WFAX Radio began broadcasting in 1948 from the attic of a gas station beside Seven Corners, Virginia. Sixty years later, it has grown to serve America’s ninth-largest radio market. Broadcasting from Falls Church, Virginia, our 5,000 watts of power enables us to reach 4 million residents. WFAX has the distinction of being the Washington area’s first Christian station. In this era of corporate ownership, we are proud to be the only radio station in the metropolitan Washington, DC area still in the hands of its original owners.
WFAX was founded by Lamar and Genevieve Newcomb, with Lamar serving as general manager and Genevieve as program director. The station signed on the air with 250 watts, on Genevieve’s birthday, September 15th. Their individual knowledge and talents, plus long hours and hard work, helped them make WFAX a success. Lamar, a graduate of Georgia Tech, was an electrical engineer who worked 17 years for the Federal Communications Commission. Genevieve had studied music at Juilliard and worked as a music teacher and church soloist. WFAX began with a music format but included an increasing number of Christian teaching programs in its format. Over the years, the Newcombs were able to increase their power output from the original 250 watts to 500 watts, then to 1,000 and then to 5,000 watts. They also were able to increase the number of Christian programs, including many from the surrounding community.
Today the WFAX offices, located in a Falls Church shopping center the Newcombs purchased in 1978, are considerably larger than the offices over the gas station. But what has never changed is the station's commitment to serving the local community. The teaching and preaching format of WFAX features more than 30 programs by local churches and ministries in addition to about 40 national ministries.
WFAX is managed by Doris Newcomb, Lamar and Genevieve's daughter. Lamar died in 1989, but Genevieve still plays an active role in station activities. The station's 60th anniversary also marks the anniversaries of two long-time employees. In 2008, WFAX program director Roy Martin celebrates 50 years with the station and chief engineer Henry Stewart has been with the station now for 40 years.
In recognition of 50 years of service, National Religious Broadcasters honored WFAX with a Milestone Award. The management and staff of WFAX hope that the presentation of this award can bear witness and offer encouragement that the ideals of local Christian radio are alive and well, and will continue into the next century as a powerful and effective medium for proclaiming the gospel of Christ.