THE BIRTH OF GRACE (PART 1)

The Birth of Grace is the four-part story of KVNG—91.1FM, “The Voice of Never-ending Grace”, Eloy and the whole Casa Grande Valley’s hometown radio station

by H. David Landry and Eric Kruzel

The birth of a child is an amazing miracle of God. The birth of a nonprofit, full-power FM Christian radio station, though definitely not on the same level as the birth of a child, is still miraculous in its own right – particularly the birth of Casa Grande Valley’s locally-owned and locally-produced KVNG 91.1FM – “The Voice of Never-ending Grace” (known as Grace 91.1FM).

The conception of Grace (KVNG) can be dated back to 2007 when at the urging and encouragement of other Christian radio stations around the nation, Calvary Chapel of Casa Grande (CCCG) filed an application for a noncommercial educational radio station licensed with the Federal Communications Corporation (FCC).

These FCC filing windows are rare. Although many would like to build and operate a full-power FM station, the FCC only allows a limited number of openings with short filing windows. Calvary Chapel of Casa Grande was fortunate to be ready and prepared when the October 2007 window opened.

The competition for available frequencies is intense and the signal coverage area is extremely regulated due to the large on-air presence from the Phoenix and Tucson stations. In granting the application, the FCC has a process whereby advantage is given to new station ownership and the longevity of an owner’s location in the area. The result was that in June of 2008, Calvary Chapel became the “tentative selectee” to build the full-power FM station in their area. There were, however, complications yet to overcome in the full birthing process.

KVNG’s original City of License was Chuichu, located on the northern-most portion of the Tohono O’odham Nation, directly south of Casa Grande. Shortly after the FCC’s announcement of the favorable selection, the sovereign nation of the Tohono O’odham notified Calvary Chapel that they were not pleased with Grace, as a non-tribal-owned radio station being located within their nation’s border. Although a setback, this notification would later become a blessing in disguise. To build and maintain a tower in that location would have been a tremendously expensive venture. A copy of the Tohono tribal government notice was sent to the FCC, who in turn allowed us to file for a change of tower location and a new City of License. As it turns out, a new tower location and city change were not the only birthing difficulties.

Grace (KVNG – 91.1FM) would go through many difficulties, stretches of faith and the revealing of multiples of miracles over the next several months and years before finally being birthed and coming on-air.

 We will continue the next installment of The Birth of Grace in the next issue of the Golden Corridor LIVING Magazine. In the meantime, you can listen to KVNG – Grace 91.1FM 24 hours a day throughout the Casa Grande Valley or via live-streaming on any computer or smartphone at www.grace911.com. For further information about the station, to make a donation, or sponsor a portion of our programming, you can email us at info@grace911.com or call us at (520) 426-7911.