AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – An early seed planted as a teenager led him to fulfilling a need in his community as an adult.

Tiffany Hobbs sat down with a local pastor who established the first Hispanic radio station in Augusta.

“It’s a testimony,” said Angel Maestre, Senior Pastor of Oasis VIP Multicultural Ministry.

Pastor Angel Maestre was born in Colombia. New York City raised him. And, after a military transfer, Augusta became his home.

During his early years in the Garden City, he says he felt a calling to lead his church.

“We felt in our spirit and in our soul that it was a time to do it and it was the right time to do it in Augusta, so we came out of the military,” said Pastor Maestre.

Maestre and his wife have been pastors of Oasis VIP Multicultural Ministry for 19 years.

“I believe our community needs a house where they can worship, where they can feel at home and also where they are welcoming,” Pastor Maestre. “And also where they can find resources for whatever they need.”

After years of pastoring, Maestre says he noticed something else.

“I was seeing the need of having the radio station,” said Pastor Maestre. “That they can be connected to something in Spanish.”

After five years of praying, Maestre says he answered another calling: starting the first Spanish radio station in Augusta.

“When God puts something on your heart,” said Pastor Maestre. “It’s because God has a plan and He has a provision to do it.”

In 2020, OASIS 97.3 was three years old. Maestre says that people in the community began depending on the station for important information about COVID-19.

“We were already three years on the airways,” said Pastor Maestre. “So the community had already become accustomed to getting information from somewhere- from us.”

He used his platform to bring on Latino doctors for guidance.

“We were able to connect to the need of the community,” said Pastor Maestre. “Where to take the test, where to have the vaccine, where to get the information and how to prepare the families for the pandemic.”

In March of 2023, Maestre was recognized for his community service with an Official U.S. Senate Commendation.

On September 16, 2023, Maestre was named one of Georgia’s 50 Most Influential Latinos.

“I was attacking the pandemic through information,” said Pastor Maestre. “And I believe Senator Ossoff saw that.”

After decades of service to people, Maestre says his work is just beginning. 

“As much as God is blessing me and giving me this kind of position of leadership in our city and our state,” said Pastor Maestre. “I’m going to be able to help more.”

For more information about the Oasis Ministry and 97.3, visit Centro Cristiano Oasis VIP.