While attending a Christian conference in 1988, Harold Kent, a businessman in Tampa, FL, heard that the major international radio ministries (TWR, HCJB, FEBC, ELWA, etc.) were cooperating in order to cover the world with short-wave radio in 140 languages. He thought, “I wonder how they know if anyone is listening?” Instantly, he sensed the Lord clearly impressing him to “make fix-tuned radios and distribute them to people around the world who have no way of hearing the Gospel.”
Around the same time, two other committed Christians received similar leadings: Ken Crowell, an engineering missionary in Israel, and Allan McGuirl, then Canadian Director of Gospel Recordings in Ontario, Canada. As documented in He Who Has Ears To Hear-The Galcom Story, the Lord sovereignly connected these three pioneering heroes and wove them together into a strong, three-fold cord.
In the process of pursuing their inspired vision, Galcom International was born on August 15, 1989. Today, Galcom exists to give help and tools to missionaries who have answered the call of Christ to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). More specifically, Galcom provides solar powered radios and audio players to missionaries who are then able to multiply their impact and reach more people and a larger area with the Gospel every day. Galcom is also actively involved in providing radio studio and broadcasting equipment at the best possible prices to Christian radio stations around the world.
Here’s a selected short-list of key milestones that Galcom has achieved over the last 25 years:
- At Galtronics in Tiberias, Israel, the first 40,000 radios were made, locked on to the signal of Voice Of Hope radio, and distributed near the Israel-Lebanese border. Voice Of Hope Founder George Otis joined the Galcom International USA team as a key board member.
- Galcom International USA was initially led by volunteers Paul and Jeanette Maass. In 1991, Col. Gary Nelson, USAF (Ret.), a decorated former combat pilot, joined Galcom International USA as President. He and his wife, Mary, ran the day-to-day operations for 17 years.
- In 1995, radio production shifted to Hamilton, Ontario. The radios, known as “GO-YE radios,” were given solar-powering and improved several times to enhance durability. More than 900,000 have been sent to Africa, Asia, and Latin America, as well as to prisons in the United States. A high percentage are still in service.
- The Galcom Canada team has installed or participated in upgrading more than 115 Christian radio stations worldwide.
- In 1989, Ken Crowell and Australian Tom Treseder founded MegaVoice in Israel to produce and distribute audio Bibles in vernacular languages to get God’s Word to oral learners around the world. These units were later given solar-recharging capability as well.
- In 2005, Galcom agreed to send 100,000 GO-YE radios to help Russell Stendal bring Christ’s healing reconciliation to war-torn Colombia by radio – a goal that was fulfilled by 2012. Many of these radios have been airdropped in dangerous guerrilla-controlled and/or contested areas.
- A new generation of leadership at Galcom and MegaVoice was chosen in 2008-2009: Tim and Melody Whitehead at Galcom Canada; Tom and Stacy Blackstone at Galcom USA; and Charles and Judy Cibene at MegaVoice.
- In 2011, the Galcom team sensed the Lord leading them to cooperate more fully with MegaVoice to reach the world’s oral-learners with durable solar audio technology. A summit meeting in Israel followed, and the jointly designed and produced Galcom ImpaX/MegaVoice Diplomat combination audio Bible plus fix-tuned radio resulted.
- Founders Ken Crowell and Harold Kent finished their earthly lives in 2012 and 2014, respectively, and now reside in Heaven. Happily, Jo Ann Kent and Margie Crowell are still with Galcom, as are surviving Founder Allan McGuirl and his wife, Florrie.
- Galcom and MegaVoice each passed the one millionth device-produced milestone this year. MegaVoice has made more than one million audio Bibles and Galcom more than one million fix-tuned Gospel radios. Both milestones were reached this year. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, [and in this case, from the Galilee] and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)