Link FM celebrates 25th anniversary

A radio station that started as the “wildest dream” of Pastor Dave Gernetzky has since grown into a community staple and changed the lives of thousands of listeners.

When the airwaves opened up to community broadcasting in 1996 a new opportunity was realised to fulfil the Great Commission and take the Gospel of Jesus Christ into all the world. With its inaugural broadcast on February 3 1997 Link FM went boldly where few radio stations had dared – into contemporary Christian broadcasting.

As one of the oldest sustainable community stations in the country, Link FM has become a part of the fabric that makes up the Buffalo City Christian community, with various community outreach projects, and is a conduit for publicising community needs and events and thereby earning the respect of the secular and business community.

Today, the listener-supported ministry continues to spread the Gospel through preaching, teaching, conversations, and music. Link FM’s footprint covers a radius of about 150km from the East London transmitter on 97.1 FM and from the King William’s Town transmitter on 92.1 FM as well being available on the DStv music bouquet channel 875 throughout sub-Saharan Africa. They also audio stream on www.linkfm.co.za and most streaming radio services.

The station broadcasts in English, isiXhosa and Afrikaans. Music genres range from Traditional and Contemporary isiXhosa Gospel, Contemporary Christian Music, Hip-Hop, R&B, Praise and Worship, House and Christian Pop Rock.

Much has changed over the last 25 years. When Link FM started, all the music was on compact disc – – just a handful of them – – belonging to a few of the presenters. These were played manually on two CD players in the studio by the presenters.

Their play-out system for all other sound files (jingles and adverts) was the old school Windows 3.1 Media Player. Today the studio is fully computerised using a variety of digital media services.

Link FM is almost 100% characterised by a passionate group of volunteers who give up their own time to produce and put out programming.

“After very humble beginnings, Link FM now have a state-of-the-art On-Air Studio together with a backup and production studio,” Titch Wild, Station Manager of Link FM said.

“Most importantly, we continue to go from strength-to-strength and are delighted with the results of the latest Radio Audience Measurement Survey which found that Link FM listenership had increased by 48% over the last two years.”

Come Thursday February 3, the historians have probed into archived recordings and resurrected some ‘old voices’ from years gone by. This is sure to be a nostalgic day of broadcasting that will allow listeners to reconnect and recollect the former days of this iconic brand, which is Link FM.  

A Family Fun Day celebration will take place on Saturday, February 5 and will be hosted at the Old Selbornian Club – Ostrich Park (Circus Grounds). The festivities kick off at 9am. Link FM will broadcast from the event. All of Buffalo City are invited to enjoy lawn and field games, a touch farm, a craft market, jumping castles, delicious food stalls and much more with all the Link FM presenters standing by to meet and greet.

Over the years, God has transformed countless hearts & lives through the ministry of Link FM. The staff, management, volunteers, and supporters of Link FM praise God for the opportunity to take the message of the Gospel to East London and “the ends of the earth”, thereby fulfilling their mandate of “Linking People to Jesus”.

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One Comment

  1. It is so great to hear that Link FM is celebrating their 25th Anniversary and all praise to Jesus. Yes, Pastor Dave Gernetzky has blessed many with his ministry. We were members of his church before my husband, Pastor Gavin van Heerden, left to study for the ministry in Cape Town. We started a church here in Cape Town 26 years ago, called Linkway Church. God has been so faithful in growing our church. Our son, Pastor Allan van Heerden, (born in East London), has just released his second Worship CD called “Walk by Your Spirit” and praying it reaches the nation for Jesus as it is aired on Link FM and other Christian radio stations.