VERO BEACH, USA -- The future of Radio Paradise, a Christian radio station on Nevis, is at risk and the new owner is pleading with deputy premier Mark Brantley to help him save the station from destruction. The station has been off the air since mid-2013 because of a dispute involving Radio Paradise’s former general manager Andre Gilbert.
Rev. Richard Wiles
The late Dr Paul Crouch, cofounder of Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), donated Radio Paradise to Flowing Streams Church in Vero Beach, Florida, months before his death. Rev. Richard Wiles, pastor of Flowing Streams Church, said it was a miracle because Flowing Streams Church has a vision for Christian radio for all the Caribbean islands.
“It truly was God who directed Dr Crouch to donate Radio Paradise to our church,” stated Wiles.
“It was one of the last things he did before his death. He wanted to make sure that Radio Paradise stayed on the air declaring the Gospel of the Kingdom,” said the Florida pastor.
“I was honored to be chosen by Dr Crouch to receive stewardship of Radio Paradise before he went home with the Lord,” said Wiles. “I am determined to fulfill my pledge to Dr Crouch before his death that Radio Paradise will continue broadcasting the Gospel to the whole Caribbean region.”
Wiles said his joy quickly turned to dismay when he first traveled to St Kitts and Nevis in April 2013 to take possession of Radio Paradise. Upon going to Radio Paradise’s headquarters in Nevis, he was met at the door by TBN’s outgoing manager – Andre Gilbert. Wiles described Gilbert as defiant, argumentative, and confrontational. Gilbert refused to recognize TBN’s transfer of Radio Paradise to Flowing Streams Church.
“Mr Gilbert called the Nevis Police Department and tried to have our church delegation arrested for trespassing on the Radio Paradise property,” said Wiles.
Flowing Streams Church’s chief financial officer Chris Steinle and Pastor Wiles’ personal assistant Chase Anderson were present with him when Gilbert called the police.
“Mr Gilbert lied to the Nevis Police by telling them he didn’t know anything about TBN donating the station to us,” explained the Florida minister. “Mr Gilbert and I communicated by telephone and email prior to my arrival to take possession of the station. He knew I was on the way to Nevis to take possession of the station. Furthermore, Mr Gilbert had expressed interest in us hiring him because TBN planned to terminate his employment. When we arrived, however, Mr Gilbert simply refused to cooperate with us. He refused to recognize the legal transfer of Radio Paradise from TBN to Flowing Streams Church. He acted like he owned Radio Paradise and TBN’s property in Nevis.”
Wiles said he was greatly impressed by the professional and calm manner in which the Nevis police officers defused the situation. The police persuaded Gilbert to turn over to Wiles the keys to Radio Paradise’s transmitter building in Conaree in St Kitts. Gilbert, however, would not permit the Florida church team to enter the TBN building in Nevis, nor have access to its financial records and broadcasting equipment.
“Dr Crouch donated all of the equipment and furniture inside the Nevis studio and offices. Mr Gilbert refused to allow us to take possession of it. He also blocked us from accessing the radio station’s financial records. He lied by saying there were no financial records inside the building. Mr Gilbert definitely did not want us to have access to those files,” said Wiles.
Wiles alleged that Gilbert has deliberately misled people in St Kitts and Nevis for 15 months into thinking he is still the general manager of Radio Paradise and legal agent for Trinity Broadcasting Network of Nevis.
“I was informed by TBN officials in mid-2013 that Mr Gilbert had been terminated as an employee. Instead of departing the station, Mr Gilbert continued to maintain control of the TBN facility in Nevis and to act as its legal agent. He has deceived many people into thinking he still is in control of Radio Paradise and the TBN property in Nevis,” stated Wiles.
According to Wiles, a TBN corporate vice president accompanied him to Nevis last March to take seize control of the building in Nevis.
“We had to get a locksmith to change the locks on the building because Mr Gilbert was illegally occupying the building and property,” said Wiles. “While the TBN vice president and I were in the building, Mr Gilbert arrived with police officers. It was a very tense situation. I felt threatened by his presence.”
