In about 1987, after ten years of teaching college, Bob Pettitt became Operations Manager for a medium-sized Christian Ministry in Hemet, CA known as Black Buffalo Trails (BBT). BBT was a division of North American Indian Missions. A portion of their Ministry was the establishment of a Christian television station known as TV-53 in Hemet, CA. While TV-53 was not directly under BBT, Bob and Diana Pettitt began two fledgeling programs on that TV station. One was a teaching program entitled “More About Jesus”. The other was a musical program known as “The Old Time Gospel Hymn Hour”. Both programs were successful, and grew to be on a number of over-the-air and cable TV stations in the western United States.
While at BBT, God led the Pettitts to look into the possibility of establishing a new Christian Television Station in The Dalles, OR. Bob Pettitt contacted the then TV-53 television engineer, the late Pete Warren, who was based just out of El Paso, TX. Engineering studies were soon begun for what was to become KRHP-TV. The long application process was started with local governing agencies, and with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC granted a Low Power Broadcast Television Station Construction Permit to Mr. Pettitt on August 26th, 1994.
The Pettitts communicated the vision that God had given them to the then Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in The Dalles, OR, Rev. James Bull. Pastor Bull did some of the “More About Jesus” programs in a small TV studio at the Pettitt’s home in Appleton, WA. (That TV studio was a converted garage.) The Pettitts wanted to bring the new Christian TV station to Calvary Baptist Church where they attended. Pastor Bull said he would pray about it. He did, and felt that it indeed was God’s will for that to happen, as did the Board of Deacons of Calvary Baptist. The main studios of KRHP-TV have been located within the building of Calvary Baptist Church since the station’s humble beginnings.
Former Boeing 747 engineer, the late John Colette, took three months off and came to The Dalles to build the TV studios in Calvary. Wayne & Laurel Lease, then owners of Leaco Electric, donated the electrical contracting for that facility. Several Calvary Members also helped with that construction. Appleton, WA contractor Coley Osburne donated his time to construct the concrete-enclosed transmitter building for KRHP-TV, just northeast of Dallesport, WA.
In August of 1995, Debbie & Becky Pettitt jointly turned on the KRHP transmitter for the first time to initiate the signal-testing phase required by the FCC. On November 5th, 1995, Robert Pettitt was granted the FCC License for what was to become KRHP-TV; and Channel 14 (officially known back then as K14JC) went on the air broadcasting television locally to the Mid Columbia Gorge area for the first time. (The area had had Portland TV stations previously, but this was then, and still is to this day, the Gorge’s only local over-the-air broadcast television station.)
On March 8th, 2001, KRHP-TV met the qualifications for, and was granted by the FCC, a Class A Television Broadcast Station License. (The Class A designation requires most of the same standards that are required of full power stations, and gives KRHP-TV more permanency.) On September 3rd, 2009, KRHP-TV was granted its Digital Class A Broadcast Station License. Thanks largely to current KRHP-TV Engineer, Jess Ortega, KRHP was able to go from one TV Channel in the old analog world to four over-the-air TV Channels in broadcasting’s digital world.