Remembering Bill Savage
Farewell to our dear friend and Rock Youth Music Minister Bill Savage…departing us early morning Monday October 3, 2011, he has arrived alive & well in the presence of the Lord! Bill has been a faithful friend and co-minister with us at The Lighthouse, and an inspiration and mentor to many Rock youth Praise Band members for over 7 years. He is greatly missed by Brenda, Jessica, Nikki, & all of us at The Lighthouse…but, as Bill has now joined our brother Tom Dooley in Heaven’s Praise Band, we who are in The Rock of Salvation, know we will see him again!
A memorial service celebrating the life of Bill Savage was held Saturday, October 8, 2011, at The Bridge Family Worship Center, 8503 Landover Dr., Yulee, FL 32097 with Pastor Duane Erickson and Ministers Paul and Vickie Hafer officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer donations to be made to The Lighthouse FM 89.3 for The Rock Youth Ministry. The Lighthouse can be contacted at www.thelighthousefm.org or 800-577-9322.
Remembering Sister Lola Morris
SISTER LOLA MORRIS ~ YOUR SUNDAY MORNING GOSPEL HOSTESS
REMEMBERING Sister Lola Morris
The Lighthouse Family was saddened this week at the passing of a long time faithful former WECC Air Minister, Sister Lola Morris. Lola was known over the radio airwaves every Sunday Morning in Camden County for nearly 30 years!
Her ministry in Gospel radio began in Jacksonville in the early 1980’s, but in June 1983, when WLKC-FM, “KC93” signed on as the first radio station in Camden, Sister Lola was there to present her program of encouragement and Gospel music on the very first Sunday morning broadcast.
When WLKC was sold and moved its operation to Jacksonville in 1990, Lola continued on the air locally on our 2000-watt daytime Christian radio station WECC AM 1190, often calling it the little station with the Almighty Power!
In 2002 when WECC signed on 24 hours/day with 30,000 watts on FM 89.3, Lola continued her program as “The Sunday Morning Gospel Hostess”, until her retirement in 2013.
Lola was also respected (and sometimes feared, with, “it’s my way or the hallway”) by countless teens as a long-time daily substitute teacher at Camden County High School!
She was a Christian radio pioneer, a dear friend, and much loved by her radio family, touching and encouraging thousands of listeners over the air during several decades of service.
Lola will be dearly missed, and our prayers are with the family and many loved ones of our Sunday Morning Gospel Hostess, Sister Lola Mae Morris.
–Previous Post after Sister Lola’s Retirement in 2013.
Remembering Jim Ferguson
James S. Ferguson
At The Lighthouse FM89.3 / AM1190 we were saddened over the weekend to hear that one of our first and faithful broadcast engineers for WECC passed away Saturday June 8, 2019.
Remembering Jeff Brock
JEFFERSON G. BROCK
We are very saddened at The Lighthouse WECC to learn that one of the finest consulting engineers on the planet has passed away. Jefferson Brock had battled cancer for nearly a year, but friends say he passed peacefully surrounded by his family on Sunday at Emory Hospital.
Jeff Brock was Vice-President of the St. Simons Island Broadcast Consulting Firm, Graham Brock, Inc., as a partner with our friend Stu Graham. Stu introduced us to Jeff in 2001 to provide us with some technical consulting and counsel regarding our FCC Construction Permit to build WECC-FM. We had only one year remaining on our 3-year permit to build the new FM, and were needing a miracle to get it built or loose the FCC permit. We’d hoped Jeff could provide expertise on how we could still get the station on the air in time. However, Jeff, upon his first glance at our initial plans, observed that most of our signal would be covering the Okefenokee swamp, and then said, in a seemingly emotionless, yet charming dry manner that only Jeff could, “you don’t want to build that.” Our hearts more than sank! But, it was just a couple of weeks later that Jeff called Vickie and I to his office where he revealed his amazing plan that would vastly improve our signal to reach from Jacksonville, to Brunswick, to Waycross, and still cover the swamp!
Jeff’s inspired proposal would profoundly change and improve the previously planned broadcast signal for our new FM station, and would seem to almost require God to move Heaven and Earth for it to happen, but God was faithful and on March 17, 2002, WECC-FM signed on!
We are forever grateful that God connected us with this excellent and gifted engineer, whose vision and skill served to advance the ministry of God’s Word, and helped this Lighthouse to shine His Light much further!
Jeff Brock will be dearly missed. Please join us in prayer for comfort and strength for Jeff’s family and loved-ones, and for his colleagues and co-workers at Graham Brock.
Remembering Tom Dooley
A LITTLE ABOUT TOM’S LIFE:
What a journey! From a neglected childhood spent in bars and strip clubs to a man with a happy marriage, loving family, and fulfilled Christian walk, few people fully epitomize a life so completely transformed more than our husband, Dad, Pappy, brother, uncle, and friend.
