Our market is comprised of the Delmarva Peninsula,
Southern Maryland and the “Northern Neck” of
Virginia. It is predominantly a rural geographic area
separated partially by the Chesapeake Bay. While
there was a time when Maranatha, Inc. would have
identified a predominantly female audience between
ages 25 and 45, the efforts of the ministry are
currently not as limited. We seem to strike an
amazingly satisfactory balance of a cross-generational
audience – from children to grandparents – and seem to
appeal to male and female alike.
2. What is the most fulfilling aspect to you
personally about Christian radio?
The manner in which the community embraces the
ministry staff as part of their own families. It is
very humbling to have people hold us in such “high
regard” when, in fact, we are just like them in every
way --- it is also rewarding when we see the look of
appreciation when we explain that to them. Another
rewarding/humbling aspect would have to be the trust
the Lord and people place in us with their prayer
requests and with their donations.
How do you personally keep the ministry in the
Ministry comes first. Perhaps it is easier
because, while we are licensed as a commercial
station, we choose to conduct business as if we were
licensed as a non-commercial station – that seems to
keep some of the secularization at bay. It’s important
for us, in ministry, to put people first – to take the
time to pray with someone that calls on the phone in
need of someone to talk to. I find that in-house
ministry is also very important. We get involved in
the busyness of the ministry and can fall into a trap
of not being ministered to ourselves. Also, we stop
for devotions for a half hour every weekday morning –
the phones are put in night mode and everyone stops
what they are doing to get together for a short
discussion and prayer.
is the criteria that
determines if a song receives airplay on your station?
First and foremost, the song must bring glory to
God and be obviously Christ-centered. We try to make
sure the words are intelligible and that the beat is
not to “hot” for our unusually balanced audience.
kind of promotions work best for your station?
We’re not big into promotions in
the usual sense. We do a scriptural pursuit contest
twice a day with a CD as a prize. We will partner
with other entities (churches or professional
promoters) that want to bring a concert into the area
but we do not undertake the contracting or the details
of the concert directly.
6. How do you think
Christian Record labels can better serve Christian
By not succumbing to
secularization. Some of the best songs, in my
opinion, that are out right now are old hymns that
have been redone with a contemporary flair. That is
the perfect example of balancing music to meet diverse
ages of the audience. I think Christian labels should
hold artists to an absolute highest standard – if a
song relies on “yeahs” it tells me the writer didn’t
have anything deeper to say; if a song is filled with
heavy sighs that sensualize the song, I am left
wondering about the motivation behind it.
7. In your opinion what are
the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio today?
in many ways. While we don’t consider ourselves to
have “competition” in the secular radio marketplace,
certainly the business owners that we approach for
sponsorships do consider whether their business will
be better “promoted” on a secular station or on a
Christian station. Radio “sales” can be a cut-throat
business and we don’t want any part of it at that
level. Another area would be that Christian radio
will have to take a stand against trends to make music
hotter/faster etc….it’s not that Christian music
cannot be hot or fast, but it’s important not to lose
focus on the fact that “hotter/faster” does not
represent the entire audience nor to lose focus on
what it’s all about to begin with.
8. What do you believe is the primary role of the
Christian radio air personality today?
I guess I have to take
issue with the way the question is phrased. We don’t
hire radio “personalities”, we hire announcers who can
minister through word and song selection. The only
“personality” to be promoted on our radio ministry is
the personality of Christ.
9. What (if any)
other Christian radio stations do you consider as
haven’t closely studied other Christian radio stations
since ours is the only Christian radio station in our
area (other than a few small translator signals of
other out-of-State stations). I do pay attention to
the trends I see on SkyLight, which we use during some
of our automated hours.
Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
I believe that, by virtue of satellite and the
internet, there will be a larger Christian radio
audience in five years. With all of the hurts and
troubles of this world, I think people will turn more
towards Christian radio than they have in the past. I
also think that we will see a trend towards more
traditional music. By that I mean, for instance, the
modern hymns or what I would call “true” praise and
worship music; I think the “hotter” Christian music is
a passing phase. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy some of
the hotter music but I think the time is coming when
we will model music for the world and not the other