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WGTS’ “Night of Hope” Attracts Nearly 800 Radio Listeners

Story by David Dickerson; Photos by Warren Balogh
Published 8/16/11

They usually listen to the family-friendly, kid-safe radio station in their cars, at home, on their computers and probably on their mobile devices. But on a recent Saturday night, 788 listeners of WGTS 91.9 FM attended the station’s third “Night of Hope” at the Sheraton Premiere Hotel in Vienna, Va. As part of the WGTS family, attendees enjoyed an evening of worship, prayer, song and, of course, hope. Almost every on air-personality and staff member of the Washington Adventist University-owned radio station in Takoma Park, Md., was on hand, including Becky Alignay, WGTS program director; Brennan Wimbish, morning show co-host; and Pastor Terry Johnsson, the station’s chaplain. Listeners were also introduced to Rob Vandeman, the station’s new president, who gave the opening prayer to set the tone for the evening.

“I’m looking forward to working with the staff to make sure Christ’s name is lifted high,” said Vandeman, who has been listening to the station for more than 27 years. In these “times in which we are living in, we need to get the message of Christ’s love to the masses in the most important area of the world, and we must dedicate our energies and our time to that task.”

Christian recording artist Heather Williams was the featured guest artist. She sang with the Gateway Fellowship Band for all of praise and worship but also gave her personal testimony about the loss of her first child and sang songs from her most recent CD. Chaplain Johnsson gave the inspirational message and 600 people came down for the appeal. The team collected 500 prayer cards, and the following on Wednesday, Chaplain Johnsson and the WGTS prayer team prayed over those names.

Dave Weigley, president of the Columbia Union Conference, gave the closing prayer. But the night was not over with “Amen.” Weigley also met with those who were in need of prayer, advice and further instruction.

Apart from the artist signing autographs, there were various prayer stations for those seeking a deeper connection with God, give-a-ways and more. Listeners also brought participated in the “Backpacks of Hope” program by bringing 100 filled backpacks for families who cannot afford school supplies this fall. One anonymous donor gave $5,000 to support this cause.

WGTS 91.9 staff say they love to connect with the listeners at these events and have them further connect with God. Look for the next “Night of Hope” sometime this November.