Twenty years is a long time to be doing this. It’s a long time to be doing anything.
From March 7, 2015, “No time to wallow in the mire“:
My mom’s favorite radio station was WAWZ — Zarephath, “Your Voice of Faith and Inspiration.” They didn’t offer a lot that would pass for mood music. It’s apparently switched over to a “contemporary” Christian music format these days, but back in late 1967 it was instrumental hymns and “teaching” programs.
So, no, I don’t imagine that Jim Morrison and rock radio played any role in my conception. If the radio was playing at all, it would have been the gentle, dulcet tones of Robert A. Cook saying, “Until I meet you once again by way of radio, beloved, walk with the King today, and be a blessing.”
Mom tuned in to listen to Dr. Cook every day, usually turning the radio off after his show, when Harold Camping came on. But she always listened to WAWZ in the kitchen. My parents bedroom radio was usually tuned to 1010 WINS, the all-news station out of New York. (I suppose their famous slogan — “Give us 22 minutes, we’ll give you the world” — was probably the basis for an obvious joke that helped conceive as many children as “Light My Fire” ever did.)
I can’t say that WAWZ’s broadcasts did anything for my love life, but I did once exchange some fraught notes with a girl in the radio station’s parking lot. That lot was adjacent to the gymnasium of the Zarephath Bible Institute, which was where my Christian high school basketball team played our home games.
Zarephath, New Jersey, is an odd little place. It’s named after a Phoenician city in what is now Lebanon. In the biblical book of 1 Kings, the prophet Elijah finds refuge in the home of a widow in Zarephath. (She shares the last of her food with him and he miraculously multiplies her food. It’s a sweet story.)
Zarephath, N.J., was founded by Bishop Alma Bridwell White in 1901 as a home base for her Pillar of Fire Church. She started the Bible institute there in 1908 to train missionaries in her holiness tradition and her particular brand of anti-Pentecostal Pentecostalism.
Oh, and also to promote her gospel of biblical inerrancy, justification by faith alone, entire sanctification, and white supremacy. See, for all her talk about Pentecost, Bishop Alma White didn’t have the first goddam clue as to what Pentecost actually means.