Fort Wayne Gospel radio station aims to use music to bring hope to struggling families
FORT WAYNE, Indiana (Fort Wayne’s NBC) – A Fort Wayne Gospel radio station will launch its new platform that will broadcast Gospel music to Allen County and neighboring towns, hoping to bring hope for families in difficulty.
According to GospelChops, which was founded in 2004 by veteran video director Gerald Forrest, gospel music is a genre of Christian music that generally has a dominant voice (often with a strong use of harmony) with Christian or Biblical lyrics. However, traditional gospel music is written to express a personal or community belief regarding African American Christian life.
Fort Wayne’s Rhythm and Praise 90.3 HD2 radio station has been around since 2018 and will soon launch its new station, Rhythm and Praise 94.1, on Thursday, September 9. Fort Wayne’s Rhythm and Praise is a sister station to WBCL, and both are subsidiaries of Taylor University Broadcasting Incorporated.
Station executives said it would be the first Gospel radio station to cover all of Allen County and neighboring towns. The station’s mission is to “communicate the love and redemptive truth of God through engaging media that inform, entertain, challenge, inspire and encourage.” The new gospel radio station was created to serve the 40,000 people within the African American community of Fort Wayne, the leaders shared.
Monique “Mo” Moss, the station’s program director, said gospel music originated in the 18th century and was known as African-American spirituals. She said the slaves would sing spirituals to keep their hope alive and find encouragement. According to GospelChop, groups of slaves sang together as they worked in the plantations, often choosing songs related to their faith. For some, it was more than a way to feel closer to God during trials. For others, common songs and harmonies create bonds between workers. Over the years these songs have evolved and the music is now known as Gospel music.
Although the name is different, the message of the music remains the same. To this day, many black churches still sing gospel music. Moss told NBC News of Fort Wayne that many families enjoy listening to music because it gives them encouragement and hope during hardship.
And that’s what Moss is trying to do with the new radio station for the people of Allen County.
“We need encouragement,” Moss said. “We need hope. We need to talk about these things. We need to talk about social issues. We need to talk about community events, the good things that are happening in our community.”
Moss shared that the station will not only feature local and national Gospel artists, but it will also address issues that are occurring within the community. She said the station will also highlight the positive events that are happening as well. A radio station representative of the community is important, added Moss.
Moss said it was important for the people of Allen County to have access to such resources no matter where they live. As of now, access to Gospel music on the radio is limited to certain areas of Fort Wayne.
To better understand the impact this will have on the community, NBC News from Fort Wayne spoke with Fort Wayne Gospel artist E. Lamont. Lamont said he agrees with Moss’s message and believes that gospel music can unite anyone, no matter where they are from.
“When you give the gospel to a community, it uplifts everyone,” said Lamont. “It makes everyone better because there is more hope. There is hope in our music. There is joy in our music. There is recognition of the fact, yes there is there is suffering, but through suffering we can do it. “
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