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Praising God and Raising Funds at WGTS Sharathon
By Kermit Netteburg, Senior Pastor, Beltsville (Md.) Church
Radio station WGTS raised $1.6 million during its annual four-day fundraising event called Sharathon, but vice president and general manager John Konrad says the “Prayer and Praise” morning that kicked off this year’s program was every bit as exciting as the money—and maybe even more important to the ministry.
"People called in to share their hopes and fears," Konrad said. "It showed that they view us as an important resource in their spiritual life, and that reminds us that our mission is to share Jesus, not just raise money."
Phones rang constantly during the day, with more than 500 calls for prayer in just six hours and over 5,500 people calling during the three-and-a-half day fundraising event. In addition to sharing their feelings and funds, they asked volunteers to pray for their loved ones, sought help in knowing Jesus better, and asked for references for church locations. One caller said her Christian experience was just barely beginning. She expressed gratitude when Sligo church pastor Terry Johnsson promised he would help her find a church where she could grow.
Another listener said, "Your station, through the Voice of Prophecy [program] and
music, finally led me back to Christ. I realize that God never left me during those hard times, but He was there beside me, enduring with me, saving my mind and soul from the pain, and wearing the coat of shame and guilt I felt. I never realized this until I started listening, so thank you for saving my life.
WGTS is one of the most listened to stations in the Washington area, with an estimated 250,000 people tuning in each week. Konrad and his staff hope to extend its ministry to another 100,000 people because of the funds raised. He’s also started a chaplaincy ministry headed by Pastor Johnsson which brings together local Adventist ministers who help meet listeners' spiritual needs through prayer, listening, and one-on-one conversations. To learn more or listen live, visit www.wgts.org.
Additional Comments From Listeners
“I am a full‑time graduate student and is usually up through the nights and days and always have WGTS to listen to. It can be thought provoking, encouraging, or just simply hilarious. It continues to be my friend and source of encouragement. Thank you!”
“We are a military family stationed in DC! We were so thankful to find your station. Our children ages 11, 8, and 5 listen all the time. It is wonderful that the music you play reinforces what we are teaching [them], and for that we are thankful! You are truly a blessing!”