WZOL Sun Radio (Radio Sol-WZOL)

By Yolanda Pérez, and William H. Irizarry

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Yolanda Pérez González is accounting department secretary of Radio Sol 92. She has also served the church as secretary to the accounting department of the East Puerto Rico Conference. She is married to José R. Robles Aponte and has two sons.

William H. Irizarry Rivera is general manager of Radio Sol 92. He has also served the church as director of Communications of the East Puerto Rico Conference. He is married to Ana Iris De la Cruz Padilla and has a daughter.

Radio Sol 92, WZOL, Inc. is a non-profit organization belonging to the East Puerto Rico Conference. It offers Christian programs with music and spiritual messages and programs of social interest. After many years of prayer, struggle, and fundraising Radio Sol de Justicia was established and its first program was broadcast on September 5, 1990. It is now known as WZOL 92.1 FM.

Origins

In 1989, at the request of local members for a radio station that would cover their part of the island, the East Puerto Rico Conference formed a committee to study the purchase of a radio station. The committee was formed by pastors Israel Vázquez and José D. García and church members Luis E. Cádiz and José “Artie” López.1 At that time, there was only one Adventist radio program; it was produced by lay members and was broadcast through a Christian evangelical station that controlled and edited the content. That program was called “A people, its message, and its music.”

A committee was formed to plan an event to raise funds for the purchase of a radio station in 1990. The committee was formed by pastors José D. García, José “Pitino” Valentín, and Abdiel Acosta, and the fundraising goal was set at $200,000 USD.2 The event was held on May 20, 1990, at the Eliezer Meléndez Youth Center. Pastors Elías López, Israel Vázquez, José D. García, and Carmelo River and Brother José “Artie” López formed the subcommittee that would choose the radio station’s name.3 After considering several options, it was decided to purchase the 92.1 FM frequency for $825,000 USD and name the radio Radio Sol de Justicia.4

Two men were assigned to help run this new ministry. One was Wifredo “Willie” López, who had worked for 22 years at a 10,000-watt commercial station (covering the Virgin Islands, Vieques, Culebra, and Puerto Rico). The other was José “Artie” López, who had worked for 16 years for several radio stations and who was at that time working for La Criolla 103 FM station. They both left their jobs to work for the new Adventist station.5 Several months later, Yolanda Pérez joined them as accounting secretary along with María Navarro as speaker and production director. Luis E. Cádiz was the first manager of the station. The first control technicians were Billy Domínguez, Abner Gabaldón, Miguel Torres, Victor Rodriguez, and Carmelo Rivera, Jr. There was also a group of volunteer technicians, including Iveá Urdaneta, Luis Laracuente, Juan Francisco Colón, and Rafy Figueroa. Rogelio Fabelo was also a part of the original group, keeping the offices, building, and landscape clean and well maintained. The radio engineer was Rafael Serra. Moral and financial support came from the sister station in the west area of Puerto Rico, WTPM Radio Paraíso.6

Inauguration

The East Puerto Rico Conference broadcast its first program on WZOL Radio Sol de Justicia on the evening of September 5, 1990. More than 400 church members and supporters came together at the youth center for the program and to hold a gratitude service. The first sermon was given by Pastor Félix Ríos López, president of Antilian Union Conference. The next day, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was carried out in order to officially open the offices. The ribbon was cut by Pastor Félix Ríos López. He was assisted by Pastor L. V. McMillan, Pastor Abdiel Acosta, José Aponte (mayor of the city of Carolina), and a representative from the Inter-American Division. The station offices were located at 5-HH1 Parque Luis Muñoz Rivera, Urbanización Villa Fontana Park, Carolina, Puerto Rico.7

First Programs

Some of the early programs were: Un pueblo, su mensaje y su música (A people, its message, and its music) with Luz D. Casul, Juanita Montelara, Ventura Cruz, William and Maritza Irizarry, Nidia Casellas, and others; Conociendo la Verdad (Knowing the truth) with Luis Germán Cajiga and his team – Eliut Robles, Guadalupe Santiago, and Raisaac Colón; Rayos de Luz (Rays of light) with Ana María Rodríguez, Guillermo Ortiz, Victor Molina, Pastor Angel Amaro, and others; El Tren del Evangelio (The Gospel train) with Eugenio “Uncle Geñito” Santana; and Alfa y Omega (Alfa and Omega) with Alberto López.

Radio Sol de Justicia covered the entire metropolitan and eastern areas of the island. It was the third Adventist radio station in the territory of Antilian Union Conference. It broadcasts from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM.

