I knew early on in life what I wanted to do when I grew up. I had a pretend radio station in my room and would scan stations from all over the country to build my music library, and learn basic techniques.
It was not only radio but popular music in general that deepened my passion to learn more. My brother and I would drive from our small hometown in Ohio to Fort Wayne and visit the library downtown because they kept copies of Billboard Magazine and we’d transcribe or make photocopies of the Hot 100 Charts from the 1970’s and early 80’s.
In high school, I had the opportunity to host some of the school dances. After graduating, I sent an audition tape to the local FM rock station, WKKI. They ended up hiring me to do the Saturday night request show. The Sports Director at this station, “Big Ralph” hosted a Sunday morning music show and he was playing songs by artists like Keith Green, Amy Grant, Petra, Phil Keaggy and others. Little did I know at the time how much of an impact that would have on my life and career.
After 5 years at WKKI, I was one of the first people hired to help start a Classic Rock station in Fort Wayne called, “98-9 The Bear”. I served as Music Director and overnight announcer for 8 years.
As my heart began to change and I became more active at my church, I left “The Bear” In the Fall of 1996 and was hired at WLAB (known today as “STAR 88.3”). It was here I began hosting my own program called, “The Heart of Worship” which also aired on other stations around the country. I did that for ten years when I was then asked to join the team for a new show called, “Don Moen & Friends”. It would become the most successful launch of a national show ever in Christian radio. It evolved into what is now known as, “Keep the Faith”, which you can hear on STAR. I serve as “show producer” responsible for assembling and delivering the program every week to over 100 stations around the world.
As if that’s not enough to occupy my time, my daughter Zoe keeps me hopping as well. Together, we have walked through some very challenging times and when we can, love taking road trips that have included watching the 2017 full eclipse in Missouri, a pro football game in Minnesota, and the day after New Years in New York City.
The backstory: My mom Linda was an amazing single mom, as a school teacher raising my little brother, sister and me. I spent a lot of time after school in her classroom helping with bulletin boards and getting to know the other teachers and her students. I won’t lie; it was a challenge for me (and my mom) to be mostly raised without a dad. Except for our Father in Heaven rescuing me … seriously, I’d be in prison, addiction, or dead from fast cars.
Family quirks: I married way over my head; she really took mercy on me (or something). My beautiful bride, Susan, is a certified teacher who used her college education to “homeschool” our 4 children (It was ironic to pay her school loan while she was teaching the kids). If we’ve done anything well it’s trying to have dinner together and sharing the day’s highs and lows & while reading inspirational stories for the kids. Two of our children are in college and Jett, our long-haired (supposed to be) miniature dachshund is the final member of the pack. Wow, two amazing sons-in-law; never thought I’d have those! Oh, saving the best for last, grandchildren! Everything people have told you about how great they are is true! If God uses children to take off our rough edges … he uses Grandchildren to make us sweet!
What else: An “obligated to say that,” kind of thing?! No … I love studying my Bibles. I have all kinds because I want to know original meaning and intent. Haha, my Pastor friend, Eugene Cho, and I also love reading “dead people;” GK Chesterton, CS Lewis, AW Tozier, and the like. I am an imperfect man drinking in the pure Word over brew! Yes, I have a passion for coffee, the 2nd most pesticide laden crop in the world and they’re a very absorbent crop, so if they’re sprayed with poison guess what you’re drinking? Yikes! I try to limit my beans to recently roasted (in the last month), Arabica, free-range, certified-organic, fair trade (boo industrial exploitation) coffee. Yes … it’s my obnoxious passion. I’m sorry … but c’mon, I’d love to share some of my hand-ground, induction-brewed coffee with you.