Interview with RWH announcer, Mr. Chuck Terpstra

When did you first join the RWH committee? How have things changed over the years? What has remained the same?

I joined the RWHC in the summer of 2006 (has it really been 14 years!). We have seen changes in radio pastors (from one main voice – Rev. C. Haak) to the use of three pastors for quite a few years now. This rotation of men and their unique gifts has served us well. And now pastor C. Griess of First PRC has become involved too, and that’s a good thing for the ministry.


And there have been lots of changes on personnel over the years. I have had the privilege of working with so many great people who gave of their time and used their talents for this ministry! The RWHC is such a blessing to be a part of and serve on! The constant in all the changes is the unchanging message of the gospel. The RWH has never wavered from its core message of God’s sovereign, particular and unconditional grace to His chosen people in Jesus Christ! And we pray we never do.


What different roles have you played on the committee? Which has been your favorite?

I started on the Program Committee – and I’m still on it! First as a member involved in making sure we had speakers and messages lined up, but then into the announcer’s role, and then chairman of the committee. I have never tired of being part of this sub-committee…because it means being personally involved in the program itself. It is a very satisfying labor – I may say, a labor of love!


I have also served on the Station Committee, and that was a busy part of the work too. I have to admit, I inherited that position and I didn’t enjoy it as much as the PC. I’m so glad for the new, younger men on the RWHC who have also taken over this part of the work!


For several years now I have served as president, and while that too was not a position I sought (it found me!), I have learned to enjoy leading the committee as a whole. All the other members and committees make my work easy. They work hard, get their work done, and report well. It is a joy to serve with them.


When did you first begin serving as announcer for the RWH each week? Whom did you replace?

I began announcing in the fall of 2007, about a year after I joined the RWHC. Dr. Dwight Monsma had been the announcer for many years (I want to say 25 or more!) and he was looking to retire about that time. I never auditioned for the position, but I guess the committee felt I had enough experience that I could do the job. I don’t think I have a smooth announcer’s voice (like Doc Monsma did or Paul Harvey!), but I have made it work.


Do you have any memories from serving as announcer that will always stick with you (learning the ropes, how technology has changed, a specific message or series, hearing from listeners, etc.)?

When I first started, we still went to the special recording room in the basement of the “new” First PRC. It was a very nice sound-proof room, but required two people – the announcer and someone to run the sound board and record on the other side of the glass window. Dr. Monsma was a good (patient!) teacher. He gave me all his old radio scripts and took me through the process of reading clearly and carefully. I recall being quite nervous the first few times and making plenty of mistakes. He would wink at me through the window and we would start over. But, just like a lot of things in life, you get comfortable and then learn to make the job your own.


The technology has changed considerably since those early years of my announcing career. Soon I was set up in my home office with my own recording device using CDs, which I would have to run over to Dave Jessup once a month for him to put the program together. After about five years we switched to small mp3 players on a stand. Those audio files could be sent via email or cloud service – much more convenient! That’s what I still use today.


I’ve also had the opportunity to speak to people who have listened to the program and were blessed by the messages. Usually it’s been older saints (non-PRC members) who will call and want to talk. One I recall especially was a widow named Betty from Colorado, who would call almost every month and just talk about what a blessing the gospel had been to her. I always told her what a blessing she was to us – her words of encouragement and her prayers for the program.


What has been the most enjoyable part of being announcer?

I’ve enjoyed this part of the RWH work very much. I feel a personal tie to the program by performing this function. My favorite part of doing the announcements is looking over the radio pastor’s title and text and writing an introduction unique to that message. There have been so many wonderful messages and series over the years, and it’s a blessing to introduce them! I always enjoyed preparing the special church day messages the best – Good Friday, Easter, Christmas.