History

From its first broadcast more than 40 years ago, AWR has been carrying the voice of hope to the unreached people groups of the world in their own languages. Join us in a look back at how this unique ministry has flourished, adopting new technologies and reaching ever-growing numbers of listeners with the message of God’s love.


October 1971

The Seventh-day Adventist Church begins leasing shortwave airtime in Portugal, and Adventist World Radio comes into existence. Programs are broadcast to Europe and the USSR in 10 languages for 12 hours/week.


January 1975

AWR is broadcasting in 20 languages.


March 1976

Programs broadcast in 10 languages in Southern Asia from Sri Lanka become part of AWR, known as AWR Asia.


1979

Spanish broadcasts begin from Guatemala using a 10 kW shortwave transmitter to Central and South America.


1983

The first broadcasts for AWR Africa begin in English and French for one hour a day, with time leased from Africa One, Gabon.


1985

AWR builds a 2.5 kW shortwave station in Forli, Italy, and begins broadcasts to Europe and North Africa in Arabic and French. The station continues to operate until 2001.


1985

AWR Latin America’s headquarters opens in Alajuela, Costa Rica, with regular broadcasts to Central and South America. The region was later renamed AWR Americas.


1985

AWR receives an offering from the Seventh-day Adventist Church's world session to launch a major initiative for broadcasts that will reach China. Construction begins on a shortwave station on the island of Guam, in the Pacific Ocean.


1987

On Guam, two 100 kW transmitters, curtain antennas, and >300-foot towers begin broadcasting in 11 languages across Asia. The station was rededicated in 2005 after a multi-phase modernization project, upgrading its service to 3.5 billion potential listeners in Asia.


1992

Transmission in nine languages begins for 22 hours/day to Asia from Novosibirsk, Russia. These programs were the first Christian broadcasts to originate from within Russia after the fall of communism.


1994

Broadcasts in Arabic, Dyula, Kiswahili, English and French for Africa are begun from leased transmitters in Slovakia and Germany.


1995

AWR begins sponsoring broadcasts in the Ukraine and Russia on national networks over more than 900 stations.


1996

By its 25th anniversary, AWR is broadcasting in 45 languages, surpassing both the Voice of America and the British Broadcasting Corporation.


1996

Broadcasts to Iran and Iraq begin from Yerevan, Armenia, on a medium-wave transmitter for 10.5 hours/week. Other programs are broadcast to the Balkans and West Africa from a station in Germany.


1998

Broadcasts begin from leased stations in Meyerton, South Africa, and Madagascar, with daily programs in Kiswahili, Somali, Malagasy, English, and French.


1998

AWR launches the “Voice of Hope” Spanish Satellite Radio Network in the Americas region to expand its mission in the Americas by providing a program service to local radio stations, from Chile to Puerto Rico.


2001

After AWR’s plans for building a shortwave station in Argenta, Italy, are overturned, is able to lease airtime on a powerful station in the United Arab Emirates and begins broadcasting 18 hours/day to the Middle East, Central Asia, and East Africa.


2004

AWR redefines its target area priorities and closes its AWR Americas region office. Radio ministry continues through the South American Division’s media center in Brazil, which did not exist when AWR first began its work in the area.


2005

AWR’s English Language Service, which had been offering programs for English-speaking listeners worldwide for 11 years, is shifted from a central studio in England to a regional model, with English programs produced locally in Africa and Asia.


2007

AWR launches a pilot project to distribute MegaVoice Ambassadors, solar audio players that hold up to 160 hours of recordings. The first devices are delivered to Bible workers in South Sudan; more Ambassadors are supplied to other countries in subsequent years.


2008 - 2009

With new programs in Thai, Lao, and Hmong, AWR achieves complete coverage of southeast Asia.


2009

The Voice of Hope Media Center in Russia receives two prestigious awards from the country’s parliament, for “Socially Aware Enterprise” and “Best Company of the Year.”


2009

In Somalia, a listener survey by the Somali Times news agency shows that AWR has the second-largest radio audience in the country, with 75 percent of the population listening to AWR’s programs.


2010

AWR moves to a new generation of broadcasting by launching a comprehensive podcasting service. All AWR programs, in all of its languages, are available online to listeners worldwide.


2011

AWR begins partnering with Spain on several Mediterranean-based FM stations to reach North Africa, with programs in Arabic, Berber Tachelhit, Kabyle, and more.


2011

Reaching nearly 100 broadcast languages, AWR celebrates its 40th anniversary.


2012

The first Seventh-day Adventist FM programs in India are broadcast in Hyderabad, in the Telugu language. More languages and big cities are soon added, reaching tens of millions of listeners.


2013

A major upgrade of AWR’s shortwave station on Guam is completed, with a new 229-foot tower and high-frequency antenna. Signals can reach deeper into Asia and cover multiple countries simultaneously.