“Tom” Dooley was born George Patrick Dooley, Jr. January 18, 1947 in Chicago, IL to George and Rebecca Dooley, and he had an older sister, Patricia. Tom’s father ran a strip club. It was the destination for all of the family’s social events including Tom’s christening. Tom’s father was physically abusive to his wife and family, and when Tom’s mother finally fled to Cairo, IL, with at least one tooth knocked out, she opened her own strip club. Tom was frequently sent to live with other families, some related and some not. But when he was home, he was often left to fend for himself in the clubs, behind the bar, surrounded by topless women and drunks.
By his early teen years, he had a reputation for being a trouble maker. At the ripe old age of 12, the FBI was looking for him for check fraud, and he had been arrested for stealing cars. But, he had already chosen the perfect career – radio – and at 14, he dropped out of high school, went to radio school, and got his first radio job in Dyersburg, TN. After all, he would soon have his own family to care for. Tom married his first wife when they were both 16. At 17, Tom’s first daughter, Dana Lynn, was born. Four years later, a second child, Dione, was stillborn. Tom was divorced shortly after, but he was soon married and quickly divorced yet again.
During his late teens, Tom was already a top DJ in Louisville, KY. He was the leader of his own band, Tom Dooley and the Lovelights, with a regional hit, and he was living the life of a rock star – sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. And, unknown to him for 25 years, his second daughter, Lesley, was born when he was 21.
Tom’s radio career required him to live in many different cities, and by 1973 he was at WFIL in Philadelphia. It was there that he met Melanie, the love of his life, a young and seemingly innocent former Catholic school girl who worked part-time at promotional events for the radio station. They had a whirlwind courtship at R&B nightclubs and rock concerts. And, by the end of the year and much to the dismay of Melanie’s widowed mother, Tom and Melanie were married. They had their first baby girl, Kristin, later that year. In 1976, they were back in Louisville where Tom’s only son, Joshua, was born. But by 1978, God quietly directed them back to Philadelphia. This is where Tom’s baby girl, Elizabeth, was born.
It was in Lancaster, PA, outside of Philadelphia, where Tom and Melanie were invited to Christmas Eve dinner with their friend Wes Yoder’s Mennonite parents. The family was loving, gentle, and welcoming, and the evening was spent singing and fellowshipping. It was the first time they had witnessed Christianity in action without being preached to about the Four Spiritual Laws. During the car ride home from the Yoders’ that evening, Tom and Melanie prayed to receive Christ into their lives.
But, becoming a Christian did not change Tom overnight. Although he tried to be the Christian man he wanted to be, he was a product of his childhood, and it was difficult to balance his new Christian walk with the only world he’d ever known.
After their conversion, Tom went to a Christian bookstore to buy a copy of Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis. The owners of the bookstore and soon to become lifelong friends, Ron and Cay Evans, invited Tom and Melanie to church where they became active members. Tom sought out other men that modeled a Godly life, and he also searched for ministries with whom he could work and learn from. He was the voice of several Billy Graham TV crusades and narrated a couple of Dr. Graham’s audio books.
In 1986, Tom’s sister, Patricia, needed a kidney donor. Their relationship was strained, yet she reluctantly asked Melanie to approach Tom about being a donor. He agreed without hesitation, as one of his marked characteristics was his generosity to others. This was the first of many things that triggered the transformation of his character. Tom was now faced with his sister’s and his own mortality.
At home, Tom and Melanie’s marriage was on the rocks, and Melanie threatened to leave if they didn’t get help from marriage counseling. They found a sweet and gentle counselor in Floyd Sharp. Tom was ready to accept counsel, and he worked harder than he ever had to acknowledge and correct the mistakes he’d made. Tom learned to apologize. And more than that, he consciously changed his behavior. He no longer paid only lip service. He was becoming a new man. His relationships with his wife and family began to change. Within a year, the marriage was unrecognizable from the previous year, and they were on the path to renewal.
In the course of this transformation, he devoured books that would encourage and guide him to be the man he wanted to be. While Tom and Melanie would lie in bed at night, he would read passages aloud to her that he found inspirational. This is where the kernel of an idea began for a Christian radio show. His entire career until that point had been in Top 40 radio. As he grew in his walk with Christ, he grew in his desire to serve God with the talent with which he had been blessed. In 1989, Tom began the radio show, “The Journey with Tom Dooley”. It was a ministry of discipleship and encouragement using Christian literature with Christian music. God gave Tom this gift to allow him to use his talent to serve the Lord and others, and as a result, so many other people’s lives were also transformed by the words that he read and the music that was played.
More than anything, Tom loved and was interested in people. He longed to see the change in others’ lives that he had experienced in his own. Tom was blessed with many close, intimate friends. He cared about people and invested himself in his family and friends. Tom was a confidante and counselor to many.
Sadly for his beloved wife, family, and friends, Tom was diagnosed with aggressive brain cancer in March of 2010. On November 9, 2010, Tom passed away peacefully in the presence of his adored wife, Melanie, and son, Josh. He had just been prepared for bed. Josh was singing to him while Melanie cuddled with him. Tom drew a final breath and gently slipped away.
