Spirit of Alabama: Rock N Roll, and a little Religion

Spirit Image00000000

By: Mike Royer 

Digital Story by WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Khara Gibson-Taylor 

75 years ago, a church in Jasper, Alabama started a radio ministry. 

The “Words of Truth” daily radio broadcast show comes from the Sixth Avenue Church of Christ in Jasper. The show airs 7 days a week, 365 days a year. 

Similar to some Alabama cities, citizens in Jasper and Walker County count on their local radio stations to deliver local news, announcements and good tunes.

From 8:00 to 8:30 a.m. every morning the “Words of Truth” provide ministry to radio listeners.

WJLX Radio Station owner Brett Elmore knows the daily broadcast is important for listeners. 

“It’s important to people, it’s been on the air for so long. My great-grandmother listens to that broadcast,” Elmore said. “It means a lot to the community. And, when you’re a small market station, when you’re a local station then that’s your job to serve the people.” 

It all started with a feature cover on LIFE magazine from December 28, 1936. Inside the detailed article, long-time Congressman and Speaker of the House from Walker County William Bankhead told his friend Pastor Gus Nichols that he planned to start a radio station in Jasper. Pastor Nichols said he wanted his church to be on the station and it has been ever since 1946. 

Rev. Levi Sides is currently the Senior Pastor at Sixth Avenue Church of Christ. Pastor Sides started practicing in ministry when he was 15 years old.

“I started when I was 15. When I was in high school, I was known as the preacher. And I had a local church, a little church in Nauvoo, Alabama that I preach for every Sunday.”

Pastor Sides and Pulpit Minister David Dixon share the broadcast duties from the church office building. Every morning listeners can tune in for funeral announcements, bible study and prayer. 

“God has been so good to us to bring about this technology and preaching the gospel,” Sides said. “That’s his mission, that’s what He wants us to do, to go into all the world, preach the gospel to everyone.”

The pair take turns leading the broadcast. Once Pastor Sides finishes his list of announcements, Minister Dixon starts the scripture reading and message of the day. With advanced streaming technology, this broadcast from Jasper, Alabama can be heard all around the world. 

The broadcast celebrated its 75th year back in June. Pastor Sides has ministered for 60 years now. 

Pastor Sides and Minister Dixon and the faithful members of the Sixth Avenue Church of Christ are all doing what they feel called to do, every single day. 

If you have someone you would like to be featured in our Spirit of Alabama report, email us at spirt@wvua23.com

Categories: Spirit of Alabama