Rev. James Berry
No church had more airtime on Lakeland radio than Olive Street Baptist Church. Its pastor, the Rev. James Berry, conducted programs on two local stations that totaled five hours and forty-five minutes a week.
On Sunday morning, WONN aired not only a half hour Olive Street program, but also a full hour of southern gospel music hosted by its pastor, Rev. James Berry. By the late 60’s, live broadcasts of the church’s hour long Sunday night and Wednesday night services were also on WONN’s schedule.
Since coming to Lakeland in 1962, the radio preacher had seen Olive Street Baptist Church grow from 62 Sunday school members to a record high of over 1200. In 1965, the state granted the church a charter to start a Christian school. That became a reality in 1971 when Olive Street Baptist Academy opened for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
Rev. Berry resigned from the church in 1974 to enter full time evangelism and passed away in 2003.
1962 - 1972 WONN (On Air Personality)