All of Radio Paradise’s broadcasting equipment and office furniture was transported by truck and ferry to St Kitts where it is in storage.
According to Wiles, Gilbert has waged a deceitful and underhanded campaign for 15 months to block his church from possessing and operating Radio Paradise.
“Mr Gilbert’s antics has caused our church to waste tens of thousands of dollars flying our representatives to St Kitts and Nevis over and over attempting to dislodge Radio Paradise from his grip. He is not the owner. He is acting fraudulently as the legal agent. His actions must stop now,” exclaimed Wiles.
“Mr Gilbert’s name is on all the important legal documents in St Kitts and Nevis as Radio Paradise’s official agent. In particular, Mr Gilbert continues to function as the Radio Paradise legal agent before the National Telecommunications and Regulatory Commission.
“We cannot legally file any documents to transfer Radio Paradise and restore it to the air as long as Mr. Gilbert keeps his name on the NTRC registry. He needs to voluntarily remove his name from those documents so that our church may proceed with the transfer of Paul Crouch’s kind gift to us,” stated Wiles.
“Mr Gilbert also needs to cease and desist from acting as the general manager of Radio Paradise, as the legal agent of Radio Paradise, and as the director of Trinity Broadcasting Network of Nevis,” demanded the Florida pastor. “Furthermore, he must remove his name from the TBN/Radio Paradise bank account at Scotia Bank.”
“This is a very odd situation whereby a man who was terminated by his employer over one year ago continues to act as though he was still employed,” said Wiles. “TBN donated Radio Paradise to us 15 months ago, yet the former general manager refuses to go. I must wonder what Mr Gilbert’s real motive is regarding Radio Paradise and the TBN property in Nevis.”
That’s why he is appealing to Nevis’ deputy premier.
“I have strong reasons to believe that the Honorable Mark Brantley is Andre Gilbert’s personal attorney,” stated Wiles. “Therefore, I am pleading with Mr Brantley to intervene in this sordid mess and help me save Radio Paradise from its demise.”
“Obviously Andre Gilbert listens to Mark Brantley’s advice. Therefore, we are appealing to Mr Brantley to act in the best interest of St Kitts and Nevis and advise his client Andre Gilbert to cease all efforts to block and hinder the transfer of Radio Paradise to Flowing Streams Church,” said Wiles. “It is time to end Mr Gilbert’s nefarious games. It is time for a responsible adult to have a serious talk with Mr Gilbert.”
“The only thing we desire is to rescue Radio Paradise from destruction,” said Wiles. “The station has been off the air for a year because Mr Gilbert has refused to cooperate. We want to get Radio Paradise back to its former glory. I am asking the Honorable Mr Mark Brantley to help us save Radio Paradise.”
Wiles said he is sincerely appealing to Brantley to do the right thing by persuading his friend Gilbert to cease and desist all efforts to block the transfer of Radio Paradise to Flowing Streams Church, to cease and desist from acting as the general manager and legal agent of Trinity Broadcasting Network of Nevis, to cease and desist all efforts to negotiate with third parties regarding Radio Paradise and TBN’s property in Nevis, and to voluntarily remove his name from all legal documents and accounts regarding Radio Paradise and TBN of Nevis.
“Radio Paradise has now reached the crisis stage. This can’t go on much longer. If the Honorable Mr Brantley will help us, we could have Radio Paradise back on the air this year and Mr Brantley will be the hero,” said Wiles. “If he doesn’t help us, Radio Paradise will go its grave and Mark Brantley’s name will be etched on its tombstone.”
“I am confident Mr Brantley will do what is best for the good people of St Kitts and Nevis by helping us restore Radio Paradise to its former glory as the beacon of hope to the entire Caribbean region,” said Wiles.
“Paul Crouch loved St Kitts and Nevis. One of his last requests before his death was that Radio Paradise remains on the air as a Gospel station. Paul Crouch would turn in his grave if he knew what Andre Gilbert has done to his beloved Radio Paradise. God have mercy,” stated Wiles.