WJTL’s Junction Center Hall Officially Named

January 16th, 2017 No comments

Construction of the performing arts hall at The Junction Center is phase 3 of a five-year process.  The cost to complete this final phase is slightly more than $2,500,000 of which 80% is being paid from internal ministry funds.  This leaves a minimum balance of $500,000 that needs to come from donations to the WJTL building fund.

Our prayer in the beginning was that a legacy donor could be found to provide half of that amount in matching funds to start the fund drive.  Several months went by without any success in finding this donor and frankly it was becoming a bit discouraging.

Last March WJTL president Tim Landis was attending a family dinner with his siblings at the home of his mother Rhoda. Father Robert had recently died which had left a big hole in the family gathering.  During desert Tim mentioned his frustration with being unable to secure a lead gift to start phase three.

Someone suggested in jest, “Why not call it the Robert M. Landis Memorial Hall.”  After chuckling about it awhile the conversation turned to other subjects.  Over the next several weeks this conversation was constantly on Tim’s mind and it started to make more and more sense.  Even as a family project it would be a sacrificial gift but one that would hopefully encourage others to give.  After talking with the other family members (Rhoda, Cheryl, Tim, Bärbel, Karla and Geoff) it was enthusiastically decided to jointly make this matching challenge gift in memory of their father, Robert M. Landis.

Robert had loved the Lord, loved his children and loved Christian music.  One treasured heirloom he left behind was a round pitch pipe that he purchased at the age of 18.  This device was used when leading worship at the small Lancaster City mission church he attended from the time of his marriage until his death at the age of 83.  It also saw service in numerous quartets and choirs over the years.

Robert never sought the spotlight and was most comfortable volunteering behind the scenes.  In the early 70’s his children all were very involved in bringing contemporary Christian music to the Lancaster area.  Artists such as Keith Green, Second Chapter of Acts and Barry McQuire ate at his table and even slept in their RV’s in his driveway.  He also served as the plumber for the Creation Festivals for many years and built the infamous early shower units.

One of the first contemporary concerts he attended was by Petra in 1975.  Tim was a little concerned what his reaction would be to their song, “Killing My Old Man”, but his only comment was, “The drummers are pretty good.”  They had two sets of drummers back then.

Although he definitely would have been embarrassed, the official name of the hall at the Junction Center will be called, “Robert M. Landis Memorial Hall,” but often will be referred to as “Landis Hall” when brevity is required.

Building Fund Update:  As of January 13, 2017, the sum of gifts and pledges total $63,588.67 from 230 people and 18 organizations.  Combined with the challenge gift of $250,000 this means that a total of  $313,588.67 has been raised leaving a balance of $186,411.33 minimum that still needs to be raised.


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WJTL pitches tent at Junction Center

September 10th, 2013 No comments
Intelligencer Journal
Lancaster New Era
Sep 06, 2013 15:00
Staff Writer


It’s 25 feet high, 60 feet wide and just under 100 feet long.

But better than being unique, the newly-opened white tent next to WJTL-FM’s new offices in East Hempfield Township is just one more way to reach out to the community, station official Tim Landis says.

He adds that the tent is one of only four like it in the world.

“We see the tent as part of our slogan, ‘Christ, Community, Music,'” says Landis, president of WJTL/Creative Ministries.

“We want to be a community asset, and we see the Junction Center (WJTL’s new offices) as a part of that.”

Starting last weekend and continuing through the fall, the new tent, built by a firm in Calgary, Alberta, is being used for a series of concerts, movies and other events by WJTL (90.3 FM), the Lancaster County-based Christian-contemporary radio station.

“We’re really excited about the Junction Center tent,” which seats some 650 people, Landis says.

“When you’re inside, it’s very much high-tech … totally open inside with a real pleasing geometry.

“We joke that ‘it’s not your father’s tent,'” he says, laughing. “It’s a prototype, and so far it’s working great for us.”

The tent’s first main event was a “Kids’ Cookie Break Festival” last weekend, an event geared toward youngsters and their parents.

There will be a private concert next Friday with local worship artists Reilly, the Matt Goss Band and singer-songwriter Marty Shaughnessy, known best as frontman for the band the Rainchildren.

The tent will remain open through the end of October and then “really get rolling” next spring, Landis said, and in 2014 it’s expected to be open from mid-May through mid-October.

Upcoming events this fall at the tent at the Junction Center, 1875 Junction Road, Manheim, include:

• “Movie Nights” on a pair of Fridays (Sept. 20 and Oct. 18).

• A concert by Christian recording artist Derek Webb, joined by performer Matt Wheeler, on Saturday, Sept. 28.

• A concert by well-known Christian contemporary performers Bebo Norman, Andrew Peterson and Sara Groves on Friday, Oct. 4.

• A night of comedy with Harris III and 321 Improv on Thursday, Oct. 24.

• And a concluding concert by Christian-rock pioneers Petra the following night, Friday, Oct. 25.

Landis emphasizes that “Christ is our first goal, spreading the good news of the Gospel, and being involved in the community also is a very big part of what we do.”

This fall’s events in the tent are sort of “a test drive, where we’re working out the kinks,” Landis adds. “And then we’ll go full bore starting next May.”

When summer 2014 concerts are taking place, expect 8-foot-high fans to be in place, keeping air moving in the tent and lowering the temperature, Landis said.

WJTL, a listener-supported, noncommercial station that had been broadcasting from offices and a studio in Manheim Township for more than two decades, moved to its new 27-acre East Hempfield property in 2011.

It is two miles north of Route 283’s Route 722/State Road exit, near Landisville.

Last spring, Landis had spelled out in a letter to listeners some of the station’s future hopes for the tent and the new campus.

The tent also could be made available to community groups for special events, Landis said.

That would be similar to the way WJTL has made land at its new campus available to the Penn Legacy soccer club, which had plans for using another possible site on Graystone Road fall through in early 2013 because of stormwater problems and other concerns.

The soccer club is using WJTL’s excess land for practice fields, and “it just worked out great for both organizations,” Landis said this week.

Long-term plans are to build a permanent community fine arts building at the Junction Center, which will allow for year-round usage rather than the six months provided by a tent.

Read original article: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/891708_WJTL-pitches-tent-at-Junction-Center.html#ixzz2eX92mPQj

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Junction Center Construction Update

August 21st, 2013 No comments

Progress on The Junction Center project is barreling ahead now that the rain has stopped.  Excavation for the storm water basins and parking lots have been completed and the initial asphalt paving will start on Saturday, August 24.  The high tech Saddleback tent is up and is currently being outfitted with sound, stage and lighting systems.  The first event on the the new site will be the Kid’s Cookie Break Festival scheduled for Saturday, August 31.  The whole process including design, testing, permits, construction, inspections, etc. has taken almost two years from start to finish.  WJTL listeners are awesome and a project like this could not take place without their faithful support!

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