FEBA Radio Time Line
Five Decades of Evangelical Broadcasting
(L to R) FEBC founders: Bob Bowman & Jim Broger; FEBA: John Wheatley, Malcolm Fidge; Douglas Malton
1959 – 50 years ago a small British group of supporters of the Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC), an American missionary radio station, take up the challenge to broadcast to India from the Seychelles
• 1959 - Also saw the birth of the silicon chip. Without it, computers and the internet wouldn’t exist. This key development inextricably links our ministries today.
• 1961 - East Germany erects Berlin Wall.
• 1963 – The assassination of JFK; Civil Rights protests in USA; Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech
• 1964 – FEBA sends its first missionary family to India
• 1965 – An impoverished and blind Indian lady gives Feba India staff a five rupee note, saying: “Use this to help reach India.” The note is now framed in the UK office reception as a testament to God’s provision
• 1967 – South Africa: First heart transplant by Dr. Chris Barnard and his team on 2 Dec.
• 1968 – Phase one of the FEBA Seychelles station project. Studios and offices were built on a mountain-side and the transmitter was sited on the beach. Engineers erected aerials around a coral reef 4,000 ft offshore
• 1969 - Neil Armstrong walks on the moon
• 1970 - Regular broadcasts begin to India from the Seychelles – FEBA broadcasts 6 hours a day in nine different languages; Beatles break up
• 1971 – Phase two of the project sees a more extensive aerial system to provide coverage to the Indian Ocean islands, East Africa and the Middle East. Regular broadcasts begin to the Middle East
• 1973 – The USA pulls out of Vietnam
• 1974 – Off-shore antenna array in the Seychelles is completed and the first 100kW transmitter is installed. Feba also opens an office in Pakistan
• 1975 – FEBA is given a production studio in Beirut – just as civil war begins
• 1977 – The Seychelles government is deposed in a coup and replaced by a new one headed by the Prime Minister – France-Albert Rene. FEBA is asked to discontinue broadcasting for security reasons, but after 19 days permission is granted to resume normal operations
• 1984-86 – FEBA’s Beirut studio is twice destroyed by stray shells. Later two staff members are blindfolded and kidnapped briefly by militia while trying to leave the country
• 1986 – FEBA signs up to World by Radio – international Christian radio organisations
• 1989 - End of Cold War: Soviet shortwave broadcasting transmitters are available to FEBA
• 1992 - FEBA Mozambique begins. New studios open in Maputo, Mozambique
• 1993 – FEBA begins broadcasting reinvigorated Dari language programmes for Afghanistan
• 1996 – FEBA Radio South Africa is established by Russell and Gill Ashley-Smith.
• 1997 - Deaths of Princess Diana and Mother Teresa. Special programmes made outside Seychelles for same-day broadcast. Previously programmes were made in advance
• 1998 – FEBA supports Power FM – a dynamic new radio ministry for young people in Kampala, Uganda
• 2000 – Going digital in Delhi – testing and shipping of new equipment; Launch of Baraka FM – new Feba station in Mombasa, Kenya
• 2001 - Terrorist attacks on USA. Coincidentally, two days after 9/11, Feba launches Turkmen language programmes for Afghanistan region
• 2002 - First portable studio transported in a suitcase is used
• 2003 - Seychelles station is decommissioned and short wave broadcasts are transferred to other stations, many in the former Soviet Union
• 2004 – First ready-to-go Chrysolite suitcase studio produced
• 2008 – Chrysolite training workshops were held for Community FM and disaster response projects; Fidel Castro steps down as Cuban leader after 49 years, outlasting nine US presidents
• 2009 - FEBA’s half century!; FEBA Zimbabwe’s 25th anniversary; Dalai Lama in exile from Tibet for 50 years