), Sarah Hine (evenings), Catherine Ball(weekends), Vicky Gibbens (weekends). Programmes include Chill Out Praise (Millington), Song Stories (Chalmers), Music News (Best), Gospel Grooves (Godley), Christian teaching content is included within the daily schedule of programmess - Different Perspective with Bernie Dymet, Days of Wonder with Jarrod Cooper, Church Awake with Steve Uppal, Word For You with Bob Gass.

Twice every weekday a short talk is given, at 05:30 and 19:30. The speakers alternate each day, they are; Anthony Delaney of Ivy Church, Manchester every Monday, Brian Houston (pastor) from Hillsong Church on Tuesdays, a guest speaker on Wednesdays, on Thursdays the speaker is Jonathan Conrathe while on Fridays we hear 'Book By Book'.

UCB 2 (Formerly UCB Inspirational)[edit]

Christian teaching and easy listening music network, Presenters include Anne Henderson (Breakfast 5-9am), Ruth O'Reilly-Smith (Mornings 9-1pm), Matt (Afternoons 1-4pm). Samuel Ball (Drive 4-7pm), Simon Tuck (Evenings 8-11pm), Abi Gregory (Weekend Breakfast 6-10am), Sandra Godley (Saturday 2-5pm) and Michelle Worthington (Saturday 8-11pm), Paul Larcombe (Sunday 8-11pm). Christian teaching content previously included Days of Wonder with Jarrod Cooper, or Terry Boyle at weekends, God Meant It For Good with R. T. Kendall and Hymns of the Faith with Dudley Anderson and Different Perspective with Bernie Dymet. 2018 sees Insight For Living with Chuck Swindoll In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley, Daily Hope with Rick Warren, Reaching Our World with Luis Palau, Today with Derek Prince and Glen Scrivener. UCB Inspirational closed on Sky on 1 July 2015.

One hour of specialist programming was introduced to the revamped schedule in January 2016 with World of Worship (Frawley), Southern Gospel Spotlight (Ball), Classic Praise (Piper), Live Praise (Cook), Songsmiths (O'Reilly-Smith). Schedule changed in 2017 with Gospel Grooves (Godley), Southern Gospel Spotlight (Ball), Classic Praise (Greggory), Live Praise (Matt), The Weekend Starts Here (Tuck)

UCB Prayerline and Forces Prayerline[edit]

UCB provide a confidential telephone service called UCB Prayerline with trained Christian volunteers who pray for callers' issues over the telephone.[3] The service is supported by churches from across the United Kingdom and receives around 70,000 calls per year.[4] 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.[5][6]

Rhema Media New Zealand[edit]

Rhema Media
Broadcast areaNew Zealand
FormatRhema: talk radio (1978)
S Star: CCM (1997)
Life fm: CHR (1993)
Shine: Christian TV (2004)
OwnerRhema 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[edit]

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.

Early history[edit]

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).

UCB Philippines[edit]

The Edge Radio
Broadcast areaPhilippines
Christian Music
OwnerUnited Christian Broadcasters
(Christian Music Power)
WebcastListen Live

In Makati, Philippines, United Christian Broadcasters operates an Internet radio station The Edge Media in partnership with the Christian Music Power. 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.


Branding Callsign Frequency Power (Watts) Location
The Edge Radio Philippines N/A Cignal Channel 312 N/A Nationwide
103.1 The Edge Radio Strong South DWMZ 103.1 MHz 5,000 Watts Candelaria / Lucena
92.9 The Edge Radio Guihulngan DYJC 92.9 MHz 5,000 Watts Guihulngan
97.3 JCFM The Edge Radio Trento DXJC 97.3 MHz 5,000 Watts Trento
101.5 The Edge Radio Kidapawan DXCT 101.5 MHz 5,000 Watts Kidapawan

UCB Canada[edit]

In Ontario, Canada, United Christian Broadcasters' Canadian affiliate operates 6 stations.


Branding Callsign Frequency Power (Watts) Location
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

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).[7] CJAH-FM would begin testing on 19 October 2017 and is expected to be launched 2 December 2017.[8]


  1. ^ World’s First Christian Mobile TV Channel Available Globally As Yamgo Launch UCB[permanent dead link] at yamgo.com. Accessed on 2 December 2010.
  2. ^ "UCB Cross Rhythms: A marriage made in heaven". crossrhythms.co.uk. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  3. ^ About Prayerline Archived 13 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine at www.ucb.co.uk. Accessed on 28 January 2011.
  4. ^ UCB Prayerline at www.carrickfergusbaptist.com. Accessed on 28 January 2011.
  5. ^ UCB to launch prayer line for Armed Forces Archived 26 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine at www.christiantoday.co.uk. Accessed on 28 January 2011.
  6. ^ Forces Prayerline Launch in UK at www.rafcom.co.uk. Accessed on 28 January 2011.
  7. ^ Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2014-628, English-language specialty commercial FM radio station in Windsor, CRTC, 5 December 2014

External links[edit]