A local Hispanic church has a goal to reach beyond their walls, but a lightning strike has interfered with a pivotal ministry.
Centro de Adoracion Principe de Paz, which pastor Vivian Rodriguez said translates to Prince of Peace Worship Center, operates a Hispanic radio station called Radio Celestial Kentucky 96.9.
The Vine Grove church at 201 Briggs Lane was operating the station 24/7 and broadcasting their weekend services until Aug. 31 when a lightning strike hit the radio antenna and damaged not only the radio equipment but also other items inside the church, such as the air conditioning and monitors used during worship.
Rodriguez said the radio ministry was started by former pastor Noel Santiago who recently left because of his wife’s illness. Rodriguez has been pastor for about a year, she said.
“His vision was to have a radio station for the Hispanic community here in Radcliff and the areas that the radio station can reach out to,” she said.
Santiago, she said, had worked in radio before and knew how to get it up and running.
“The Hispanic community here in Kentucky is rising,” Rodriguez said.
Their purpose for the radio station is to have programming in the Spanish language but there also was programming that featured other ministers who are not Spanish.
The church would like to use the radio broadcast to get information to the community. Rodriguez said she was working to get the emergency broadcasting system connected to the station.
No matter the language it’s in, when a listener hears that tone, they know something is going on, she said.
There were plans to broaden the reach of their radio signal but that’s been put on hold as they try to relaunch the station.
“We have to take baby steps,” she said.
As far as Rodriguez knows, Radio Celestial Kentucky is the only Hispanic broadcast radio station in the area.
The church had kept the station running until the lightning strike.
“This hit, what we got with the lightning strike, threw us off guard,” Rodriguez said.
The circuit that runs from the antenna to the transmitter was split in two and the transmitter burnt out, she said. All the computer equipment that goes with the radio station also was destroyed.
“It was quite a strike,” she said.
The telephone panel on the outside of the church blew off the wall, she said.
“Everyone that has come through said it’s a miracle, because usually when there’s a lightning strike like this, it should have burnt everything to the ground,” she said. “We praise God because he has taken care of us.”
The goal is to get the station back up and running, she said.
She’s worked with the church’s insurance company to get equipment fixed and is hoping to hear back from them soon.
The station is a part of the church’s overall goal to serve the community. The church has distributed Thanksgiving meals to needy communities, helped with local homeless shelters and tries to aid those that come to them with needs.
“We don’t have much, but we do what we can,” she said. “We’re a small church and we’re trying to meet the needs of the community.”
They want that reach to be a part of the Hispanic community and beyond.
She said the church wants to bring help to those in need spiritually and physically.
“Jesus came here, not for himself but for those who were in need,” she said.
If someone is hungry, she said she wants to feed them first and then tell them about salvation.
The church, she said, is “here if you need us.”
“The radio station is one of the channels we can use to reach the community and do whatever we can,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez originally is from Puerto Rico and said the church and radio station is a home away from home to many in the local Hispanic community. She hopes ministries from other ethnicities can use the station to share their Christian message.
“It’s good to be diverse and not feel limited,” she said.
The station is nonprofit and is financially supported by the church.
“Our vision is wide. We’re taking it one step at a time,” Rodriguez said. “We are more than welcome to inviting others to help us who share that vision.”
Anyone interested in helping the church as it recovers can call 270-801-6208 or email email@example.com.