Family Stations, Inc.
Family Radio
Company typeNon-profit
GenreReligious, Christian
FoundedFebruary 4, 1959; 65 years ago (1959-02-04)
HeadquartersFranklin, Tennessee (HQ)
Alameda, California (Network Ops)
ProductsRadio, television

Family Radio, also known by its licensee name Family Stations, Inc., is a non-profit, non-denominational, educational Christian radio network based in Franklin, Tennessee with network operations located in Alameda, California, United States. Established in 1958, Family Radio airs religious music and programming, both past and present, and is listener-supported.


One of Family Radio's oldest broadcasts was a telephone-talk program called Open Forum in which Harold Camping, the network's co-founder, president and general manager, responded to callers' questions and comments, as they relate to the Bible, and used the platform to promote his various end-time predictions. The program was finally cancelled not long after Camping's third failed "rapture-less" prediction and a stroke which he suffered in June 2011. Other programs that have aired on Family Radio over the years include the morning programs Rise and Rejoice and The Christian Home; Family Bible Reading Fellowship, a half-hour Bible reading program; Radio Reading Circle, featuring readings of Christian books; the overnight program Nightwatch; Echoes, which features recordings of sermons delivered by pastors from churches around the world); Music to Live By, an afternoon program; the nighttime program The Quiet Hours; Family Bible Study; and Beyond Intelligent Design.[1] Family Radio also has broadcast programs and features from outside ministries, including Answers in Genesis, hosted by Ken Ham, as well as teaching programs hosted by James Montgomery Boice, Donald Barnhouse, John F. MacArthur, R.C. Sproul, John Piper, and Alistair Begg. Some of these ministries were reluctant to allow their programs to air on Family Radio until Harold Camping's programs no longer aired.[2][3]


Family Radio relies solely on listener-supported funding and donations, and is unaffiliated with any religious denomination.[4] Outside programming broadcast over the Family Radio network was limited as Camping considered the organized church apostate, and therefore devoid of God's Spirit and under Satan's control.

The listenership of Family Radio understandably declined after the failed 1994 prediction,[5] but before long the organization was growing at a rate much higher than it had previously experienced.[6] In 1958, Camping sold his construction business and, with the funds, purchased KEAR-FM in San Francisco. He then grew his broadcast empire so that by 1994 Family Radio comprised forty radio stations nationwide.[7] Yet, from 1994 to 2009, it grew at an even faster rate than before; by the time of his second campaign, the organization boasted 216 AM and FM radio stations, along with two television channels.[6]

With a growing national profile, the financial viability of the non-profit also grew. Financial strength hit a peak in 2007 when Family Radio reported $135 million in assets.[5] As net assets declined from that point forward, listener contributions steadily increased. In 2008, total contributions were well over $15 million.[8] 2009 saw an annual budget of $36.7 million with $117 million in assets and $18.4 million in contributions.[6] IRS records also indicate that Family Radio employed 348 persons in 2009.[9] In 2010 assets were down to $110 million while contributions rose to $18.7 million while the station maintained 346 employees.[10] In 2011 contributions fell to $17.2 million and assets dropped to $87.6 million, while the organization also lost 26 employees.[11] By the end of 2011 the organizations assets had dropped to $29.2 million, and the next year was forced to take out a $30 million loan.[12] In 2007, the year before the start of the 2011 campaign, Family Radio had its greatest level of assets. Upon the outset of the second campaign, the organizations assets dropped while contributions simultaneously rose indicating an increased level of spending by the organization, far surpassing the increase in income.[6]


Originally founded by Richard H. Palmquist, with the assistance of Harold Camping[13] and Lloyd Lindquist as fellow members of the initial Board of Directors, Family Radio began obtaining FM broadcasting licenses on commercial frequencies in 1959,[13] and by 2006, was ranked 19th among top broadcast companies in number of radio stations owned.[14]

