Posted by WBFJ | | Posted on 9:04 AM

As I celebrate 7 years of being a part of Crossroad Radio (the first 3 as co-host & the last 4 as host & producer), and embark on the 8th, I'm hit with a wave of nostalgia and thankfulness for a couple of guys who, in the 1980s, provided an outlet for me, as a young Christian, to hear the music that I wasn't hearing on mainstream radio and definitely not on Christian radio at that time.

In 1986 I walked away away from an explosion.  Not in the literal sense (sorry for my flair for the dramatic), but it was something that took me completely by surprise and radically altered the course of my life.  After a week of summer church camp, which I had attended for several years and had no reason to expect anything different this time, the truth of the gospel of Christ washed over me while sitting at a campfire service on the Friday night before leaving.  This after countless Sundays, Wednesday nights, Bible Schools, and, again, church camps, hearing, but not understanding the message of love and justice meeting at the cross.  But when I heard the words of John 15:13 where Jesus says "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends," I understood that God was calling me near and calling me His friend.  I understood my sin and it grieved me.  And I knew it grieved Him because He cared for me.  I repented and He took over.  I wanted change in every area that drew me away from Him.

One of the biggest problems I faced when I came home the next day was my music collection.  I was going into my junior year of high school in the fall and I was a music ADDICT with countless albums and cassettes (yes, I'm embarrassed) that had been my top treasures.  At the time, I felt God's call to lay them down and get infused with music that brought truth home to me.  So I called my pastor, Gary Benesh, who had first introduced me to what was known as Contemporary Christian Music (I just called it Christian rock) and asked if there were any stations in the area that played it.  Gary told me about WPAR, a preaching & teaching/southern gospel station in Lincolnton, NC, that turned over to a light contemporary format on weeknights and had a show featuring more of a rock format on Friday nights.  Does that last part sound familiar?

As I said, I was going into my junior year, a time when most teenagers spread their wings, begin partying, and really living it up.  But all of a sudden, my heart was elsewhere and I knew, despite every temptation that came my way, this couldn't be my track.  So it was truly a blessing for me the first time I tuned into The Rock Foundation on WPAR that first Friday night because I knew I had found a home and the music I wanted and needed to hear.  I was introduced to bands and artists like The Altar Boys, Daniel Amos (DA), Rez Band, The Choir, Mark Heard/IDEOLA, Crumbacher, Tonio K., Petra (although if you know my history with CCM, you know I was already familiar with them), Stryper, Steve Taylor, Elim Hall, Kenny Marks, The Awakening, etc.  The show was hosted by two guys, Steve & Nelson, who will forever be heroes of mine because they took the time to do this and because they also fielded the occasional call from a 16 year old kid wanting to know what band was playing or to make a request.  Those conversations weren't brief because these guys actually cared.  They listened and responded and in so doing, made an impact on the life of a teenager.

Fast forward several (okay, many) years to 2006 when, as an adult with no intention or inclination to get into radio, I was asked by a complete stranger at WBFJ, who went on to become one of my best friends, to co-host a show that I had heard before but never thought about being a part of, Crossroad Radio.  That guy was Mike Crump (aka Deke) and I had been lined up to do an interview with him on XR for a See You at the Pole event I was promoting through the Surry Baptist Youth Association in Mt. Airy, featuring a band that he had played on the show, Pivitplex.  The years in between high school and this had seen me graduate from Toccoa Falls College in GA, move to Nashville, TN, where I worked as a freelance writer for several music publications in the 90s, and return to the area to live in Mt. Airy, which is another story for another day.  I had become familiar with Wally Decker and Tami Rumfelt from WBFJ through bringing them out to host concerts our group had been putting on, and had talked music with them on several occasions.  After Deke and I did our interview, he mentioned the co-host spot and that Wally & Tami had mentioned me to him as a possibility.  My first thought was a flashback to those days with Steve & Nelson and the opportunity to be a part of something like what The Rock Foundation had meant to me.  I prayed (very quickly, I might add) and said yes.

After 3 years of rocking the mic with Deke, God called him to be a part of the ministry team at The Bridge (then Calvary Chapel) in Kernersville) in 2009.  I took over as host and producer of Crossroad Radio at that time and, with only a couple of exceptions, have been bringing it live every Friday night to you in the same way that Steve & Nelson brought The Rock Foundation to me all those years ago.

So if you've ever been blessed by my time on Crossroad Radio, there are several people that you can thank -  Mike (Deke), Wally, Tami,  and my wife, Angie, who gives sacrificially each Friday night to make it happen.  But gratitude runs deepest for me for the 2 guys who were doing what I do way back before I even had a notion about doing it, and the 1 show that brought rock & the gospel together in this area - Steve, Nelson, & The Rock Foundation.

Comments (2)

Great story! Thanks for sharing. Hope to see you again soon! ~Webby

Awesome story Dave. You know XR has been an immense blessing in my life. I was introduced to it around that same crucial point in my life (sophomore-junior in high school), and its really been great having XR every Friday night!