I became a believer at the age of sixteen. I remember kneeling beside my bed and praying the sinner’s prayer from a gospel booklet. I looked out from my bedroom window into the starry night and seeing the massive amounts of corn stalks in the fields and thinking, “I want to change my world for Christ.”
There was a little red transistor radio that I listened to. In the kitchen one day, my mother had that radio tuned to the local Christian station. I heard the announcer and I looked at that audio device and said, “I will do that someday.” I just knew it. I had started witnessing to others I worked with about Christ and studied the Word like crazy.
Little did I know that a few years later, I would begin working at my first radio station in Bowling Green, Ohio. I had received my training, got my FCC license, and rose up through the ranks to become a program and music director and host the morning AM “drive” show. I was spinning LPs (yep LPs) and telling others about the love of God in Christ. I knew this was something that was in my blood and loved being able to play those tunes that ministered to so many. This was before CCM was even really a term. I was airing songs by some of the forerunners in the CCM arena like: David Meece, Dallas Holm, The Imperials, and Don Francisco.
My travels and stations ended up in various geographical locations. I ministered as far south as New Orleans and as far north as Rockford, Illinois, and some stations in between. Some of the best years in CCM was in the Rockford area. I worked with some awesome colleagues as we endeavored to reach the listeners with music that helped them through both good and bad times. I was fortunate to air some of the fantastic artists "back in the day." Song after song was electrifying as the sounds of Dallas Holm, Petra, Wayne Watson, Twila Paris, Bryan Duncan, Clay Crosse, Degarmo and Key plus a plethora of others were aired. I was honored to work with some amazing people like Cindy Swanson and others that truly had a heart for radio ministry like I did. In those years I formed some associations with great artists and their vision of the music they recorded.
For awhile in the latter part of the nineties I had stepped away from the CCM radio field. I went to college and earned my Computer IT degree while doing software and hardware related work. However, the love of Contemporary Christian music never left me. Then it hit me that the “gifts and calling of God are without repentance (irrevocable).” I decided that it was still there. The passion that God had placed in my heart. I conferred with a radio engineer colleague and bought all the same equipment we used at the stations. I was hearing from so many that the sounds of CCM from the 80s and 90s were in high demand. So, I decided to take “a leap of faith” and launch “CCM Replay!” So far, the response has been great.
Terrestrial radio remains and is still a positive force for today's CCM. Many artists and radio personalities from the past era have gone to streaming their music, doing podcasts, and have gone "online." My goal is to reach those who want to hear the sounds of those days and rekindle a passion for the music. So, when you listen, and you hear the songs from that era, and it touches you once again, then my goal has been reached.
I would like to thank all the wonderful friends and colleagues that I worked with along the way that truly shaped many wonderful things in my life. From my first radio manager, to the fellow announcers that ministered along with me, I owe my utmost gratitude. Thanks to Cindy Swanson, Ron Tietsort and Jack Michaels for their belief and trust. I would like to thank my wife Lorraine for her unending support and love through this new endeavor. She is a “rock” to me, encouraging me, giving me ideas, a sounding board, an editor, and confidant that I truly trust with my whole being. She has brought me to the place I am today with the Lord’s help.
Finally, I owe my whole life to the one who makes all things possible and causes all things to grow: my Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:8 remarks that “God demonstrated His love for us that while we were yet sinners, He died for us!” For me, that says it all. Thank you, Lord. Sola Deo Gloria (To God Be the Glory).