Local Man Pledges $2 Million To End Torture Of Christian Radio Share-A-Thon
Chip Stewart loves music that glorifies God. Chip lived most of his life in sin. But God crashed into his world about three years ago, and it changed everything. Chip's life was turned upside down, or rather, right side up. One of the things that changed was the type of music he listened to. Once a real gritty country music fan, Stewart decided that all of the songs about daisy dukes and Jack Daniels was not beneficial to his Christian walk.
Chris was turned onto Christian music, and Christian radio as well. "I couldn't believe it," reflects Chris. "I could turn on the radio and not be tempted or accosted. It was great." But over the years, there is one things that really drove him crazy.
"That yearly share-a-thon they do. I get it. I do. They need to raise money to be on the air. But for a week, they constantly have these two overly hyped people, a guy and a girl trying to be funny. And man do they ever lay it on thick. I can live with them asking every 5 minutes if God is challenging me to give up a cup of coffee every day. But when they have the premium offers, like the drawing for a cruise to "anyone who pledges during this song... this is your last chance"... and then they extend it to another song. I just couldn't handle it anymore. If 15 people pledge, that gives you a one in 15 chance of winning the cruise. Then I get back in the car an hour later, and they are still getting people in on that cruise offer? All of a sudden there are 250 people in the running for the cruise. Your chances are considerably less. That kind of stuff drove me nuts. It was a week of my life that was pure torture."
This is when Chip went a little crazy. "I called in. I couldn't take it anymore. It was like a horror circus coming from my car radio. I just asked, 'How much do you need to be fully funded?' The lady on the phone was obviously surprised, and put me on hold to find out. A man, maybe an executive got on the line and told me that $1,965,834 would fully fund them for a year. I said, 'Put me down for that.' He asked me, 'Are you sure, sir?' I asked him if it would end the share-a-thon. He assured me it would. I said, 'Do it! Do it now!'"
Stewart has no idea how he is going to make the $166,666 monthly installments. He owns a small landscape business and only makes about $4,000 a month. "It doesn't matter. I'll get an extra job. I'll sell my house. Whatever it takes. I had to do it. Not just for me, but for everyone who was praying it would end."
As a side note, Chip did not win any of the premiums given away during the fundraiser. But the co-hosts did give him a shout-out on the air saying in their bubbly voices, "This is the impact that Christian radio has on our listeners, folks."