Rev. Allan McGuirl is turning 80 this month! He is the last remaining founder and currently the Director Emeritus of Galcom International.
The following is his testimony:
Allan was born and raised in the rural town of Billings Bridge just outside of Ottawa, Ontario. He and his twin sister were only three years old when their father died, leaving his mother with four children. While still a boy, he showed an early interest in electronics, wiring up his bedroom with alarms and various types of radios connected outside to an antenna. At the age of 13, at a summer camp, he came to know the Lord as his personal Saviour.
As a teenager, while working part time with Canadian Tire, he took advantage of the numerous opportunities to take courses in service and repairs of appliances, pumps and radios as well as, participate in seminars on management and advertising. After graduation from high school, his work with this company eventually led him to the position of Manager of Advertising and Public Relations for the 22 Ottawa Valley stores. This involved advertising in radio, television, newspaper and special promotions. One of these promotions was to schedule and organize Canada’s largest Antique Car Tour ever held in honour of Canada’s Centennial celebration in 1967 in the nation’s capital for the ever-expanding Canadian Tire Corporation. The success of the 350 automobile parade, 1200 seat banquet and resulting live coverage in the television studio netted Allan the offer of a dealership in a new area of the city to own his own Canadian Tire store.
Allan should have been thrilled with this offer, which promised wealth and success in the material world. However, he was increasingly sensing the call of God to a life of service and ministry. The Lord was dealing with Allan and after fourteen years in the business world, he enrolled at Ontario Bible College, being out of school for over 10 years. Studies were fraught with frustration as he battled with dyslexia. His marriage to Florrie, a school teacher and former director of Christian education by profession as well as graduate of the college, was a great asset in this area as well. In 1972, he graduated with honours with a BRE Pastoral Major. In May of that year he accepted a call to pastor the Grace Community Church in St. Marys, Ontario. This pioneer work began with six families and grew under Allan’s leadership to a congregation of over a hundred with property ready for building.
In 1975, he felt God’s hand leading him to Mountain Gospel Church, Hamilton. This faltering work was in need of a leader. The Lord enabled Allan to build up the congregation in faith and in numbers, to oversee its amalgamation with the Caroline Street congregation and to build a Christian Education wing for its growing ministry. This grew from about 36 people to over 200 in various programs.
In 1982, after much prodding from the Lord, Allan accepted the position in Missions as Canadian Director of Gospel Recordings, Canada. With only $100 per month promised support, this was a major step in faith trusting the Lord to provide for the needs of the family, now including five children. Their policy was to receive no salary but trust the Lord, by faith, to provide each month and to not let your needs be known. Florrie and Allan were able to testify how the Lord met their needs month by month over the years while at Gospel Recordings.
The Gospel Recordings ministry (currently known as Global Recordings Network), had been without leadership for a number of years and had travelled through some rough waters. The Lord enabled Allan to sort out a number of these problems as well as present the mission across Canada. During this time, he was also interested in developing additional methods for reaching unreached people groups. Gospel Recordings was using records and cassette tapes. Allan could see the need for building a solar powered fix-tuned radio for the Mission Field. But at the time Gospel Recordings was not ready for this technology.
About the same time, Ken Crowell, in Tiberias, Israel was working on a fix‑tuned radio and Harold Kent, in Florida, was also interested in reaching unreached groups with radio ministry. Ken had phoned Allan and through their conversation became aware that Allan had built a working AM solar fix-tuned radio. The Lord brought all three of them together and on August 15, 1989 Galcom International was established. Stepping out on faith the three men set out this motto ‘Jesus Christ is the head of this ministry. He is the founder, provider and sustainer for all that is accomplished; all praise and glory belong to Him’. The ministry vision was to provide durable technical equipment for communicating the Gospel worldwide. The primary tool is to make fix‑tuned radios in AM, FM and Short Wave and setting up low power radio stations in unreached areas around the world. We have now gone over nine hundred and fifty thousand fix‑tuned radios that have already been distributed in every continent around the world except for the South Pole. This was possible with the help of hundreds of evangelical organizations networking with us to reach the unreached. These same wonderful organizations have also made it possible to set up about 160 radio stations around the world. Allan continues to be encouraged by reports of conversions, churches established and discipleship ministries that have carried on because of these radios and Christian radio stations that reach the poorest and non-literate with the Good News.
His life verse is Psalm 37:5 “Commit your way unto the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will bring it to pass.” Allan often says “it’s reaching out committing ourselves by taking hold of God’s hand and watching Him work.”
If you are interested in reading Allan’s book “Waves of Hope” which is about the beginning of Galcom International and stories of Allan’s travels, or if you are interested in Allan speaking at your church, feel free to contact our International office at 1-877-242-5266 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact Allan directly at email@example.com or 1 877 242 5266 x 225.