April 3, 2014

The Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church newsletter is named the Transmitter in recognition of fact that our congregation, once named Tenth Avenue Baptist Church, was one of the first religious organizations to utilize modern communication technology (radio) to disseminate its message. In fact, we once owned our own radio station, a one thousand watt station with the call letters KTAB.

Here are a few excerpts from the unpublished Autobiography of George W. Phillips, pastor of Tenth Avenue Baptist from 1918-1940, highlighting our history as a broadcasting entity:

In the early twenties I foresaw the tremendous significance of the radio in the work of Christian ministry. In 1922 I even ventured a sermon on that subject, the text being lifted out of Paul’s experience on the Damascus road – – “Hearing a voice but seeing no man.” It was that year that I bought my first receiver set. It was made, I think, by General Electric. It was indeed a marvelous device and quite impartial in its output. All the stations within range came throating together through its horn!

By 1923 the radio had established itself. A great new station, KGO, was about that time being built by General Electric in Oakland. Before the night of its opening I ventured an interview with the management. I wondered, could any arrangement be made to broadcast the services of our church?

In 1925 the church, at the cost of $18,000, purchased a radio transmitter and, at cost of over $80,000, strengthened the church structurally, built studios and installed the transmitter tower. Dr. Phillips continued.

Diagonally across the church roof stretched the antenna supported by steel towers a hundred and fifty feet high, and planted in massive concrete foundations. At the root of the front tower rising by church’s main entrance a plaque bearing words from Heber’s great hymn – – “Waft, waft, ye winds his story, And you ye waters roll, Till like a sea of glory, It spreads from pole to pole.” So on August first 1925 went on the air our station bearing the Church’s initial letters KTAB (Tenth Avenue Baptist). That eventful day marked the beginning of a radio ministry which was uninterruptedly to continue for over twenty years – or “until life’s toilsome summer moved into the autumn’s solemn quiescence.”

In one form or another Lakeshore was on the radio until the mid 1980’s when the purchase of airtime became prohibitively expensive. Even then, it was a painful and difficult decision to discontinue broadcasting our services.

I share this history not to say that we are back on the radio but rather to share the good news that by Easter you will be able to access recordings of our Sunday sermons simply by going to the church website and activating a link or two.

The membership of our congregation comes from all over the Bay Area. There are also more than a few out of area and of state members and supporters. These good folks read the Transmitter and order CD’s of our services. People from around the country tell us that they wish they could access the ministry of Lakeshore.

Being able to record the sermon and rather easily transfer it to the website where it can be accessed from around the country and around the globe is to them really good news. The fact that, using new technology, LABC is again transmitting is a significant accomplishment.

To listen to our Sunday sermons, navigate your web browser to the Lakeshore church website www.labcoakland.org and click on the link under the heading “Audio Sermons.” The media player on your computer should automatically open and begin to play the recorded sermon.

Thanks to Larry Sims,Darnell Sims, Chris Sims and Chuck Johnston who worked with our Webmaster, Tristan Tamplin, and Rob Davis from ProAudio to make this a reality. I trust that you will be blessed by listening in.

Peace,

Jim H.