P. Stefan Gilliam, Owner of J97.5 FM
What is your business?
My company is J97.5 FM. It is an online Christian radio station that plays all genres of Christian music 24 hours a day as well as teaching, talk and ministry.
When did you start it?
J97.5 FM started in vision about four years ago and actually materialized into development in 2009. We've been running live on the air since September of last year.
Why did you create J97.5 FM?
There are a few reasons I decided to take on this mission with J97.5 FM. I saw a couple of voids in the Christian community:
First off, I was listening to Christian radio stations, and I noticed I had to go over to this station to hear gospel, then change to another station to hear Christian contemporary and change to even another station to hear Christian Hip-Hop or rock music. I didn't understand why Christian music was so segregated.
Secondly, I worked briefly at a Christian radio station. I had been in radio for years, but this was my first run at Christian radio, and I noticed that pastors, ministers, etc. were paying outrageous prices to get on the radio and preach the Gospel. I thought that shouldn't be [happening], seeing as how high level talents are paid to be on the radio; I felt we shouldn't be charging our leaders in faith to help spread the word of God.
I wanted to also provide a place to JAM OUT! I wanted Christians 'and the unsaved' to be able to hear clean, inspired music without feeling condemnation. I wanted the lost to be abe to turn on the station and bob their heads, later learning that they were listening to Christian music, but by the time they realized it, Christ had already dropped a seed in their spirits.
Finally, and most important of all, I got tired of hearing the same 12 songs over and over and over again. The stations I frequent have very little variety in the programming, and I wanted to help provide that choice of variety to Christians.
What are your business's mission and goals?
The mission of J97.5 FM is very simple: to bring clean, Christ-inspired music and programming that promotes the message of Jesus to people across the nation while providing an alternative to the mainstream for souls everywhere.
Our goal is to provide an avenue to Christ when one needs to celebrate, contemplate, grieve, seek or sing!
What do you love most about owning a business?
I love the ability to touch the lives of others. Even without the Christian aspect of my business, owning your own business gives you the chance to touch lives you'd never see in other ways.
Who and what inspires you?
Jesus and my six-year-old daughter. He keeps me humble; she keeps me on my toes.
What tips and advice would you give to someone who wants to start a business?
Go for your passion. Never give up. Seek Christ always. This route is much more difficult and trying than, say, becoming the next 'widget maker,' but it will also offer you the full experience of life. There is a reason God placed that passion in you and your life will always be more fulfilling if you follow it.
Also, no matter how many times you have to try it, no matter how many times you have to tweak it, never give up-- success is nothing more than a process of elimination. And always seek the joy, guidance and mercy of Jesus Christ with every step. Owning a business can be very trying, and He will keep you from wanting to pull your hair out or pull other people's hair out. And hopefully, one day, you'll be able to turn around and say, 'I'm so glad I did this.'
Check out the station (click the photo):
Peace & Blessings,