For me, it’s a tale with two beginnings. My love for Gospel goes back to my roots in Plainfield, NJ, and to my grandparents, Evangeline and Marcellus D. Smith Sr. Seems like every Sunday afternoon they were taking me to some kind of church service; either a concert, or YPWW, or BTU, or something. I grew to appreciate different types of services from different denominations.
Then came my time at the Community Baptist Church, where my Aunt Mary was the choir director and where I learned to love to sing harmony. At the age of 19, I was in the Young Adult Choir, the Senior Choir, the Male Chorus, not to mention being ordained as a Deacon.
The other side of it started back at Glassboro State College. Now it’s known as Rowan University, but it will always be GSC to me. That little campus in Southern New Jersey is where I fell in love with radio. I had always been a little shy and introverted growing up, but when I got behind a microphone I felt something I had never felt before.
I cut my teeth at Glassboro’s campus radio station. Being a student station, it played a little bit of everything. I started playing rock, R&B and disco. Soon I was making a pretty good living dejaying parties on and off campus.
Things came to a head for me on Sunday, December 16, 1979, when I came to the realization that I could not continue to live two lives, one where I was living for Christ and the other where I was living to party. I surrendered to the leading of the Holy Spirit, gave away my $4,000 record collection and dedicated my radio career to playing Gospel.
I left school and worked at radio stations in Camden, NJ, and suburban Philadelphia. Later, I decided to complete my degree and moved the family south, here to Huntsville, AL, to study at Oakwood. I worked at various jobs on and off campus before I finally got my foot in the door at WEUP back in 1991, working the early Sunday morning shift.
I did that for a bit, but in 1994, I left the station in order to concentrate on school and family. I bounced around the radio dial for a while after that, but in 1998, I came back home to WEUP. I’ve been here ever since.
Fast forward to 2012, and it’s my pleasure to host “The Hallelujah Praise” Monday through Friday evenings from 7:00 to Midnight and Saturdays from 6:00 to Midnight. Plus, every weeknight from 9:00 to 9:30, we present “Evening Prayer That Avails” featuring Dr. Wayne Snodgrass, Pastor MT Hicks and Sister Barbara Hicks.