Christian radio station expanding to Valley area

Published 10:20 am Friday, March 8, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Tune in, Valley listeners, because the Good News Network Radio is now being broadcast on WMJB (95.3 FM radio). 

Forty-five years ago, Clarence Barinowski was a traveling salesman for a family-owned animal feed business. On lonely roads through rural Georgia, he lost signal with the one AM Christian radio station in the area after 20 miles of road.

That’s when he decided to start his own Christian radio station that could be broadcast further to wayward travelers. 

Email newsletter signup

The Good News Network is a nonprofit organization based in Augusta, Georgia, which was founded 40 years ago. GNN Radio broadcasts 26 radio stations across Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina as well as a few in Alabama and Virginia. 

In 1982, Barinowski incorporated the Augusta Radio Fellowship Institute and filed for a frequency. Two years later, his permit was granted. A small Sunday School room inside of a church was transformed into the WLPE radio station. 

“It’s just been such a great blessing, particularly for a guy who majored in Agriculture in college and hardly knew what electronics were involved with,” Barinowski said. “But we feel like that the Lord had a lot to do with it. Otherwise, it wouldn’t ever have happened.”

Though there was a learning curve, Barinowski’s dream had been realized as the first FM Christian radio in the area. He hadn’t left his job with ConAgra Feed Company, and he needed all the help he could get. 

However, as support for the radio broadcast grew, GNN continued to expand its horizons. They now broadcast to 26 stations in Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama via satellite. The signal is sent from the main studio in Augusta to all the other stations remotely. 

“The letters that we get from people who just enjoy the programming is such an encouragement to us that we can hardly stop growing,” Barinowski said. 

When they had the opportunity to purchase WBLR in Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina, GNN took the opportunity to branch out into Spanish-speaking programs. Radio Amistad, the Spanish-speaking affiliate of GNN, has since added more stations in Soperton and Sparta, Georgia, in Lake Oconee, Georgia, and in Batesburg and North Augusta, South Carolina.  

From the very beginning, Barinowski said the goal of GNN Radio was to provide Christian-based listening entertainment and “spread God’s message.”

“It’s been over 40 years since that first station, and we are just so grateful for what’s happened,” Barinowski said. “God’s word is being preached to over all of these stations, some during the middle of the night.”

Barinowski said the radio station receives letters and calls of gratitude from senior citizens in care facilities, prisoners and other people who aren’t able to get to church each Sunday. The original target audience, people driving long distances, still tune in to listen as well. 

“We are thankful that a traveling salesman’s dream to have a local radio station has been fulfilled above and beyond, as God has blessed and multiplied this network which is now able to reach the world through the internet,” reads a GNN Radio article.