Ken Cummins Interview 4-22-19
Career Capsule: I was saved at seven years old at Calvary Baptist Church in Princeton, KY. I answered the call to preach in July 1977. I have served as a pastor, missionary, general manager of a Christian Radio Station in Bowling Green, KY, a career missionary to La Ceiba, Honduras from 1992 to 2000 and have worked in radio for over 42 years. I worked for WNKJ in the early 80’s, while on furlough from the mission field in the 90’s and now since September, 2000. I serve as the general manager for Missionary Radio WNKJ/WNLJ host “The Thursday Morning Front Porch,’ “The Roll Home” with my wife Tammy from 5-6p Monday-Friday, Sundays from 6:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., and your evening host Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. I enjoy a lot of things including raising AKC Beagles, ham radio (W4KDC), and most of all sharing the GOOD NEWS of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Ken, tell us what’s new at WNKJ… news, changes, & with YOU… etc?
Missionary Radio WNKJ will celebrate 38 years of broadcasting on August 3rd. One of the unique aspects of our ministry is the longevity of our team here. The senior employee has been here from the beginning and the lowest tenured has 16 years. That’s amazing. So, what is new to us is the retirement of Roy Cavender coming up on June 30. Roy worked four years in the evenings and nineteen years as the morning host. We are praying and seeking the special one the Lord has for us to join the Missionary Radio Team.
We continue in our partnership with Trans World Radio. (TWR) As a matter of fact, the Lord led us over three years ago to give 10% of our fall Care-a-thon proceeds to TWR. Coming up in June we will join with TWR to raise funds for a transmitting station in West Africa. The essence of what we do is missions. Our call letters WNKJ means “The World Needs King Jesus” and WNLJ, “The World Needs the Lord Jesus.” I believe our obedience to the Lord regarding missions local and around the world is the reason we have seen some major miracles here.
Our family is growing. Tammy and I serve here at Missionary Radio together. She is the afternoon host and office manager. I join her from 5:00-6:00 for “The Roll Home.” Oh, I was talking about our family. We have three grown children two sons and one daughter. Recently our 7th grandchild was born. (2-24-19) We now have five granddaughters and two grandsons. What a blessing!
Christian Radio has become very competitive… what do you do to stand out from the crowd?
We stand out from the crowd in many ways. For example, we are a blended format offering 70% music and 30% nationally syndicated broadcasts. Since we don’t air underwriters or charge our programmers for air time, we depend on our listening family nudged by the Holy Spirit to fund Missionary Radio. We are involved in our local community by announcing events of churches and other groups, interviews, features, and overall presence in the community. Our listeners are family. They know us, we know them (at least many of them) and they feel we are one with them. So, the personal aspect of a long time local Christian station is a megaphone to the community. Our emphasis remains the same, “The World Needs King Jesus.”
I maintain our commitment to “the Great Commission” keeps us strongly committed to the Gospel and to the reason the Lord died and rose again. His last words to His disciples and to us are always at the forefront of all that we do.
What is the best managerial advice you’ve been given? The worst?
The best managerial advice I’ve been given is to pray, seek, wait and obey. I have a tendency to want to get things done and to turn things around before they’re ready to be turned or tweaked.
I cannot remember any advice I would consider the worst. (I thought a lot about this question and I really cannot think of a thing that anyone has said to me from the board or mentors that have derailed me some way.)
Some say more Christian stations in a market the better, do you agree with that, why or why not?
I was a Southern Baptist career missionary through the International Mission Board, SBC for nearly a decade to La Ceiba, Honduras. I served as a church planter, seminary instructor and whatever needed to be done. If a great commission church that was a solid, biblical church, I would not try to plant a new one there. We would try to help them if we could. I would say concerning more Christian stations in a market that is already saturated is not something I support. I support Kingdom cooperation. Why not instead of coming into a market that already has more than one Christian station that you invest in helping an already existing station reach out and expand. I have seen where I live stations come in where they aren’t needed in reality. However, I am for reaching those that others cannot. I am for the Gospel period. If it means another format than what is offered, then I am can see that. But to say the more the better is not how I see it. I would go by the need in each market.
What is the ONE thing you must have everyday to do your job/show?
The “one thing” I must have everyday to do my ministry administratively and for the air work I do, is time to prepare, pray and reflect. (In short, time with the Lord)
In what area do you believe Christian Radio needs to improve most?
I have read much discussion on this question. I maintain Christian Radio must strive to be the best medium available. That means Christian Radio must emphasize professionalism while at the same time to invest more in the community by becoming more local.
Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio?
The growing secularism in the United States combined with the acceptance of moving away from the authority of the Bible. We are becoming too concerned with entertainment over ministry! The World Needs King Jesus!
Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?
This is a hard question for me. I grew up listening to the radio more than watching TV. My grandfather was a radio technician. He had a shop in my hometown in Princeton, KY where he repaired radios and televisions and really anything electrical. So, he was my early influence.
I have always and still cherish Mr. Twyman Boren my first radio boss at WPKY in Princeton, KY. He is a dear friend. He will be 89 this year. I listen when he speaks.
I was saved listening to a radio broadcast. Through the years I have been influenced by many programmers including Dr. James Dobson, Dr. Church Swindoll, Dr. Tony Evans, and a host of others. Lately, I am reading a lot of material from Dr. J.D. Greear and really appreciate “Summit Life.”
I grew up listening to all the jocks on WLS Music Radio out of Chicago. They were the best.
9 thoughts on “Ken Cummins Interview 4-22-19”
Good answers, Ken. God bless!
I remember you when working at WJIE/Louisville, KY!!
Thanks Bill. I appreciate it. Ken
I remember you well. In fact, I remember meeting you the first time one Saturday way back in 90 or 91 at WJIE.
I didn’t mention it, but I was the first general manager (was there before it went on the air) of WCVK, (CFR) in Bowling Green and worked at a number of other radio stations through the years. I have been back at Missionary Radio for 19 years and general manager closing in on four. I
Very Good interview! Seems like you have a handle on things concerning what we do!
Ken….great interview friend. You have done a masterful job at leading the radio ministry forward on all fronts. I do miss my regular visits but on the other hand am so blessed to see the influence of the station grow.
Take Care friend!
I didn’t know you had posted a comment. I appreciate your kind words. You helped us tremendously the years you came. There’s no doubt about it.