FM Technical Profile: WQUA

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Station Name:
SonLife Radio
Transmitter Location:
[map] [street view] About 7 miles west of Citronelle, west of the intersection of Lott Road and CR-96 (Beverly Jeffries Highway).
Power (ERP):
15 kW
Antenna HAAT:
426 feet
Other Information:
60 dBu protected contour map, from the FCC.
Sonlife Radio, Donations Call 888-288-8350
Religious talk

More Information:
[Picture] Image from a Radio Shack DX-398 portable showing some of the scrolling PS (station name) field.
[Picture] Image from a Radio Shack DX-398 portable showing a different segment of the PS field.
[Studio] Street View of the SonLife Radio studios on Bluebonnet Boulevard in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Family Worship Center Church / Jimmy Swaggart Ministries
This station dates back to an original construction permit first issued in 1987 to Barbara Kay Turner, for a class A 3 kW station on 101.9 MHz, with the WSYE calls.  The permit was transferred to Fuller Broadcasting Company of Mobile in 1988.  In 1989 the calls changed to WKQR (KickeR). They got the station signed on in 1990, with 1.7 kW from a tower site northeast of Citronelle off Odom Road.  The format at this time was country music. 

Lyn Communications then owners of 98.3 WDLT licensed to Chickasaw acquired the station in 1993; they kept the country format for a while but changed the calls to WHXT.  Around this same time, the station was awarded a permit to increase to Class C3 status, with 15 kW of power on 102.1 MHz.  This change limited the station's choice of transmitting locations, and they signed on the higher power signal 1995 from a site well west of Citronelle off Lott Road in rural west Mobile County.

The station flipped formats to southern gospel in 1998 and became WQUA in October of that year.  Just one year later the station tried classic R&B as "Jammin' Oldies Q 102" but failed to find traction due to a signal that did not reach Mobile's black audiences.  By the end of July 2001, they were back to southern gospel, then eventually back to classic R&B.

ABC Disney bought the station in 2002 for $1.5 million dollars.  They flipped the format to their Radio Disney national network. 

By the mid-2000's, Radio Disney was transitioning from money-losing AM and FM outlets for Radio Disney to a more online-centric approach, and had begun selling off stations.  WQUA was sold to Jimmy Swaggart's Family Worth Center Church out of Baton Rouge in 2005, for $1.25 million dollars.  Swaggart's organization put on their religious preaching and teaching Sonlife Radio network.