On the radio

News | March 2, 2018

Editor’s note: Catch the weekly St. Paul broadcast at 8:30 a.m. every Sunday at WOC1420 or online at iheartmedia.com. St. Paul’s radio ministry is funded through special gifts and money designated for the Memorial Gifts Fund.

Every Sunday morning, with the push of a button on the soundboard at the back of the Sanctuary, the process for producing St. Paul’s weekly radio broadcast begins.

An entire worship service is recorded each week. Then, one of a rotating team of three of volunteers takes that file and works a little editing magic from their homes. Jerry Nelson, Don Schmidt, and Gerek Fritz edit out portions of the worship that don’t translate well to radio, such as the children’s message. Prayers that mention the specific names of people who are hospitalized are taken out too. An important number to remember: 29. The radio show is 29 minutes each week. And the show’s been going on about 29 years, give or take, as far as those involved can remember.

“It’s been a long time,” said Jerry Nelson, who’s been with the ministry for most all of those years. “When I first started, we used cassette tapes. We had to do all of the abridging of the service from one tape onto another.”

Jerry just returned from a few years away from the team. He decided to come back after his beloved wife, Renee, died. “I’m back on the radio again,” he said. “It’s an important part of getting the gospel out.”

For many years, the editing took place in a unique little space accessible by a spiral staircase near the altar in the original Sanctuary. People like Jerry, Jack Korn, Denny Moeller, and Byron Zesiger circled up that staircase and spent a couple of hours editing the tapes. With the 2007 addition of the new Sanctuary and renovation of the original Sanctuary, the production went digital. The radio recording space is now mostly empty, accessible by the same spiral staircase in what is now the church’s print room.

Today Jerry, Don, and Gerek (all the way from the great state of Texas), edit and send the program digitally to WOC. While it does take time, it’s nowhere near the amount of time needed in cassette tape days.

At WOC, Dan Kennedy is the staff member who loads up the show each week. The file very rarely requires any editing, and the process takes mere minutes to complete. The St. Paul broadcast is part of a morning stretch of faith-related programming.

The WOC studio is in a building on East Kimberly Road in Davenport, where several radio stations broadcast. A series of studios inside the building is affectionately referred to as “radio row.” The stations – as diverse of listening styles from country western to talk radio to the latest pop music – are all owned by iHeart Media.

On a recent tour, radio staff members showed how the equipment of today (all digital) emerged from the equipment of yesterday (including a cabinet of commercials on reels). Don has been part of the radio team for about a decade.

“I felt I just had just enough tech savvy to do it,” he said with a smile in his voice. “I feel that it’s something that is very much appreciated by people who can’t make it to church.”

Indeed, listeners report many different reasons for tuning in. They include people who can’t get to church for health or mobility reasons, people who are away on travel, or people who are simply out and about on Sunday morning.


Radio station WOC can trace its history as far back as 1907 when the system for generating and receiving long-range radio signals captured the fancy of thousands who wanted to learn and experiment with this new technology. Included with this group of radio amateurs, or hams, was Robert Karlowa of Rock Island, Illinois. Karlowa operated the radio department of the Young and McCombs Department Store and had been experimenting with Morse code radio transmissions.

With the development of the vacuum tube, Karlowa was able to graduate from code to voice broadcasting, and he received the call sign 9-BY for his radiophone station in June 1919. He began to air news, sports scores, and phonograph music on a regular nightly schedule. A new commercial licence was issued to Karlowa on Feb. 18, 1922, with the call letters WOC.

Throughout this same period, Dr. B.J. Palmer, owner and president of Palmer School of Chiropractic, and his son David were developing their own interest in this new technology. In March 1922, Karlowa realized that he could no longer afford to operate his station. B.J. Palmer purchased the station that month, and the Palmer School of Chiropractic became the licensee of WOC.

WOC’s most famous employee was hired in 1932. Fresh out of college, the Dixon, Illinois, native Ronald “Dutch” Reagan was hired as a sports and general staff announcer. Reagan made Davenport his home until April 1933.

WOC 1420 is now owned by iHeart Media. The FM station that began in October 1948 is now WLLRFM, which broadcasts country western music. It also is owned by iHeart Media and broadcasts out of the same building on Kimberly Road in Davenport. WOCTV, which first broadcast in October 1949, is now KWQC-TV6, and is owned by Gray Television.

Excerpts from Images of America: Davenport’s WOC AM-FM-TV by David T. Coopman. A copy of the book is available in the St. Paul Library.

Leave a Comment

Daniel 12:1-3

The Time of the End

1“Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.2“Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.3“Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

Psalm 16

1Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You.

2I said to the LORD, “You are my Lord;

I have no good besides You.”

3As for the saints who are in the earth,

They are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight.

4The sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied;

I shall not pour out their drink offerings of blood,

Nor will I take their names upon my lips.

5The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and my cup;

You support my lot.

6The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;

Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.

7I will bless the LORD who has counseled me;

Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.

8I have set the LORD continually before me;

Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

9Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices;

My flesh also will dwell securely.

10For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol;

Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.

11You will make known to me the path of life;

In Your presence is fullness of joy;

In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Hebrews 10:11-25

11Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins;12but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD,13waiting from that time onward UNTIL HISENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET.14For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.15And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying,





He then says,



18Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.

A New and Living Way

19Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,20by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh,21and since we have a great priest over the house of God,22let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.23Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;24and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,25not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

Christ or Judgment

Mark 13:1-8

Things to Come

1As He was going out of the temple, one of His disciples *said to Him, “Teacher, behold what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!”2And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left upon another which will not be torn down.”

3As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew were questioning Him privately,4“Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?”5And Jesus began to say to them, “See to it that no one misleads you.6“Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He!’ and will mislead many.7“When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened; those things must take place; but that is not yet the end.8“For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines. These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.

Daniel 7:9-14

9“I kept looking

Until thrones were set up,

And the Ancient of Days took His seat;

His vesture was like white snow

And the hair of His head like pure wool.

His throne was ablaze with flames,

Its wheels were a burning fire.

10“A river of fire was flowing

And coming out from before Him;

Thousands upon thousands were attending Him,

And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him;

The court sat,

And the books were opened.

11“Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire.12“As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time.

The Son of Man Presented

13“I kept looking in the night visions,

And behold, with the clouds of heaven

One like a Son of Man was coming,

And He came up to the Ancient of Days

And was presented before Him.

14“And to Him was given dominion,

Glory and a kingdom,

That all the peoples, nations and men of every language

Might serve Him.

His dominion is an everlasting dominion

Which will not pass away;

And His kingdom is one

Which will not be destroyed.

The Vision Interpreted

Psalm 93

1The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty;

The LORD has clothed and girded Himself with strength;

Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved.

2Your throne is established from of old;

You are from everlasting.

3The floods have lifted up, O LORD,

The floods have lifted up their voice,

The floods lift up their pounding waves.

4More than the sounds of many waters,

Than the mighty breakers of the sea,

The LORD on high is mighty.

5Your testimonies are fully confirmed;

Holiness befits Your house,

O LORD, forevermore.

Revelation 1:-4-8

John 18:33-37

33Therefore Pilate entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned Jesus and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”34Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?”35Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You to me; what have You done?”36Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”37Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”