XENIA — For 25 years, a long-time Xenia resident has been playing Gospel music, sharing testimonies, and interviewing all sorts of people on local TV.
Roger Shambaugh, 79, said he has enjoyed all those years hosting his show, “Gospel For Today,” which continues to air 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays and 3:30 p.m. Saturdays, channel 992 on Spectrum.
Shmabugh said he co-hosted a show on WGNZ Radio with Kenny Shiveley from 1990 to 2015 until someone said, “Why don’t you do a TV show?”
“So I did,” Shambaugh continued.
Then he started at Dayton Access Television (DATV) where Melissa Constantine was program director.
“It’s been a pleasure to have Roger on Dayton Spiritual Television for the last 25 years,” Constantine, who is still director today, said. “We love having him here. He’s a good guy.”
Shambaugh has hosted more than 1,000 half-hour programs. His line-up of guests over the years have included entertainers, musicians and television announcers like singer Glen Campbell, Lulu Roman from the comedy-music show “Hee Haw,” announcer Rod Roddy from “Price is Right,” gospel singer Bill Gaither, and J.D. Sumner & The Stamps, who played backup for Elvis Presley.
He said ballplayers have also starred on his show, including Reds’ George Foster, Bengals’ Jim Breech and numerous Dayton Flyers like Don Meineke and Junior Norris.
“It’s kinda hard to say,” he replied, when asked who his favorite interview was.
One time he interviewed Xenian Lloyd “Gary” Gearhart, outfielder for the Giants in 1947, who joked that he and Johnny Mize hit 57 home runs — (Gearhart hit six of them).
Shambaugh has also interviewed state and local politicians, and on every show he plays at least one gospel song. His audience reaches 13 counties in Ohio and two in Indiana, he said, and it is streamed online.
“I thank the Lord for giving me the ability to do what I can do,” the man said, who greatly prides his longtime dedication to community service.
Whether delivering meals to the needy or interviewing well-knowns on his show, when Shambaugh reflects on the past he says every moment has been meaningful in some way.
But perhaps there was one that was especially great.
“Dick Kyle was on my show and he was talking about Billy Graham and telling his testimony of how the Lord came into his life,” Shambaugh recalled. “A couple weeks later some guy came up to Dick in the store and said ‘I was so happy about your testimony … I had to give my life to the Lord’.”
“It was worth it right there if just one person got saved,” Shambaugh continued. “There’s a reason for this program here.”
Although serious in moments like that, Shambaugh, quite frankly, is a comedian now and perhaps always has been.
“Every time he comes in he tells me a joke,” Constantine said. “He’s always making me laugh.”
Shambaugh welcomes story ideas at 937-372-4736.
“I’m 79 and I’m still going,” he said.
Contact Anna Bolton at 937-502-4498 or follow @annadbolton on Facebook.