On Saturday, "The Lighthouse" radio broadcast was back on the air in its regular 4:00 PM time slot on WEMM FM in Huntington, WV. Actually, the program was never off the air, but its founder and host, Rev. Caudle Adkins, Jr has been out of the "air chair" for two months. Yesterday the familiar voice returned, and his listeners across the tri state (and those who listen on the internet) were glad to hear their "radio pastor" coming back into their homes and automobiles.
Dad began "The Lighthouse" broadcast 31 years ago, and for the past three decades, his familiar voice, and bluegrass gospel and southern gospel music has been a constant on the tri state airwaves on Saturday afternoons. He has ministered to homebound folks (as well as others who are not shut in) in a wonderful way. He hears regularly from friends he has never met, who listen on WEMM every week, from as far away as Virginia. He also has regular listeners across the country (and perhaps around the world) on http://www.wemmfm.com/.
His two month absence was due to complications from a hospitalization that began in February. Dad had been losing the use of his legs and was reduced to getting around in a wheel chair, when he was diagnosed with spinal stenosis. Surgery was done at St. Mary's Medical Center in Huntington, WV and he was sent to Health South Rehabilitation Hospital for physical therapy. However, he developed some complications from the surgery and was transferred back to St. Mary's for more than a week, before finally being sent back to Health South to continue his rehab.
Dad will be 82 years old on May 17. No longer able to serve as a pastor, the radio ministry has become his outlet for preaching the gospel and touching the lives of people, like he has done for over 60 years. For years, Dad had been a very busy bi-vocational evangelist, and local church pastor. He began the radio ministry 31 years ago when he was pastor of Good Shepherd Church in Huntington. When he left that place of service, he continued the program in the 4:30 PM time slot. Now his regular pulpit is a radio microphone, where he shares announcements, makes song dedications, acknowledges birthdays, prays over requests, and shares the good news of Christ, to a faceless audience of unknown size.
Only God knows how long Dad will be able to continue this ministry, but it was sure nice to see him shuffle into that studio yesterday with the aid of a walker. There were many other folks out there who didn't see what I saw, but they were equally glad to hear that familiar voice.