Nancy Kline

Sentinel Correspondent

GLANDORF – On August 10, 2010, a switch was flipped, and Holy Family Radio station began broadcasting from a trailer near their radio tower north of New Cleveland. Last Wednesday, 12 years later, another switch was flipped at the new home of Holy Family Radio Station at the Glandorf Parish Center.

The station celebrated the grand opening of its new location last week with a fun family event including hot dogs, ice cream, balloons, and face painting. Following the celebration board members and employees gathered to officially cut a red ribbon at their new address, 103 N. Main Street, Glandorf. Board president Leo Schroeder, then flipped the switch to transfer the broadcasting from the New Cleveland site to their new address.

Holy Family Radio station began as a dream of the late Tom Deitering and his wife Mary Ann.

“Tom wanted a local Catholic radio station,” Mary Ann said.

“One night he was tuning into different stations on the radio, and he picked up EWTN, which is Eternal World Television Network, out of Irondale, Alabama, and it was a Catholic radio station, which he found very interesting,” recalled Mary Ann Deitering. “He began to research it because he felt there was a real need for evangelizing and sharing the truths of our Catholic faith.”

Mary Ann said as a retired landscaper, Tom knew little about broadcasting and radio. He traveled to Cincinnati, Fort Wayne, and Ann Arbor to talk with Catholic radio station owners and reached out to local stations in Delphos and Lima for guidance. The Deiterings began taking trips down to Irondale and EWTN’s Catholic radio conferences.

“We learned that they provide programming to anyone that can start a radio station, but they must get their own equipment — the tower, the antenna, the whole works. So, we hired an engineer from Fort Wayne to search for radio frequencies and tell us what we needed.”

In 2009, the Deiterings acquired the 88.9 FM frequency in Glandorf from the FCC and a permit to build a station. Once a tower was constructed and a trailer acquired the station began broadcasting to the Leipsic and Glandorf area with programming from the EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network.

The station first went on air on Aug. 10, 2010, on 88.9 FM in Glandorf and Leipsic, making it Northwest Ohio’s first full-time Catholic radio station and the first in the Toledo Diocese.

In 2017 the station expanded to Findlay on frequency 88.7 FM. Then in 2020, it expanded its coverage to the Ada and Lima area on frequency 94.9 FM. The station now has a reach of over 250,000 listeners.

“We’ve always been very fortunate to have a consistent stream of donors and underwriters,’ said Deacon Jeff Compton, managing director of the radio station. Currently, the radio station also offers a bishop’s corner and pre-recorded programs in addition to the EWTN programming. “We are 100 percent listener-supported, and it is only through their generosity that this could happen,” Compton said.

Compton said one of the important features of the new location is the ability to now start producing its own programs. They also plan to create podcasts and stream shows on YouTube. The station also hopes to open new stations in Fostoria and Van Wert.

Mary Ann Deitering said Tom and her were happy to be able to start the radio station. As she gave tours of the new office and cut the ribbon Mary Ann couldn’t stop smiling.

“I’m so happy to see the continued growth of this radio station,” she said adding that the accomplishment is well beyond what founder Tom, who died in 2012, ever imagined.