When I came back to the Chattanooga area from Dallas in the late 1970’s, it was something of a culture shock, even though I had lived here before. (I recently met a young lady who was raised in the Dominican Republic and on Manhattan and came here, I can’t imagine the culture shock for her!) One thing in particular that was missing was a contemporary Christian radio station; I was spoiled by KPBC in Dallas, even though its playlist wasn’t the “edgiest.”
Fixing that problem and making it stick is the story of Finding God’s Frequency by Bob Lubell. Lubell’s own testimony is amazing enough: a product of a Jewish/Norwegian family in Columbus, OH, he got himself into the drug scene (few didn’t in the early 1970’s). Always with a knack for business, he quickly passed into dealing, and that lead to his arrest. Facing hard, extended time, he ended up in Christian halfway house, where he ended up accepting Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour.
All the while he was influenced by the rock music around him, first unsaved and then saved. He ended up playing drums for the World Ministry Singers (yes, Ancient Star-Song fans, their album is reviewed in Ken Scott’s Archivist, although it hasn’t been posted.) The impact of seeing that influence in his life and of those around him never left Lubell.
He ended up in this area with his wife Debbie, but the vision of what used to be called “Jesus music” could do in the lives of people never left him. That vision was a call from God to start a radio station in this area. Most of Finding God’s Frequency is the story of how that call turned to reality.
It wasn’t a straightforward business either. First he connected with business partners that proved to be less than satisfactory. Then, turning to a more non-profit model, he ran into studied disinterest. But Lubell pursued the vision. One of the “breakthrough” moments was meeting the book’s co-author, Dean Arnold. Arnold is a pioneer in his own right, having started the first electronically delivered news source in the area. Other than being a great Christian, his other asset from Lubell’s standpoint–and one that Lubell didn’t appreciate up front–is what we would call in politics a “killer Rolodex,” which advanced his fund raising. All of this and more came to fruition on 5 March 1995, when “J103” went on the air.
Today J103 is an important part of the Christian community in this area, with its “J-Fest” and other events outside of the station itself. But Finding God’s Frequency isn’t just about getting the broadcast licence and having a successful radio station; it’s a fast and compelling read about one person’s finding God’s frequency for his own life in coming to Christ, finding the ministry that God had for him and making a difference in the lives of others.