By SHERRY DIGMON
David Gehman and his dad, Martin, were in one area of the studio. David’s brother Jerry Gehman was in another area. All were broadcasting on WGYJ – for the final time. The radio station went off the air Sunday evening, September 3, but the live broadcasts ended Thursday morning, August 31. The Gehmans left programming on the air through Mom and Pop’s Suppertime Gospel Sunday evening. Then there was only static on 93.5.
Thursday morning, the Gehmans talked about their history – David’s and Jerry’s and their late brother Dale’s start in radio at WATM, the station owned by the Miniards in Atmore; their own station WASG; then WGYJ-LP.
Martin recalled some of his own history – coming to Atmore from Pennsylvania and meeting … then he became emotional at the memory of his late wife Vernie.
Jerry, news anchor, lamented the loss of local live news coverage for the city and the conservative commentary presented without apology.
They talked about some of their guests through the years, including current U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville who stopped by for an interview while he was campaigning.
The station featured gospel music, special programming (Gaither Homecoming Radio, Adventures in Odyssey, and Focus on the Family), occasional secular music, and patriotic music.
WGYJ-LP was part of their church, Gospel Light Church in Atmore. The church buildings have been sold to another congregation, and the station had to be moved or closed.
Following is a portion of the Gehmans’ message on Facebook the last day of the broadcast:
On behalf of Pastor Martin Gehman, the late VernieLee Gehman, and the staff and congregation of the former Gospel Light Church in Atmore, with grateful hearts we thank the Lord for allowing us the privilege since January of 2017, to broadcast gospel music and encouraging messages along with live broadcasts of Gospel Light Church and Richfield Evangelical Methodist Church.
In ending the broadcast Sunday evening, David said they would sign off the way they signed on every morning – with a station ID by their brother Joe and the playing of the National Anthem. Then 93.5 was silent.