When a Chicago evangelist and musician named Clarence Jones asked God to guide his missionary endeavors, he received a clear call: "Go south with radio."
In 1931, Jones founded the world's first missionary radio station in Quito, Ecuador. The call letters were HCJB, and that's pretty much the name the ministry has been known by ever since.
Until last week, when HCJB Global announced it will be known as Reach Beyond.
"For a number of years, we've recognized that the name HCJB doesn't communicate anything to anyone outside of our mission," says Steve Johnson, director of communication, "especially to the next generation of people concerned for reaching the unreached people of the world."
Johnson says the new name and image are designed to show that the ministry, which moved to Colorado Springs from Miami in 1992 and has an annual income of just less than $19 million, will continue expanding its global reach through strategic media and health care partnerships.
The rebranding also is designed to demonstrate that the ministry not only preaches the Christian message but also puts that message into action through hands-on projects, including medical clinics, community water systems and other forms of service.
"We didn't want the change to be about us and what we do," Johnson says. "We wanted it to be about Christ and the people he died for - the people we are working to reach."