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Thanks to WFLO for giving local churches a voice

Radio is a powerful medium for communication.

In the U.S. alone there are more than 550 million radios in use including more than 170 million in vehicles as standard equipment. That amounts to almost six radios per household. Additionally, a huge percentage of Americans have access to streaming radio through a browser or apps on smartphones.

Americans utilize radio more than any other medium during the workday, averaging more than two hours per day listening in their cars alone.

First Baptist Church Dillwyn has a member who is disc jockey, “Shot Gun” John. He is also referred to as “The Voice.”

If you listen to our church broadcast, you will hear his introduction and know why he is called “The Voice.” My family was so blessed to actually see him work his craft in the radio booth. I was thankful that my girls actually saw a real live disc jockey. Radio has changed. Local DJs mostly are a thing of the past, now remembered only in movies such a “American Graffiti.”

Based on Romans 10:14, our church was blessed with a vision and opportunity to broadcast worship on local radio. Many years later, the local station known as “Big Country” was sold to be a “routing” station to air a national broadcast. We were not offered an opportunity to broadcast our worship due to the simple fact we weren’t even considered, since it is a corporate licensee. Thankfully, we were welcomed by local radio station “Kicking Country” 92.9 to continue our local radio ministry.

The news that WFLO was to be sold made my heart sink.

Yes, the silver lining is that it was sold to the number two nationwide licensee, K-Love, a Christian network. That was a similar case with our former home on the radio. It was cringing to have someone say, “Well, I listened to Charles Stanley, David Jeremiah, and then I listened to you.” I shudder for the comparison and am humbled to be put in the same sentence as those dynamic pastors, or “serminators” as someone has aptly said.

But that was the beauty of local worship. Other worship broadcasts are certainly more polished and succinct. But I believe in a local radio broadcast as passionately as I do being a part of a local church. Where else can you hear the testimony from local citizens, talent from local singers and musicians, the community prayer needs, and yes, local preaching.

We are on the “other” Farmville station than WFLO. But I loved that WFLO had various local churches on different Sundays.

As much of a blessing K-Love is, it is very unlikely Farmville will get that opportunity. Yes, you’ll hear great music, and great Biblical teachers and preachers. But I am thankful for the opportunity to listen in to local worship that WFLO gave.

I will miss the humor of local icon Henry Fulcher. And I will miss hearing local events. God blessed me through you.

Thank you, WFLO.

REV. JOHN MOXLEY can be reached at Jmoxleydillwyn@ gmail.com.