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St. John’s Sunday service now on WSAT

By Susan Shinn for The Salisbury Post


For 75 years, St. John’s Lutheran Church has broadcast its Sunday service on local radio. For at least the next few weeks, however, the service will be broadcast on a different station and different time.

Listeners will be able to hear the 11 a.m. worship service at noon on WSAT 1280 AM, according to the Rev. Rhodes Woolly, St. John’s senior pastor.

“We knew as soon as we heard the news that WSTP had been sold that it would affect our radio ministry,” Woolly says. “We got in touch with Buddy Poole very quickly.”

Poole now serves as general manager for WSTP and WSAT. Poole said Thursday that the changeover would be made as quickly as possible, and that WSTP’s target date to return to the airwaves is early April.

“The future is great for our radio ministry,” Woolly says. “The new owners have assured us that they will continue to broadcast our Sunday services. We also have wanted an enhanced broadcast, and the upgrades will allow us to produce a better program.”

There’s no way to measure how many St. John’s members – and others in the community – listen to the weekly broadcasts, Woolly notes. “But every week, someone makes a comment about our radio ministry — whether they listen at home on a regular basis, or when members tune in while they travel out of town.

Darrell Blackwelder and his wife, Gerrie, have listened to the St. John’s broadcast for years, each time they travel to the beach, he says. “If I’m not mistaken, I think I listened while I was overseas. As long as you’ve got a good Internet connection, you’re good.”

Blackwelder notes, “Gerrie and I could leave the beach earlier on Sunday mornings, but we always stay to listen to the service.”

“It’s the next best thing to being there,” says Fran Hoke, who lives at Badin Lake.

David and Bonnie Hord listened to the service on a recent trip to the Napa Valley in California.

All of which makes Woolly glad that folks are listening.

“Does that mean it’s a huge audience? I don’t know,” he says. “But it is a very significant way our folks can connect each week to congregational life.”

Mike Agee leads the congregation’s sound team, and says that, although there’s no way to know the size of the listening audience, “if we do something wrong, we sure hear about it! We hope this will work well for our listeners. We want folks to hear the service.”

You can listen to the St. John’s service each Sunday at noon on WSAT 1280 AM, following the 11 a.m. worship service at First Baptist Church, Salisbury. You can also listen via Tune In Radio, a free app for Android and Apple products, or through the station’s Web site, www.1280wsat.com.

Susan Shinn is communications assistant for St. John’s Lutheran Church.

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