In 1958, the radio broadcaster Richard Palmquist met Harold Camping and persuaded him to provide the financial backing needed for them to co-found Family Radio, joined with other individuals of Christian Reformed, Bible Baptist, and Conservative Christian Presbyterian churches to purchase an FM radio station in San Francisco, California, KEAR, then at 97.3 MHz, to broadcast traditional Christian Gospel to the conservative Protestant community and minister to the general public. With the primary purpose of broadcasting doctrines of Christianity reflective of the teachings of the Holy Bible, Family Radio remained independent, never merging with any particular church organization or church denominations.[15] After months of preparations, Family Radio finally came on the air on Wednesday, February 4, 1959.[16]

Through the 1960s, as a ministry, both non-profit organization and non-commercial, Family Radio acquired six additional FM stations and seven other AM stations under guidelines established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).[17] The flagship station for the network of both full-power and low-power translator stations is KEAR in San Francisco (now at 610 kHz, since 2005 at 106.9 MHz). Due to FCC rules regarding translator stations, the legal primary station for the translators was changed to KEAR-FM in Sacramento, after the former primary FM station in San Francisco was sold to CBS Radio.[18]

With the sale of KEAR-FM to CBS Radio in 2005, broadcasts from San Francisco moved to an AM radio frequency.[19]

Many program productions broadcast throughout the Family Radio station network were produced in the Oakland, California facilities. The production process involved pre-recording two weeks of broadcast programming on reel-to-reel tapes distributed to each local Family Radio station for broadcast on the specified date. Free broadcast time was provided by Family Radio to national fundamentalist and evangelical ministries—outside ministries' programs were sent in cassette and reel-to-reel tape formats to respective Family Radio stations for local broadcast. Popular network announcers and the programs they hosted included Jon Arthur (The Quiet Hours, Big Jon & Sparky, Radio Reading Circle); Omar Andeel (The Morning Clock); Harold Hall (The Christian Home); Ken Boone (Music to Live By); Bob Swenson (Transition); and Jerry Edinger (Nightwatch). Each local Family Radio station had local board operators providing world, national, and local news and weather at various intervals throughout the day; regular public service announcements and daily public affairs programming; and local traffic reports via phone call-in during morning and afternoon weekdays. Outside ministry programs included the Focus on the Family daily broadcasts, Freedom Under Fire, Unshackled!, Back to the Bible, Family News in Focus, Beyond Intelligent Design, and "Walk with the King" with Dr. Robert A. Cook. The latter program, originally known as The King's Hour, still airs today, although now often edited in places deemed incompatible with Camping's odd end-times and "apostate church" doctrinal stands.

By the late 1980s, programming was delivered via satellite, local news was taken off the stations in favor of a various national news from a Christian news source, and all but a few local announcements are produced at their Oakland, California facilities.[20]

Beginning in the late 1990s, Family Radio began gradually dropping outside ministries because of doctrinal changes in the ministry. As board members left the ministry, they were not being replaced. Harold Camping's controversial teachings, as they were changing, became the focus of the entire ministry. Up until the late 1980s, Family Radio endorsed local church attendance but once Camping stated the church age was over, he went on to say that Christians should not be members or attend church services of any type. His actions led to mounting criticism from former supporters and led some Family Radio staff members to resign as well as some outside ministries and churches to leave the network. The loss of these programs from the Family Radio schedule gave Camping more airtime to express his teachings.

Most teaching programs were hosted by Camping himself up until June 2011; after Camping suffered a stroke, his programs were gradually phased out. These broadcasts continued to be aired on Family Radio in reruns until the network stopped airing them for good in late 2018.

Family Radio's text publications continue to be based on the text of the authorized King James Bible.[21][22] Prerecorded Bible readings broadcast over satellite, shortwave, radio frequencies and the internet are generally based on the Modern King James Bible.[23]

Failed 2011 end times prediction

Leading up to May 2011, Family Radio spent millions of dollars to advertise the now-discredited 2011 end times prediction.[24] According to the International Business Times in an article dated May 24, 2011, "Harold Camping has spent approximately $100 million to promote and advertise his May 21 Doomsday prediction."

