KMEI-FM Comes Back to Life

KMEI 97.3 FM, was established by dedicated church members and God's blessing in Kamiah, Idaho, in 2005. Destroyed by a wildfire in 2015, the station has been raised from the ashes.  

"KMEI is one of a network of over 100 LifeTalk Christian Radio stations with headquarters in Riverside, Calif.," Mel Fowlkes, former KMEI radio president, explains. "Its signal is downloaded via satellite to the KMEI studio located in the Kamiah Seventh-day Adventist Church then microwaved to the 100-foot tower on the hill northeast of town and rebroadcast to our community. The signal can be heard within a radius of about 10 miles."

The construction of the tower, radio building, equipment and studio cost more than the estimated $20,000. Shouldering this cost, members wished to offer the community not only the Christian programs from LifeTalk Radio, but local programming as well. This was happening until Aug. 14, 2015.

When the fires of that summer roared up the hill through Kamiah, the KMEI radio signal was lost. As soon as possible, Fowlkes went to the radio tower to survey the damage. As he crested the hill the shocking sight that met his eyes drove him to his knees. All that was left of the building housing the radio equipment was a pile of black ashes and twisted wires. The flames had reached 30 feet up the metal legs of the 100-foot radio tower.

In the face of this devastating loss, Fowlkes began the task of rebuilding the radio shack, replacing the destroyed equipment and strengthening the tower with the cooperation of the church members and a gifted radio man, Eric Bailey.

With gratefulness to God for His blessings, Fowlkes says, "KMEI was brought back to life in August of 2017 with all new and better technology and equipment."

In the fall of 2017, under the leadership of the newly elected radio board president, Calvin Ruebush, production of fresh local programs began. The first series launched was a program, Bible Studies NOW!, led by Steve Rogers, Kamiah Church pastor. The time slots for this new local program are: Sundays at 3 a.m., 10 a.m., 2:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.; and Wednesdays at 1:30 a.m., 4:30 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 7 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

All are invited to tune in to the Christian programming of LifeTalk Radio for the whole family on KMEI as well as the upcoming interviews with community members and other fresh programs produced right here in Kamiah.         

The contact information for KMEI listeners is 208-935-8297 and by email

Featured in: November 2018