Ministry on the Radio

Wheeler Mission began a radio broadcast on WFBM in 1925 that became one of the longest running radio shows in Indianapolis. It ran continuously from 1925 to 1989.

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November 1925 letter to local pastors announcing Wheeler’s new radio programming on Wednesday evenings and soliciting recommendations for singers and instrumentalists. 

Prior to the opening of the new building at 245 N. Delaware St., the misison recorded its broadcasts in the WFBM studio at the top of the Indianapolis Athletic Club. While there, they used the studio's equipment. In 1928, Thomas F. Hatfield, manager of WFBM, sent Rev. Eberhardt the contracts for Wheeler to sign to continue their broadcasting arrangement. In it he notes that he mistakenly allowed Wheeler to use another musician’s vibraphone: 

“Unknowingly I put my foot into a little mess last Wednesday evening when I permitted you to use George Irish’s vibraphone, as he guards that musical instrument as much as he does one of his children and treats it like a pet. This was all news to me and I was given to distinctly understand by Mr. Irish that he was the only man in the studio who should even lay a finger on this instrument. Therefore, be it resolved that the Wheeler City Mission ably headed by the Reverend Eberhardt, bring their own vibraphone or use Johnnie Robinson’s chimes which are available at all times and permit George Irish to enjoy his usual peace of mind.” 

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Letter from Thomas F. Hatfield to Herbert Eberhardt, Sept. 21, 1928

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September 19, 1928 broadcasting agreement with station WFBM. 

 

Explore the documents:

Click through to examine the 1928 broadcasting contract between Wheeler Misison and WFBM.

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Undated publicity card for the Wheeler radio show.

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Photograph from 1932

When Wheeler’s new building opened in 1929, it included a radio studio on the first floor. The back of the photograph reads: “Left to right Jane Eberhardt, Grace Knuckles, Herbert Eberthardt, Ruth Eberhardt, Julia Hiller, Leolya Hamilton, and Mabel Eberhardt”

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Note the upgrades to the broadcasting studio. The back of the photograph reads: “Left to Right Verna Sutton, Lena Ford, Leolya Hamilton, Mabel Eberhardt, Herbert Eberhardt Late 1930s”

Ministry on the Radio