Two days after the forecast "Rapture" failed to happen, A Bible Answer, a Bible teaching ministry who had been tired of the "Rapture" predictions, offered to buy 66 full-powered radio stations from Family Radio founder Harold Camping in an effort to get him to resign from preaching this doctrine. The offer came with a catch – they were not to take possession of the stations until October 22, the day after Camping's revised set-date for the end of the world. A Bible Answer's website called for Camping to resign from the Family Radio board, citing "the self-proclaimed expert on the Bible has brought reproach upon Christ, the Bible, and the church," and added "After taking the money of his supporters, let Harold give up all he has, to show he believes what he is preaching. He does not or else he would sell. It is time to get new leadership at Family Radio."[25][26]

On August 3, 2011, the radio industry website reported that Family Radio was putting two of its full-powered FM stations up for sale. These stations were: WKDN in Camden, New Jersey (covering Philadelphia), and WFSI in Annapolis, Maryland (covering Baltimore and Washington, D.C.). The article indicated that the ministry may have sold the stations to pay off "operating deficits accumulated over the last several years".[27] WFSI would be purchased in November 2011 by CBS Radio, which converted the station to a Spanish language dance music format under the WLZL call sign. Merlin Media, LLC struck a deal in December 2011 to acquire WKDN,[28] which was relaunched with a talk format under the WWIQ call sign.[29] WWIQ was later sold to Educational Media Foundation in late 2013, and became WKVP, a K-Love affiliate station.

In January 2012, Family Radio applied to the FCC to change the license of station WFME in Newark, New Jersey, near New York City, from non-commercial to commercial. The application quickly prompted conjecture from radio industry monitors that the station would soon be sold. The application was approved in February.[30][31][32] Those rumors were confirmed on October 16, 2012, when it was announced that Family Stations would sell WFME to Atlanta-based Cumulus Media for an undisclosed price.[33] A November message from Camping posted on the Family Radio website admitted, "Either we sell WFME or go off the air completely." The 94.7 signal would be relaunched as country-formatted station, WNSH. Shortly after 94.7's sale to Cumulus, Family Radio would purchase low-powered FM station WDVY in Mount Kisco, New York from Cumulus, which would soon after adopt Family Radio's programming and the WFME-FM callsign.

After 40 years on the air, WYFR, Family Radio's shortwave station located in Okeechobee, Florida, ceased operations on July 1, 2013. In December 2013, Radio Miami International, purchased the shortwave transmission complex and began broadcasting from there; the complex now operates under the WRMI call letters.

Harold Camping died from a fall on December 15, 2013, in his home in Alameda, California. His death was confirmed by an employee of the ministry.

Recent developments

On November 21, 2014, The Walt Disney Company announced it would sell WQEW in New York City to Family Radio for $12.95 million, part of Disney's decision to end terrestrial distribution of the Radio Disney format. The sale was approved on February 10, 2015, and the station returned on the air on February 27 as the new WFME (AM), thus giving Family Radio full coverage of the New York City metropolitan area for the first time in two years. Concurrent with the sale, the FCC converted WFME's broadcasting status from commercial to non-commercial.

During 2016, Family Radio moved its corporate offices and main studios from Oakland, where it had been based since the ministry's inception, to the adjacent East Bay city of Alameda, also near Oakland International Airport and the headquarters of the Oakland Raiders.

In September 2018, Family Radio announced it would no longer air programs featuring the voice of Harold Camping, and would no longer distribute literature of Camping's teachings. The decision was made as part of an effort to both move away from Camping's theology, and to reintroduce programs from outside ministries into the network's schedule. The changes went into effect on October 8, 2018.[34]

Just a few years after its restructuring, Family Stations, Inc., announced on October 28, 2019, that it would be moving its headquarters from Alameda, California to Nashville, Tennessee.[35] Dick Whitworth, the senior director of marketing for the network, explained to The Christian Post: "We want to be good stewards of our finances, the gifts from our listeners, and the gifts God has given us. The decision to move to Nashville was made primarily because of the cost of doing business in the Bay Area." Family Radio will, however, keep its satellite up-link facility in Alameda, California, with upgrades and improvements for the distribution of all of its network and local station produced programming.[36] Construction on the new headquarters / broadcast facility was completed in January 2020.