He never once complained about his diagnosis, and throughout several different treatments he remained positive and peaceful. His faith in God remained steadfast and never once faltered; and his inspiration and insight will be greatly missed.
His generosity continued even after death as Tom chose to donate his body for medical research. We hope one day that a cure for glioblastoma multiforme is found.
A celebration of Tom’s life was held on Saturday, November 20, 2010 at 2:00pm at Irving Bible Church in Irving, TX.
Lighthouse Reflections of Tom Dooley…
Tom was a dear friend and co-minister for nearly 15 years here at The Lighthouse WECC, and he completed The Journey here on earth on November 9, 2010, stepping into eternity and the presence of our Savior!
We are saddened by how greatly we miss this kind, generous, fun, and inspiring friend and mentor. But we share in the great joy and assurance that as we continue our journey in faith in the light of Christ, we’ll join Tom in that place prepared for those “abiding in the vine.”
Tom’s incredible broadcast career spanned over 40 years, but it was after an encounter with Christian literary agent and author Wes Yoder in 1978, that Tom had a life transforming encounter with Christ, which led to the origins in 1989 of the daily radio ministry of discipleship and encouragement we know as “The Journey.”
In 1996, the same year Tom was ordained a minister of the Gospel, WECC AM1190 joined a group of many stations across the country as an affiliate of The Journey.
Tom’s program had just been dropped by a powerful FM station in Jacksonville when it switched formats, but when we called MasterMedia Ministries about airing The Journey on WECC, Tom and his staff enthusiastically embraced us as if our 2000 watt AM daytime-only radio station was no different than a big 24 hour FM station . . . it was the start of a friendship and unity in ministry that would grow and strengthen to this day.
God imparted many gifts to Tom, and he used them faithfully and effectively to honor the Lord and encourage others in God’s Word. Beyond The Journey broadcast,
Tom would develop and produce powerful multimedia presentations like “America’s Lost Dream” recalling our nation’s true history and Godly heritage; and “Noah’s Ark,” an incredible presentation of the epic Biblical story.
His rich oratorical gift has been featured in many specials, including Cosmic Christmas, the One Year Audio Bible, and as the official voice of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
Tom Dooley of The Journey has been a dear friend and co-minister for over 17 years on The Lighthouse WECC, but on November 9th, 2010, Tom completed his Journey here on earth, and stepped into eternity in the presence of our Savior!
In the three years since Tom’s departure, his wife Melanie has strived to continue the work of Mastermedia, but sadly, distribution of The Journey broadcast came to an end in 2013. Due to a small collection of program files The Lighthouse is able to continuing sharing the timeless truth’s of God’s Word through Tom Dooley and The Journey each weekday morning at 9AM. Tom’s legacy continues to impact people’s lives with the power of The Gospel.
Melanie Dooley joined Paul & Vickie for a final farewell to The Journey broadcast.
It has been a wonderful Journey with Tom, and his ministry and voice will be dearly missed on The Lighthouse. We remain saddened by how greatly we miss this kind, generous, fun, and inspiring friend and mentor. But we share in the great joy and assurance that as we continue our journey in faith in the light of Christ, we’ll join Tom in that place prepared by Jesus for those abiding in the vine!
We invite you to see and read more below about our special relationship at The Lighthouse with our friend, the late Tom Dooley. We are also providing links here to Mastermedia for Tom Dooley resources, including the One Year Audio Bible and the new Daily Journey Audio Bible App Available on iPhone & Android). You may also click here for the online Tom Dooley programming, “Jesus FM”.
Thank you for your support of The Journey, and please remember Melanie in prayer, and thank God for the enduring ministry of Tom Dooley and The Journey, where the words and the music go together.
Melanie called Vickie, Monday Nov 8, 2010 to say that without intervention from God, Jesus was calling Tom home from the journey within hours or days. Within two days we received news that Tom had completed the race.
It was difficult to see Tom in his last condition, but we know he would say today, “if you could see me now!” Tom was always a pillar of enthusiasm for life, with sayings like “the futures so bright you gotta wear shades”, and his joy and generosity compelled by the love of God, was truly contagious and inspired us to imitate him, which we will continue to do!
While we will sadly miss Tom, our sorrow is not as the world mourns; rather with the sure hope that we will see Tom again knowing that being absent from this body he is present with the Lord!
Paul & Vickie joined with many others in Irving November 20, 2010 to remember and celebrate the life and ministry of our friend Tom Dooley. There are a few pics on The Lighthouse facebook page, www.facebook.com/TheLighthouseFM. Thank you for keeping Melanie, their children, and grandchildren, in your heart and prayers.
The Lighthouse Ministry Team
“THE JOURNEY ROLLS ON”…
Tom’s wife Melanie is continuing the ministry of Mastermedia, programming JesusFM.com (which continues to feature Daily Bible Readings by Tom Dooley), The new Daily Journey Audio Bible App, and The One Year Audio Bible.
“God Bless You as You Go and Abide In The Vine” ~ Tom Dooley