May 2, 2015

Southern California's Hispanic Community Gets First Adventist Radio

, SCC, with Adventist Review staff

The first Spanish-language Adventist radio station has started broadcasting around the clock in southern California, fulfilling the dream of a busy pastor who worked six years to make the online station a reality.

Oscar Garcia, the station’s founder and a pastor in the Adventist Church’s Southern California Conference, praised God at the dedication of Radio Adventista Los Angeles before 1,800 church members at the White Memorial Adventist Church in Los Angeles.

“It is our prayer and vision that God will bless these efforts and that in the near future we can also establish a broadcast radio frequency for the glory of God and to continue spreading the gospel of salvation,” Garcia said.

The radio station currently can be heard through the website and the Adventist Radio Los Angeles app, which can be downloaded from iTunes (for IOS) and Play Store (for Android).

Radio Adventista Los Angeles is overseen by a 10-member steering committee and operated by two dozen volunteers who work as announcers, publishers, and developers.

“It is unique because a very busy pastor started it as his own dream, worked six years, and now it’s a reality involving at least a dozen volunteer announcers sharing aspects of the gospel,” said Betty Cooney, director of the Southern California Conference’s communication department who has worked closely with Garcia on the radio station.

People holding a ribbon for a ribbon-cutting ceremony during the dedication of the radio station at the White Memorial church in Los Angeles. From left: Elizabeth Fuentes, Maritza Padilla, Sergio Cortez, Rafael Jimenez, Lito Zepeda, pastor Luis Peña, pastor Oscar Garcia, Erika Lazo, pastor Saul Aispuro. and presenter Marcela Paniagua. (Adalberto Gomez / SCC)

Garcia said he saw the radio station fulfilling two goals: reaching the Southern California Hispanic community with the gospel and serving as the voice and the means of communication between the Hispanic Region and the 54 Spanish-speaking congregations here in southern California.

Gloria Huerta, a station presenter who focuses on nutrition and health, said she was thrilled at the opportunity to create a niche and record programming “not only for Adventist listeners but for anyone tuning in to learn about healthy lifestyles, about the mercy and love of God, and to reach out to anyone struggling with life’s issues."

Adalberto Gomez, a former radio station manager from El Salvador who spoke at the dedication service in mid-April, said the radio station might be starting out small, but God could use it to accomplish big things. He recalled that he started with next to nothing when he was appointed director of El Salvador’s first Adventist radio station three days before it opened in October 1998. The radio station went on the air with a lineup of eight cassettes and seven CDs to cover its four hours of daily broadcasts.

“It remained that way for several weeks, with very little equipment,” he said.

But the audience grew rapidly and soon the radio station was among the most popular in El Salvador, he said.

“A radio leader visited one day, wanting to know why we were among the most listened-to radio stations!” Gomez said. “He was very surprised to see our limited equipment.”

He added, citing Zechariah 4:6: “God said, 'Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.’ With your help, Radio Adventista Los Angeles will be a powerful instrument in the hands of God.”