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
In the first installment of the Birth of Grace, we explained how the miracle of the birth of a child is an exciting, yet a very trying experience. The same was true with this venture of faith called KVNG – Grace 91.1FM. The conception began as Calvary Chapel of Casa Grande sent in an application for a full powered FM radio station during an FCC filing window in 2007. The birthing process went through many labor pains and long stretches of no activity at all.
Part of the inactivity was due to the fact that the United States and Mexico had a communications treaty dealing specifically with FM broadcasts originating within 200km of the common border of the two countries. KVNG’s possible tower location required the Mexican equivalent to our FCC to approve the application before the United States would offer a valid Construction Permit (CP) for the station. In late 2008, the FCC sent KVNG’s application to Mexico for approval.
The normal gestation period for a human baby is 280 days or 40 weeks. For KVNG, two years went by and nothing was heard from Mexico in reference to the application. KVNG’s lawyer suggested they hire a Mexican lawyer to speed the process along. But, that would have cost additional money and it turns out, the delay was to be a blessing in disguise.
The time made available during the “Mexican stand-off” allowed Calvary the opportunity to search for a new tower location since the Tohono O’odham nation didn’t want the tower located in Chuichu (the original city of license). During the two-year search, several sites within the allowable geographical area were found, yet each location proved to be an expensive and technically difficult build-out. Even if the station built a 350-foot tower, the coverage would not have been worth the vast expense.
In 2010, after failing to hear from Mexico, the FCC issued Calvary a conditional Construction Permit (CP) and the clock began to tick. KVNG was still without a perspective tower location and according to the FCC rules, they only had 36 months to get the station built and on air.
During this difficult time Calvary Chapel continued in much prayer and contacted experts in the field to assist them in assessing the feasibility of continuing this venture. It became clearer than ever, this radio station would stretch the church beyond what it had ever thought possible and if the station needed to be profitable to operate, the process should be aborted now. Feelers were sent out, looking for possible buyers of the Construction Permit. There were many severe and worrisome labor pains taking place.
We will continue the third of four installments of The Birth of Grace in the next issue of the Golden Corridor LIVING magazine. You can listen to KVNG – Grace 91.1FM 24-hours a day throughout the Casa Grande valley. You can also listen via live-streaming on the internet at www.grace911.com. For further information, to make a donation or sponsor a portion of our programming, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (520) 426-7911.