Teachings and beliefs

Central to Camping's teaching was the belief that the Bible is the Word of God and completely true. However, he emphasized, this does not mean that each sentence in the Bible is to be understood only literally. Rather, the meaning of individual Biblical passages needs to be interpreted in the light of two factors. The first is the context of the Bible as a whole. The second is its spiritual meaning: in Camping's words, "the Bible is an earthly story with a Heavenly meaning." In Camping's publication, "We are Almost There!",[37] he stated that certain Biblical passages pointed unquestionably to May 21, 2011, as the date of "Rapture", and pointed to October 21, 2011, as the end of the world. This event did not occur on May 21 or October 21 of that year, and no acknowledgment of false teaching has yet been offered concerning the October 21 event.[38] The organization's website became inaccessible early that day, and wasn't reachable until the early morning of May 22.

As a result of spending millions of dollars to promote his "end of the world" theory, many people sold everything they owned and donated it to Family Radio, sometimes even hundreds of thousands of dollars.[citation needed] The California Attorney General's office has been asked by the Freedom from Religion Foundation to investigate Camping and Family Stations, Inc. for "Fraud and Deceit".[39]

After leaving the Christian Reformed Church in 1988, Camping taught doctrines that largely conflicted with doctrines of the Reformed Church and traditional Christian teaching. The principles of Biblical hermeneutics upon which Camping framed his present teachings are:

  1. The Bible alone is the Word of God.
  2. Every Biblical passage must be interpreted in the light of the Bible as a whole.
  3. The Bible normally conveys multiple levels of meaning or significance.[40]
  4. Numerology cannot be applied to numbers in the Bible when following the Biblical rules—some individuals have attempted to apply the concept to Camping's research.
  5. That salvation is unmerited and cannot be achieved by good works, prayer, belief or acceptance. It is a pure act of God's grace and that those to be saved were chosen "before the foundation of the world". He added conditions to salvation and teaching relative free will of humanity. However, he admitted that some, though very few, could be saved, while still in the worldly churches, just as there would be those saved inside the nation of Israel, and that leaving the churches is something a believer should do, just as a believer should not lie or cheat. He also gave credit to God for what has been called "common grace", where the unsaved, the yet to be saved and the saved are blessed to do good works, but this is not considered the gift of salvation itself.

For several years after Camping's death in 2013, Family Radio continued to air some of his past broadcasts and distribute his literature. But in October 2018, Family Radio discontinued using any of Camping's commentary and content because "so much of it still contains elements that are very difficult." Tom Evans, president and general manager of Family Radio, explained that "Family Radio has come out of self-imposed isolation and we've repented from many of our former positions, date-setting the end of the world and all that, as well as the condemnation of the church".[41]


