How our Ministry began seventy (70) years ago!
On March 1, 1944, I had fully surrendered my life to God’s will to become involved in the full time Ministry. Then the question’s came up, how and where would I begin? How can I hope to accomplish God’s will for my life having no sight? In fact, I felt so strongly that I lacked the ability to do what God wanted me to do.
The following Sunday, my youngest sister Jewel and I, visited the broadcast studio where our Pastor did a full hour broadcast every Sunday morning. We took a street car from the South side of Birmingham over to Third Avenue North. Then we walked the distance of four blocks to the Dixie Carlton Hotel where the radio station WSGN was located, walked the stairway to the fifth floor and finally found the studio where the Pastor and many others had gathered for the hour broadcast. Back then every radio station had a large studio for people to do live programming. However, WSGN was the only radio station that allowed a Christian program to be aired.
My sister and I slipped into the studio, sat down on the back row of chairs and hoped for the most part that we would go unnoticed. The Pastor saw us and welcomed us to the broadcast. First he wanted to know if I brought my guitar and if so would we by chance be prepared to sing a song and say a few words. My reply was, “Pastor, no I didn’t bring the guitar because my sister and I have never sung together.” Then the Pastor asked, “Could you come back to the radio station next Sunday and be prepared to sing?” He also asked me if I would I like to give my testimony. We both agreed. Afterwards, my sister said to me, “Buddy, what are we going to do? Even though you play the guitar, we have never sung together.” My only reply was, “We have plenty of time to practice and we will be prepared.” I’ll have to admit, my sister had a very good voice. I would play the guitar and lean heavily on her for the singing even though I would attempt to sing along with her.
The following Sunday we were there but we were both very nervous, never having sung together in public and especially on the radio. The Pastor introduced us then called upon us to sing. We stepped to the microphone and sang the song, “Jesus is the One, Yes, He’s the only one. Let Him have His way until the day is done. When He speaks you know the clouds will have to go, all because He loves you so.” Afterwards, the Pastor asked me to give my testimony and then lead us in prayer for the radio audience.
The radio station manager happened to be listening to this station
that Sunday morning and decided that he would like to make time
available on WSGN for us to be on the air daily. He arranged for us
to be on Monday through Saturday at 5:30 A.M. starting Wednesday,
March 15, 1944. My sister came to me weeping and said, “Buddy in
order for you to do what God has opened the door to do, you’re going
to need someone to go with you and be your eyes. Therefore, I have
fully agreed to give up my job with a Birmingham firm so that I can
have a part in your Ministry.” Come Wednesday morning, March 15th,
we were there in the studio met by the announcer, Lowell Pass.
He said, “I take great pleasure in presenting to our WSGN listeners, Buddy and Jewel Tucker, brother and sister. And now here is today’s broadcast. We began singing the same song that we had sung the previous Sunday morning on the Pastors broadcast. We sang the verses of the song and we were so blessed of the Lord until we repeated the chorus over and over again. Then my sister sang one of her favorite songs that I thought she sang best. She was so anointed of the Holy Spirit and the studio was filled with the presence of the Lord. I prayed for the audience. I prayed for every mother and father whose son was in the war at that time, the same as my only brother, Merle. I prayed for families and loved ones serving overseas in World War II.
I also prayed for every wife whose husband was overseas in the war. I felt so anointed to pray for every person that was not a Christian and everyone that was among the sick and shut in. After the prayer, my sister and I sang the beautiful hymn, “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus”. My message from God’s Word was rather brief but right to the point, “Today is the day of salvation and now is the accepted time” 2 Corinthians 6:2
I asked the mother’s and father’s to pray earnestly and to believe God for the salvation of their son who was away in the war. I asked all family member’s to pray for the member’s of their family and friends. Pray for their safe return but mostly pray for the salvation of their soul. Therefore, in the event that they were killed in action, if they were a Christian then they would certainly enter into a far more beautiful life but if they were returned home safely but had never asked Jesus to come into their heart they would still be given an opportunity to accept Jesus Christ. What a golden opportunity this was in the very beginning of this Christian Radio Ministry seventy (70) years ago!