On September 12, 1992, the offices of Radio Sol were moved from Carolina to their new facilities on the property of the East Puerto Rico Conference at 501 Julio Andino Street, Villa Prades, San Juan.

Incorporation

On November 25, 1997, Radio Sol 92, WZOL, Inc. was registered at the State Department of Puerto Rico as a non-profit religious organization.8

Other Dates of Importance

On May 31, 2000 24-hour broadcasting began. On November 1, 2000 online streaming was added, making Radio Sol the second radio station to stream in Puerto Rico.

On August 23, 2004 a new program, Clínica Abierta, was added. This program was originally produced in the offices of Adventist World Radio in Costa Rica. The Costa Rica offices closed, and the program was transferred to the radio station in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This has become the number one program on many of the stations that transmit it – 225 stations around the world.

On February 21, 2008 Radio Sol purchased the 98.9 FM frequency, and the 92.1 FM frequency was put on the market. This change was made with the goal of covering a larger portion of the island. Four years later, on December 26, 2012, the Federal Communications Commission of the United States ordered the 98.9 FM frequency to be changed to 98.3 FM.

On May 28, 2013 the 92.1 FM frequency was sold to La Estación de la Familia, and June 9, 2013, was the last day Radio Sol was broadcast on that frequency. Then, on March 12, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission authorized the use of 93.3 FM (W227CV) covering the south area of Puerto Rico. With both frequencies (98.3 and 93.3 FM), Radio Sol covers almost 50 percent of Puerto Rico, reaching a population of approximately 2.5 million people.

Mission

The mission of Radio Sol is to communicate to every person the great love of our Heavenly Father, which is clearly manifested in the person of our Savior, Jesus Christ (John 3:16). In order to fulfill this mission, all programs proclaim the urgent message of the three angels of Revelation (Revelation 14:6-13), which prepares the world for the Second Coming of Jesus.

Vision

To see the restoration of all things through the light of Bible prophecy.

Purpose

To preach the gospel to the entire world.

List of Managers

Luis E. Cádiz (1990-1993); Francisco Javier Vega (1993-1994); Héctor L Reyes (1994-1995); William H. Irizarry (1995-2007); José A Sánchez (2007-2008); William H. Irizarry (2008- ).

Sources

East Puerto Rico Conference Board of Directors minutes. “100 Incorporation WZOL.” October 21, 1997. East Puerto Rico Conference archives, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico.

East Puerto Rico Conference Board of Directors minutes. April 12, 1990. East Puerto Rico Conference archives, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico.

East Puerto Rico Conference Board of Directors minutes. August 9, 1990. East Puerto Rico Conference archives, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico.

East Puerto Rico Conference Communications Committee minutes. June 4, 1990. East Puerto Rico Conference archives, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico.

“Hermandad Apoya Radioemisora.” Ecos del Este. Vol. 10, no. 35. April-July 1990.

“Inauguración de Radio WZOL de Justicia.” Chispazos. No. 410. October 1999.

“Tenemos Nuestra Radioemisora.” Ecos del Este. Vol. 10, no. 35. April-July 1990.

Notes

  1. “Tenemos Nuestra Radioemisora,” Ecos del Este, vol. 10, no. 35, April-July 1990, 1.

  2. East Puerto Rico Conference Board of Directors, April 12, 1990, Vote 90-4-138, East Puerto Rico Conference archives.

  3. East Puerto Rico Conference Communications Committee, June 4, 1990, Vote 90-112, East Puerto Rico Conference archives.

  4. East Puerto Rico Conference Board of Directors, April 12, 1990, Vote 90-4-163, East Puerto Rico Conference archives.

  5. East Puerto Rico Conference Board of Directors, August 9, 1990, Vote 90-8-340, East Puerto Rico Conference archives.

  6. “Hermandad Apoya Radioemisora,” Ecos del Este, vol. 10, no. 35, April-July 1990, 3.

  7. “Inauguración de Radio WZOL de Justicia,” Chispazos, no. 410, October 1999, 1.

  8. East Puerto Rico Conference Board of Directors, “100 Incorporation WZOL,” October 21, 1997, East Puerto Rico Conference archives.

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Pérez, Yolanda, William H. Irizarry. "WZOL Sun Radio (Radio Sol-WZOL)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Accessed June 18, 2021. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=9HFZ.

Pérez, Yolanda, William H. Irizarry. "WZOL Sun Radio (Radio Sol-WZOL)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Date of access June 18, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=9HFZ.

Pérez, Yolanda, William H. Irizarry (2021, April 28). WZOL Sun Radio (Radio Sol-WZOL). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved June 18, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=9HFZ.