JIM CHANNELL – PROGRAM DIRECTOR / MORNING SHOW HOST
“I’m just a DJ that got saved!”, is the claim of our Program Director and morning show host Jim Channell here on Jesus Radio WorldWide. In fact, he was a successful and infamous DJ of great popularity in the Chicago area – once voted one of the top 4 DJ’s in America – but exuding such a negative influence on his young audience that his own younger siblings were forbidden to listen to his show. He graduated from Midwestern Broadcasting and started his career aiming to be the best he could be and to get into the top radio market in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois.
Using a variety of “stage names” but finally gaining renown using the “Captain Whammo” alias, Jim got to interview and rub elbows with many of the rock-n -roll greats of the era before coming to meet the one who became his greatest hero of all; Jesus.
That day was November 5, 1978, a day that most of his listening audience knows almost as well as their own birthday. A broken-hearted Channell cried out to God begging for forgiveness one rainy night while driving near the Chicago area, with Moody radio playing on the car stereo. Since that day, Channell has been committed to using the influence of radio to reach others who need to hear the saving message of Jesus.
His secular success took him from his first job in Chillicothe, OH, through Rolla, MO, Wichita, KS, St. Louis, MO, Kansas City, MO, Milwaukee, WI, Minneapolis St. Paul, and landing him back home at WDHF/WMET Chicago. As a Christian host, Jim has moved from WCRM in Dundee, IL, World Harvest Radio in South Bend, IN, WayJ in Ft Myers, and to Praise FM in Naples Florida for 16 years. Finally, Jim is stepping out with his own endeavor with Jesus Radio WorldWide in the spring of 2012.
His favorite catchphrase, “If God be for us, who can be against us?”, (Romans 8:31) has become an encouragement and battle cry of the day for his listeners around the world.
Jim grew up just blocks from the great Wrigley field in Chicago, and he still harbors that love of sports he had as a youngster, bringing current scores and commentaries into his show daily. Since his own salvation occurred while Contemporary Christian music was still in it’s embryonic stage, his knowledge of the genre is thorough and replete with personal interactions. For ten years he produced “Christian Countdown America”, which not only introduced the current hits but also ministered and witnessed. Today he uses his extensive knowledge of Christian music to produce “Classic Christian Gold”, the worlds first Christian oldies program, which highlights different artists, styles, or time periods, with interesting background information and of course an invitation to accept Jesus on every show. The show is featured on Christian and secular radio stations around globe; in Europe, Philllipines, UK, Canada, Asia, New Zealand, Puerto Rico and 26 countries in Africa.
Jim believes that Christian radio can and should also be quality radio, and his desire is to bring together the best music and teaching in Jesus Radio WorldWide. He also believes that the purpose is not to entertain as much as to minister, and although his resume includes some amazing success stories, the most valuable measures of success are stored in plastic boxes in his closet; hundreds and hundreds of letters of lives changed, salvations, and words of thanks for always pointing to Jesus.
ARLENE CHANNELL BIO
Arlene is a native of Pittsburgh, PA, and grew up in the rural area of Fox Chapel in the Pennsylvania Hills. She was big on outdoor activities, but not fond of the cold snowy winters in Pennsylvania. Trained in business, Arlene moved to the Los Angeles area to search for more job opportunities, outdoor activities, adventure, and less winter.
In LA, Arlene continued her education with random adult classes at local colleges, and enrolled in Fullerton College as well. In the midst of a sociology class, she received a life-changing phone call from a professor, who, impressed with some homework assignment she had written, suggested Arlene take additional writing courses, and aided in getting her admitted to some advanced classes. Given an opportunity to learn she decided she really liked to write, and took a variety of writing assignments, immediately getting published locally.
Arlene's parents had retired to Florida, her mother already very ill, and when her father called and said he didn't think Mom would last much longer, she made an emergency trip to Naples. Her mother died within a few hours of Arlene's arrival, and just a few minutes after that happened, Arlene had a life-changing encounter with Christian radio - and heard Jim Channell's voice on the air for the first time. A few months later she took an extended, cross-country trip in her camper to move to Florida also. On a windy mountainside during that trip she finally gave her heart to Jesus.
In Florida, Arlene worked mostly in retail, but maintained her interest in writing, working for local papers and some small fiction outlets. While writing a piece for a Christian publication, she interviewed Jim Channell, the morning DJ on Praise FM, who she had been listening to for more than a decade.
It was a long interview, which Jim explains by saying, "Hey, you give a DJ a microphone and he's going to talk." They became friends and eventually Jim decided he wanted to marry his good friend Arlene.
So they became Team Channell, with Arlene working to help Jim in all of his endeavors. Jim started training his new wife to work on radio and she started to join him on the air and then do her own afternoon show. Arlene got to incorporate her new interest in radio with her love of writing and Christian music. They became "Team Channell". Both of them came to know Jesus through Christian radio, and both are committed to sharing the gospel on the air.
After a series of setbacks, the Channell's realized that God was calling them to be on the air within their own format. This is what gave birth to Jesus Radio WorldWide, an internet radio endeavor in which "Team Channell" can use their gifts and abilities to work for "Team Jesus" in an internet format.