CAMDEN—A wooden desk in a church office building is the newest site for Spanish-language Catholic radio in South Carolina.
The desk holds a laptop computer, a small mixing board, and a few microphones. This is all volunteers need to spread the Gospel to the Spanish-speaking community around the state.
This small studio at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church has been operating and streaming over the internet for about five weeks.
It is the third and newest broadcast location for Revive.fm, a Spanish-language Catholic radio station run by the Diocese of Charleston’s Office of Hispanic Ministry.
The station itself started broadcasting over the internet on Aug. 3, 2014, after receiving a blessing from Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone.
Before then, the diocese had originally tried reaching out to the state’s growing Hispanic community on secular AM and FM radio stations, said Gustavo Valdez, director of Hispanic ministry.
“That wasn’t a good fit because often our programming was scheduled in between other programs that really didn’t fit with the Catholic message,” Valdez said. “We considered trying our own conventional station but the equipment would have been very expensive. We decided on using the internet because that is a growing radio platform for the future.”
The main broadcast studio is in Columbia at the diocesan Office of Hispanic Ministry on Bush River Road. Another is located in a volunteer’s home in Beaufort.
Revive.fm is staffed completely by volunteers and offers programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week. About 70 percent of the content is generated in South Carolina, and the rest comes from a Spanish-language Catholic station out of California.
Listeners can access the station directly from its website or through an app.
Content for the station is generated by priests, women religious and lay people around the state. Father Gustavo Corredor, parochial vicar at Our Lady of the Hills Church in Columbia, works with many of the volunteers to help them develop content. The schedule includes programs targeted to youth and young adults, live broadcasts of Mass and other events, prayer sessions and catechesis.
The station accepts no advertising and is funded fully through donations.
People interested in working with Revive attend workshops on Catholic teachings, communications, and basic internet radio techniques.
Live programming from Camden currently is only on Thursday nights, beginning with a group of volunteers who pray the rosary at 6 p.m. This is followed by prayer, music, and a catechesis-and-discussion program from 7-8 p.m.
José Luis Orellana, Hispanic ministry coordinator and youth minister at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, coordinates the new Camden studio.
Orellana said he worked at a radio station in El Salvador and was excited to begin the ministry here. He currently has about 10 people working on programs and hopes to recruit more.
“At our first meeting here, we talked about how St. Paul had to go far, had to go into the streets and work hard to share the Gospel message with people,” Orellana said. “After realizing that, I figured there is no excuse not to share the Gospel through something like radio when we have this equipment and this opportunity right here.”
Lizete Rea of Columbia has been driving over to the Camden church on Thursday nights to participate in the program. Recently, she and four others discussed Church teaching on evolution and how the world was created.
“I decided to try this because I thought radio would be an exciting way to share what I already know about my faith and learn more about it at the same time,” Rea said.
To tune in and learn more, visit revive.fm. The station also has an active social media presence on Facebook, where listeners can leave comments and prayer requests, and discover upcoming programming.