 United States
Call sign Frequency City of license State Power
(m (ft))
FCC info
WBFR 89.5 FM Birmingham Alabama 100 205 m (673 ft) FCC (WBFR)
KFRB 91.3 FM Bakersfield California 2,800 417 m (1,368 ft) FCC (KFRB)
KHAP 89.1 FM Chico California 12,000 87 m (285 ft) FCC (KHAP)
KECR 910 AM El Cajon California 5,000 FCC (KECR)
KFNO 90.3 FM Fresno California 2,200 594 m (1,949 ft) FCC (KFNO)
KEFR 89.9 FM Le Grand California 1,800 653 m (2,142 ft) FCC (KEFR)
KFRN 1280 AM Long Beach California 1,000 FCC (KFRN)
KEBR 88.1 FM Sacramento California 8,400 303 m (994 ft) FCC (KEBR)
KEAR[a] 610 AM San Francisco California 5,000 FCC (KEAR)
KFRS 89.9 FM Soledad California 250 93 m (305 ft) FCC (KFRS)
KPRA 89.5 FM Ukiah California 1,600 346 m (1,135 ft) FCC (KPRA)
KFRY 89.9 FM Pueblo Colorado 870 647 m (2,123 ft) FCC (KFRY)
WCTF 1170 AM Vernon Connecticut 1,000 day
500 c. h.
WMFL 88.5 FM Florida City Florida 7,700 52 m (171 ft) FCC (WMFL)
WJFR 88.7 FM Jacksonville Florida 8,000 107 m (351 ft) FCC (WJFR)
WAMT 1190 AM Pine Castle/Sky Lake Florida 4,700 day
230 night
WWFR 91.7 FM Stuart Florida 2,650 152 m (499 ft) FCC (WWFR)
WJCH 91.9 FM Joliet Illinois 50,000 151 m (495 ft) FCC (WJCH)
KDFR 91.3 FM Des Moines Iowa 32,000 136 m (446 ft) FCC (KDFR)
KYFR 920 AM Shenandoah Iowa 5,000 day
2,500 night
WFSI 860 AM Baltimore Maryland 2,500 day
66 night
WOFR 89.5 FM Schoolcraft Michigan 10,000 42 m (138 ft) FCC (WOFR)
KFRD 88.3 FM Butte Montana 2,800 527 m (1,729 ft) FCC (KFRD)
KXFR 91.9 FM Socorro New Mexico 25,000 74 m (243 ft) FCC (KXFR)
WFME-FM 92.7 FM Garden City New York 980 135.1 m (443 ft) FCC (WFME-FM)
WYMK 106.3 FM Mt. Kisco New York 2,000 159 m (522 ft) FCC (WYMK)
WFRS 88.9 FM Smithtown New York 1,500 132 m (433 ft) FCC (WFRS)
WCUE 1150 AM Cuyahoga Falls Ohio 5,000 day
500 night
WOTL 90.3 FM Toledo Ohio 700 115 m (377 ft) FCC (WOTL)
WYTN 91.7 FM Youngstown Ohio 900 181 m (594 ft) FCC (WYTN)
KYOR 88.9 FM Newport Oregon 35 274 m (899 ft) FCC (KYOR)
KPFR 89.5 FM Pine Grove Oregon 2,900 513 m (1,683 ft) FCC (KPFR)
KQFE 88.9 FM Springfield Oregon 1,250 290 m (950 ft) FCC (KQFE)
WEFR 88.1 FM Erie Pennsylvania 630 131 m (430 ft) FCC (WEFR)
WKDN 950 AM Philadelphia Pennsylvania 43,000 day
21,000 night
WFCH 88.5 FM Charleston South Carolina 29,500 93 m (305 ft) FCC (WFCH)
KTXB 89.7 FM Beaumont Texas 9,000 173 m (568 ft) FCC (KTXB)
KUFR 91.7 FM Salt Lake City Utah 130 −63 m (−207 ft) FCC (KUFR)
KJVH 89.5 FM Longview Washington 100 238 m (781 ft) FCC (KJVH)
WMWK 88.1 FM Milwaukee Wisconsin 1,100 276 m (906 ft) FCC (WMWK)


In addition to its full-powered stations, Family Radio is relayed by an additional 27 FM translators:

 United States (translators)
Call sign Frequency
City of license State FCC info
K220EY 91.9 Porterville California FCC (K220EY)
K268AJ 101.5 Redding California FCC (K268AJ)
K213BZ 90.5 Richvale California FCC (K213BZ)
K214CA 90.7 Grand Junction Colorado FCC (K214CA)
W218CW 91.5 West Palm Beach Florida FCC (W218CW)
W271BC 102.1 Lumpkin Georgia FCC (W271BC)
W233AD 94.5 Rockford Illinois FCC (W233AD)
W295AF 106.9 La Porte Indiana FCC (W295AF)
K206DU 89.1 Lafayette Louisiana FCC (K206DU)
W252AQ 98.3 Lake Charles Louisiana FCC (W252AQ)
K216GT 91.1 Great Falls Montana FCC (K216GT)
K220GM 91.9 Placitas New Mexico FCC (K220GM)
K211GA 90.1 Carson City Nevada FCC (K211GA)
W282AD 104.3 East Windham New York FCC (W282AD)
W213AC 90.5 Hyde Park, etc. New York FCC (W213AC)
K214BO 90.7 Ashland Oregon FCC (K214BO)
K223AO 92.5 Florence Oregon FCC (K223AO)
K203BE 88.5 Roseburg Oregon FCC (K203BE)
W208AF 89.5 Nanticoke Pennsylvania FCC (W208AF)
W207AE 89.3 Reading Pennsylvania FCC (W207AE)
K219BX 91.7 El Paso Texas FCC (K219BX)
K220EI 91.9 Ogden Utah FCC (K220EI)
W207AX 89.3 Burlington Vermont FCC (W207AX)
W220BD 91.9 Roanoke Virginia FCC (W220BD)
K219CA 91.7 Casper Wyoming FCC (K219CA)


