Almost thirty years ago, a part time radio host invited me to contribute a devotional to her Sunday morning show. Although what I submitted week after week was something different than she first imagined, those five-minute commentaries laid the foundation for the later design and construction of my one-hour weekly show “The Meetinghouse: Conversations on Religion and American Life”. I did that while dean of the chapel at Georgetown College, and even after the show ran its course, I continued to write. Out of that sustained exercise came the book, On the Other Side of Oddville.
Fifteen years later, my “retirement” from the Academy of Preachers gave me space and strength to relaunch the weekly column (are you a subscriber?) and, now, to return to the airwaves.
On April 2, 2020, I will publicly and formally inaugurate my show “The Meetinghouse with Dwight A. Moody”.
It will air live on St. Simons Island on 94.7 FM and in Brunswick on 97.5 FM every Thursday from 1-2 pm. It will be recorded and rebroadcast sometime during the subsequent weekend.
These two radio stations are part of an East Coast network called Rejoice Radio and features primarily what is known as urban gospel music.
My show will consist of music, news, interviews, book reviews, and commentaries. I will have co-hosts and guests for every show, in the studio and, later, on the phone. Most will be live.
Technically, I will go on the air a month earlier than April 2; I will begin Thursday, March 5, at the same time. These four “pre-season” shows will give me time to practice the trade and experiment with things. I have four guests lined up for these first programs in March, including my own pastor Tony Lankford and our mutual ministerial friend, Rabbi Rachel Bregman of Brunswick.
A few friends have helped me prepare for this new phase of ministry, with video production, financial support, and technical skill development. I have reached out to a local music ensemble to help in certain ways. But I am going public with my confession: I NEED HELP!
I need people who can help me with content development, social media, and program marketing. If you, or someone you know, wants to help as a volunteer or contract collaborator—I’m not hiring employees, not yet!—let them know to contact me.
We plan to webcast the weekly programs live on Facebook and post the recorded shows on both YouTube and our websites. There are other avenues of distribution that we will explore, including syndication, Sirius Radio, and independent web-based radio. Who knows who new avenues of content distribution will emerge in the next decade!
The public launch date of April 2, 2020 comes three days after my 70th birthday. After more than two decades in school and another two decades serving as a pastor, plus one decade on a college faculty, and another leading the Academy of Preachers, I am eager to spend this next ten years inserting my voice into the local and national conversation about religion and our common life.
Most religion on radio is evangelistic (converting people) or expository (explaining scripture) or polemic (defending ideas). I may do a little of each of these from time to time—how could I resist, right? But mostly I want to hear what people think, listen to what people say, and read what people write, understand what people believe and practice. I want to engage people in the most important elements of their spiritual and religious journey.
I want to learn. I want to grow. I want to continue my own journey. I want to share in the wonderful experience we call life, especially that part of it that engages the transcendent and contributes to the common good.
So, turn your radio on, or your computer, or your smart phone. Join in the conversation on The Meetinghouse. Help keep this old man going for another decade of ministry, in keeping with the call I received more than a half century ago, to live and preach the gospel, the good news of what God is doing in the world through our Risen Lord, Jesus the Christ.
And all the people said, AMEN!
*”Turn Your Radio On” is the title of an old gospel song, which you can easily find on YouTube.