Award Honors KICY as ‘Industry Pioneer’

MANASSAS, VA (March 21, 2011) – The National Religious Broadcasters Association (NRB) presented its Milestone Award to KICY-AM radio during the international organization’s Convention & Exposition earlier this month. The Evangelical Covenant Church of Alaska operates station.

“I was certainly surprised when notified that KICY-AM had been chosen to receive an NRB Milestone Award,” said Dennis Weidler, station manager. “It is a real honor to be recognized for 50 years of Christian broadcasting.”

The award honors industry pioneers. In his remarks during a special banquet March 1, NRB President and CEO Frank Wright said, “Just a year after Alaska become admitted into the union, forward-thinking pastors founded KICY in the regional hub of Nome. More than five decades later, KICY’s signal still reaches Alaska and the Russian Far East with the life-giving words of the gospel.”

He recounted that on Easter Sunday 1960, KICY AM-850 signed on with the words, ‘Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.’ This fulfilled the dream of connecting the many villages of arctic, Western Alaska, with a radio station signal.

Today, KICY is a commercial, clear-channel 50,000-watt facility with the only international license ever granted by the Federal Communications Commission, which provides KICY and the Covenant Church a powerful tool to share the gospel in Russia.

Weidler said the evening was even more meaningful to him because radio station WDAC in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, also received a Milestone Award. “I grew up practically living under their tower, which is located just north of The Buck, Pennsylvania, where I spent my elementary and high school years. My family listened to WDAC for hours each day at home and in our dairy barn.”

The NRB Association is a non-partisan international association of Christian communicators, representing millions of listeners, viewers, and readers.

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  1. My sister-in-law, Erma (Johnson) Bergstrom assisted musically and janitorially at the station while she was a nurse at Nome’s Methodist Hospital MANY years ago! I was Ralph Hanson’s secretary at the World Missions Office (1948-53) and also acquainted with Ralph and Gert Fondell, so was in touch with KICY. Our near neighbor now, Ernie Hansen, was an early director at KICY.
    It is so significant that the early Alaska missionary, Karlson, felt called to Russia — and now KICY is reaching far into Russia!

  2. Congratulations and may the Lord continue to bless the ministry of KICY!
    It’s so interesting to me having known Ralph Hanson and Art Zylstra.
    Ralph and Gert Fondell, also pioneers of KICY, are my son’s wife’s parents.
    I shall not forget our visit to Nome several years ago.

  3. My dad , Ralph P. Hanson, would be thrilled to know about this as he was one of the founders of KICY as he was Secretary of World Missions at at the time it was envisioned and begun. It is interesting that Margaret Zylstra Davidson has just died at about the same time. Her first husband, Art, was also extremely instrumental in getting this station off the ground in the early years. There are a number of stories of how by only the providence of God that KICY is still on the air. It is truly a miracle. It happened because it is what God wanted. Congratulations.

    Paul Hanson,
    Sequim, Washington

  4. KICY…Dennis (Ralph) et al.
    Congratulations on receiving the well-deserved award for faithful and pioneering ministry,

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