Family Radio can be heard in English from the following local international stations:

Country City Station Frequency Day/time
 Lesotho Maseru 1197 kHz 6pm – 9pm and 10pm – 1am
 Philippines Metro Manila DWSS (Tagalog) 1494 kHz Weekdays 8pm – 10pm
 Russia Moscow Center 1503 kHz Weekdays 11pm – 12:30am and 8pm – 9:00pm


Eutelsat Hotbird 6 – 13 degrees east, Transponder # 89, Vertical LNB polarization; Satellite frequency: 12.597 GHz

Astra 2B28.2° east, Transponder # 36, Vertical LNB polarization, Satellite frequency: 12.4024 GHz

Until July 1, 2013, Family Radio also offered international coverage via short wave radio station WYFR in several languages; its short wave service ceased operations on July 1, 2013.[42]



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  2. ^ "Why did Grace to You decide to air its program on Family Radio?", Grace to You. Retrieved August 31, 2019.
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  11. ^ "Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax," ed. IRS (Washington DC2011).
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  13. ^ a b Palmquist, Richard (2009-04-04). "How does Harold Camping interpret the Bible?" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-11-29. Retrieved 2019-07-18.
  14. ^ Mitchell, Amy; Holcomb, Jesse (2006-06-15). "State of the News Media 2016". Pew Research Center. Retrieved 2019-07-19.
  15. ^ Harold Camping: Brief Biography, Family Stations, Inc., archived from the original on 2008-05-26
  16. ^ For a 17-minute discussion of the early history of Family Radio, see. "The Story of Family Radio". Retrieved July 9, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  17. ^ Multiple Ownership;Radio Broadcast Stations, Small Business Administration, archived from the original on 2002-06-14, retrieved 2008-05-22
  18. ^ Infinity Broadcasting Strengthens Radio Operations in San Francisco Market, CBS Radio Inc., archived from the original on 2009-07-08, retrieved 2019-07-19
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  25. ^ Family Radio gets a $1 million offer to sell their 66 stations Archived 2011-05-31 at the Wayback Archived 2012-01-03 at the Wayback Machine (released May 30, 2011)
  26. ^ Goodbye Harold Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback MachineA Bible Answer (released May 23, 2011)
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  28. ^ "WKDN Philadelphia Sold," from Radio Insight, 12/6/2011
  29. ^ Fybush, Scott (April 16, 2012). Merlin hopes for high IQ in Philadelphia (free preview). NorthEast Radio Watch. Retrieved April 16, 2012.
  30. ^ Taylor, Tom (9 January 2012). "New York scramble?: Is New York-market WFME (94.7) for sale? Family Radio applies to change its crown jewel to commercial operation". TRI: Taylor on Radio-Info. Retrieved 10 January 2012.[permanent dead link]
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  35. ^ Family Radio Selling Stations / Moving Headquarters to Nashville (via Christian Post)
  36. ^ Family Radio Building New Headquarters (via
  37. ^ ...Multiple Ownership of Radio Broadcast Stations in Local Markets, Small Business Administration, archived from the original on 2002-06-14, retrieved 2008-05-22
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  40. ^ Harold Camping. "First Principles of Bible Study". Family Stations, Inc. Archived from the original on 2008-05-09. Retrieved 2008-06-23.
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