Twenty years later, drivers cruising down the highway between Altus and Wichita, Kan., can tune into any of the Christian radio network’s 15 stations, he said. It can be heard online as well, at thehousefm.com.
Even Brewer can’t believe it; he’s still in awe that his ambitious dream became a reality.
The House FM is not your typical religious radio station: Listeners won’t hear sermons and hymn; instead, the station’s message is spread through the music’s lyrics, Brewer said.
“A lot of times, people don’t have time to listen to a 30-minute sermon in the car, but they can listen to the lyric of a song and be encouraged to make it through the day,” he said.
Songs played include such Christian music stars as Newsboys, TobyMac and Skillet.
When CEO Brewer and his partner, Tony Weir, went on the air for the first time, it was a small station broadcasting to Ponca City.
Little did the twosome know that two decades later, it would balloon to include two sister networks and 15 different stations spanning more than 300 miles, Brewer said. Little did they know that it would have Internet listenership in multiple countries, worldwide. Little did they know that it would be the first Christian radio station in the country with a mobile app. Little did they know…
The station has grown and grown and grown, Brewer said. He said he has the best job in the world.
“We literally get thank yous every day from our listeners about what we are doing,” he said. “How many other people get that?”
The nonprofit network could not exist without support, and Brewer said he attributes the station’s survival to their loyal listeners. During the 2012 annual pledge drive, listeners donated from not just 48 states, but 22 countries, Brewer said.
“We just hear from so many people: missionaries, soldiers in Afghanistan. It is just incredible,” he said.
Weir, program director, said that the music’s influence keeps the listeners loyal.
“It doesn’t just sound good; it has an impactful message,” Weir said, adding that listeners often tell him, “You played the right song at the right time.”
Brewer said that since 2008, The House FM has broadcast to the Oklahoma City metro via KZTH-FM 88.5 — a huge accomplishment for the network.
Despite many blessings, he said The House FM also has had its fair share of down times. In 2010, an EF5 tornado swept through Calumet and completely destroyed a 500-foot tower that kept the station off the air in the OKC metro for four months. However, one demolished tower could not demolish the staff’s commitment.
“We came back better than what we were before,” Brewer said.
For its next 20 years, The House FM hopes to reach even more people by staying true to its mission of “encouraging Christians,” he said.
“A lot of people are only in church a couple of hours a week, and people need more encouragement than that,” Brewer said. “They need something that can be there 24 hours a day for them, and that’s where we are.” —Rachael Cervenka
Above photo: The House FM’s Linda Hardin, Janelle Keith, Doyle Brewer, Tony Weir and Sammy Carrillo, circa 1997