25 October 2022

Salvationist Radio: 'Something for everyone'

Bethany Gibson

Bethany Gibson chats to Audio Content Editor Sam Davidson about the development of Salvationist Radio.

What's your role?

I started working for the Army at the end of May and I oversee audio content on salvationist.org.uk, I’m based at THQ.

Alongside hosting podcasts, the website will be the home of Salvationist Radio, which will be launching in the early part of 2023 as part of a rebranding of Fortress Radio.

Fortress Radio is a volunteer-run online radio station that plays Salvation Army music and content. Throughout the pandemic, the station became quite popular and grew a regular listener base, and the founders invited us to take on its development.

When Army leadership accepted the offer, they requested a rebrand and the introduction of new content to reach even more people with our mission. It made sense to bring the radio station alongside the other territorial channels, so we will have a weekly paper, website and radio station all under the same brand name of Salvationist.

I will be working behind the scenes managing the content, liaising with volunteers and presenters, editing audio files and making sure all the licensing and regulatory requirements are met.

Why did you apply for the role?

The role brought together two things that are central to my life: audio content and The Salvation Army.

I studied music production at university and worked for World of Sound, a division in The Salvation Army’s trading company. I’m also a lifelong Salvationist and the Army has been so important in my faith journey. It was an opportunity I couldn’t miss.

A photo of Sam Davidson in front of a Salvation Army red shield
Sam Davidson

I’m so excited about how we can give people across the territory a voice and creatively use audio content to support mission.

What can listeners expect from Salvationist Radio?

We’re working on a diverse range of content so we hope there will be something for everyone.

People who currently tune in to Fortress Radio will still be able to listen to their favourite brass band and choral music. We’re also thankful that many of the fantastic volunteers are continuing.

We hope to keep disruptions to a minimum so that people will be able to listen in the usual way – via the apps, the website and Alexa. We’ll be sure to keep listeners up to date.

New shows we are working on include content for children and youth, music from different styles and cultures, plus new prayer and devotional features. We’ll also be making the most of podcasts so people can listen to the content they love at a time that works for them.

When will the new station launch?

We’re working towards a launch in the early part of 2023. There are a lot of moving parts and this is a new venture for the Army.

Alongside developing new content with volunteers and territorial teams, we’re working with our trading company to update our music catalogue, checking off regulatory requirements and making sure we have the right infrastructure in place so that the station provides a quality service to the territory and beyond.

How can people get involved?

People can contact us via salvationist@salvationarmy.org.uk with any questions or ideas. They can also visit salvationist.org.uk/radio for the latest information and a link to apply to volunteer as a presenter on the station.

Volunteers will continue to play a vital role and we want to develop a diverse team, so if you have an idea or want to help, please get in touch.

How can people pray for you?

I’d appreciate prayers for guidance and patience. There’s so much potential and so it’s about having the wisdom to know which opportunities to take. Also, there are many things to work through for launch and some of the technical and regulatory tasks are difficult to control.

In all this, it helps knowing that the station will continue to grow and develop and ultimately, this is bigger than just me or the volunteers or the Army itself – I can definitely feel God opening doors and answering prayers. I can’t wait for what the future will bring.

Written by

Bethany Gibson

Bethany Gibson

Online Content Editor

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