By Coleman Bomar, Williamson Herald

Educational Media Foundation (EMF), the parent organization of K-LOVE and Air1 radio networks, hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking Friday at the site of its new global headquarters in the Berry Farms community in Franklin.

EMF’s board of directors welcomed local leaders, government officials, industry influencers, pastors and musicians to attend the catered event.

“We are honored to partner with [Franklin] in the advancement of the Kingdom of God, to lend support, care and ministry … igniting hope, changing lives and uniting hearts … all in the name of Jesus Christ,” said Bill Corbin, EMF’s senior pastor and ministry leadership team member. “We’re excited to continue our journey to establish our international headquarters in Middle Tennessee, and we’re honored and humbled to be part of this community.”

EMF began as a nonprofit radio station in 1982 and broadcasts across the country to 18 million listeners weekly. It streams in 189 countries, continues to expand and employs just under 500 team members.

Now entering its 40th year, the organization/ministry is moving its headquarters from northern California to near Nashville at “the heart of the Christian media industry,” according to a press release.

The new headquarters’ 11-acre home willl include a 170,000-square-foot building with broadcast facilities, podcast and video production studios, and a worship center.

It is unclear when the headquarters will be completed, yet Bill Reeves, EMF’s CEO, is excited about the construction to come.

“We loved the land when we came, and we stood here, and we looked around and saw the beautiful hills of Williamson County,” he said. “We wanted to create a world-class broadcast facility and media center, and we believe we’ve done that in the design work, and now we’re ready to build it and put brick and mortar on all those plans.

“We believe we’re going to bring one of the finest broadcast facilities in the world to Williamson County. Nashville has long been known as a home of faith-based media, … so for us to be able to kind of add to that portfolio and bring such a strong faith-based community of employees and staff to an already established community, I just couldn’t think of a better place to call home.”

Other speakers at the groundbreaking included gospel recording artist CeCe Winans, EMF’s Vice President of Operations and Engineering Sam Wallington, EMF’s Chief Partnership Officer David Pierce and EMF Associate Pastor Rick Hoppe.

Hoppe concluded the 45-minute ceremony with a prayer and read from Joshua 1:9 in the Bible, which he referred to as EMF’s theme for its relocation: “Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord, your God is with you wherever you go.”