May 25, 2011
Spirit FM 90.5 Broadcasts From Behind Prison Walls
Christian Radio Station, Spirit FM 90.5, made history as the first radio station in the state of Florida to broadcast from behind prison walls.
The Big, Big House Morning Show held their radio broadcast last month from inside the Zephyrhills Correctional Institution (ZCI) on U.S. Hwy. 301. Morning show host, Abby Brundage, was joined by Station Manager, John Morris for the two-hour broadcast along with special guests including Warden Gustavo Mazorra, the prison chaplain and several of the prison inmates.
The broadcast also included a live performance from the ZCI inmate band, Chain Reaction. This band provides weekly worship music within the ZCI chapel.
Zephyrhills Correctional Institution houses more than 600 male inmates as well as the corrections mental health institution mission. Many of the inmates housed at the facility are serving life-sentences.
“It is a tough balance to minister inside a prison because we don’t want to be perceived as condoning their crimes,” said Brundage. “But at the same time, we want to highlight the good work taking place inside the prison and the changes taking place in the lives of these men.”
Morris shared that this has been a desire of his for Spirit FM for many years. “We had been told that it would be nearly impossible to cut through the red tape to do a broadcast, but obviously God had other plans. We often receive letters from inmates who enjoy Spirit FM because it gives them a sense of hope and God’s love that many have never experienced.”
The purpose of the broadcast was to educate listeners on prison life, how prisoners are being ministered to and rehabilitated and what people can do to help. Brundage shared, “We received a great deal of positive feedback from our listeners. Many people thanked us. These men are someone’s son, brother, husband or father.”
Mazorra was asked how his faith enabled him to carry out his duties as warden. Mazorra explained that his Christian faith is important so that he can exemplify a positive influence. He has a vision which includes positive programming, spiritual enrichment and other programs to assist inmates in a successful transition back into society.
Zephyrhills Correctional Institution is in need of donations for the following items: Bibles, wheelchairs, math flash cards, puzzle and game books, exercise DVD’s for elderly or disabled, rolling walkers with seats, shower chairs on wheels, tissues, adult diapers and commercial grade lawn equipment. In addition, they also need plain white socks, t-shirts, washcloths, cotton blankets, twin size sheets and pillow cases.
Please contact Marroza at 782-5521,ext. 101 with questions about donations or volunteer opportunities.
Spirit FM 90.5 is celebrating 25-years broadcasting Christian music in the Tampa Bay area. For more information about upcoming events, please visit www.spiritfm905.com.