After the broadcast, Jewel and I made our way back across town where we lived with Mom and Dad. This daily morning broadcast required both of us to get up at 3:30 A.M., get ready and out the door by 4:00 A.M. First we had to walk several blocks to catch the street car about 4:20 A.M. and travel the distance to the North side so early in the morning. Then we had to walk the distance of five blocks to the Dixie Carlton Hotel, go up to the fifth floor and try our best to be in the studio by 5:15 A.M.
Now this was quite a schedule for two very young people to keep on a daily basis. The only address we gave on the air was Buddy and Jewel; radio station WSGN; Birmingham, Alabama. Every morning we were greeted by the announcer handing us a handful of mail that came in the day before. We could hardly wait until we got home after the broadcast so that we could find out what the listening audience had to say. We were encouraged by so many to keep it up saying, “Please continue your broadcast. So many people were saved!”
Another door of opportunity was opened immediately. We were asked to
come to the war defense plants and have a brief devotional for many
that worked seven days a week and were unable to go to church. They
sat at their machines while having their lunch from a brown paper
bag. Many gave their hearts to the Lord right there in the defense
plants! Of course, Jewel and I gave them an opportunity to accept
the Lord where an overwhelming amount of them cried. Most of these
people, that we ministered to in the defense plants, listened to us
on the air every morning on WSGN radio station in Birmingham,
What a GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY this was for us to begin our radio Ministry seventy (70) years ago!
After having spent two (2) years in full time Ministry, I felt the great need to go to Bible College for the purpose of better preparing myself for the Ministry. It was in Bible College that I first met a young lady named, Levaughn, and after Bible College was complete we were married. We immediately became a husband and wife team in the Ministry of Christian broadcasting and total Evangelism. This is when the Ministry of Christian Radio became my very life. We continued in other areas of Ministry but more emphasis was placed on broadcasting the Gospel. By doing so, we felt that we had an even greater opportunity to win souls to Christ.
Over the years we broadcast over some of the nation’s most powerful and far reaching radio stations. The broadcast was placed on stations in major cities but with such an outreach we were also reaching millions that lived in small towns and rural areas. We even placed our broadcast on stations far down in the Caribbean which enabled us to be involved in what was truly a Missionary Outreach. We got reports from many that walked five (5) miles just to get to hear our thirty (30) minute broadcast on Sunday night. During this time we got numerous correspondences from many that wanted us to come to the Islands for Missionary Crusades. This was something that we had always wanted to do. It wasn’t easy but I can truthfully say that it was difficult but the harvest of souls made it all worthwhile.
When we felt that we could no longer continue that’s when the call came, sharing with us that the door of opportunity had opened for us to go to Mobile, Alabama and take over a 5000 watt radio station and program it Christian Radio. This was when the word “Faith” really took on real meaning. What a tremendous undertaking! A radio station that for many years had known nothing but neglect and failure but God turned things around in a hurry once I came on the air and made the announcement, “This is Christian radio and will be from now on”. No sooner than we had gotten WMOB 1360 AM pretty well established, the call came to inform us that radio station WYND 1310 AM in DeLand, Florida was available for the same, Christian Radio. Now, we thought the Mobile station was a great undertaking but we learned within a few years that WYND was an even greater undertaking. The one thing that kept us going was that we felt most certain that God had arranged these open doors.
From early beginnings to the present time:
WMOB “Mobile’s Christian Voice” began June 1, 1983 and WYND “Florida’s Christian Voice” became Christian radio May 9, 1989. Since that time many good things have taken place, like a power increase from the FCC, giving us greater coverage over a vast area with one exception, WMOB lacked good coverage to the North. That’s when the big station in Bay Minette, Alabama at 1110 AM became available. There again we took on an even greater responsibility but oh how thankful we are that WTOF, “Tower of Faith”, reached into towns and cities far north of Bay Minette, East of Pensacola, extreme north west Florida and a vast area of Mississippi. The most miraculous thing of all is that when we began placing the greatest emphasis on Christian Radio, believe it or not we had no money to get them going but soon all three (3) stations in time became well established and known by many broadcasters nationwide.
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Copyright 2012 Buddy Tucker Evangelistic Association, Inc.