VCY America is celebrating its 60th anniversary of Christian broadcasting in Milwaukee.
VCY America was originally Youth for Christ Milwaukee, a ministry that was organized by Theo McCully. Theo’s son, Ed McCully, would join Jim Elliot and three other missionaries to the Auca Indians of Ecuador, and all five men would be martyred in 1956.
In 1959, Vic Eliason replaced Russ Johnson as director of Youth for Christ Milwaukee, and was approached by three teenagers who wanted to start a Christian radio program. When the small group was turned down by every radio station in Milwaukee, they bowed their heads and prayed to God, giving their request to Him. Three days later a man stepped into the little YFC office and asked, “Anyone here want some free air time?” The prayers were answered, and on May 15, 1961, Sacred Stylings aired over WBON 107.7 FM. As time went on and the response increased, the station was purchased and became WVCY, Wisconsin Voice of Christian Youth.
As radio became a stronger focus of the ministry, the name was changed from Youth for Christ Milwaukee to Wisconsin Voice of Christian Youth, and then in 1995 to VCY America. Today more than 16 million people are able to listen over the air to VCY radio programming on 54 owned and operated stations, and another 80 affiliated stations. In addition, southeast Wisconsin can tune into WVCY-TV30, now streamed online and on-demand at VCY.tv.
Over the years ministries have included three Christian day schools, a 385-acre camp in Hillsboro, Wisconsin, regular rallies at the Waukesha Expo Center, singspirations, and more. On Dec. 5, 2015, Vic Eliason was promoted to his eternal home, and the board of directors unanimously appointed Jim Schneider to succeed Vic as executive director of the ministry.
Over the last 60 years, the ministry has been called, “God’s Continuing Miracle” as the reason for the series of humanly inexplicable events that led to the 24/7 Christian radio, television, and internet ministries of VCY America today.
For the anniversary month, several billboards have been placed throughout the Milwaukee area inviting new listeners to tune in to hear the same message that has been broadcast for 60 years – the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!