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December 30, 2020 1:00 am
Stu chats with his father, Stu Epperson, Sr., at the family homestead in Ararat, VA, about how their family got started in radio and the ministry work they have done and continue to do!
This is Rodney from the masculine journey podcast. We explored manhood within Jesus Christ your chosen Truth Network podcast starting in just a few seconds. Sit back and enjoy it, share it, most of all, thank you for listening and choosing The Truth Podcast Network. This is the Truth Network of looking at the Blue Ridge Mountains and are sitting on the porch of the house.
My dad Stu Epperson senior was born in some 84 years ago maybe and nine months for this recording instruction tell everyone what you're looking at real quick. Looking at the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains part of the southern Appalachian skull scrolls furniture still over the top of the mountain is the famous Appalachian trail which lots of people have traveled on is a beautiful scene here like none other in the world in a humorous note, you're the family that your dad and mom dated Harry Lula didn't have this beautiful view tells buddy why well. We had trees growing out down here hello, I sent a thousand.
If we cut the trees down the wind would blow the house away. That's really what we felt and so never cut the trees down until Justin three or four years ago, so my chair and my daughter.
Your sister said that look, there's a big view here to cut the trees down so we cut them down and look what we have.
This is one of my favorite places to, bring a Bible I'll be here with a friend and are in this case, riding a bike you're still ready for we are still battling the payment line on a bicycle still riding a bicycle and I did that when I was sent 10 or 12 or 13 years old is to ride to the river road to the store and also run the mule.
You see, the millwright appeared image of the mountain. Carter's meal and Oscar Carter Haas Carter, son of Sam Carter prominent citizen had a meal there and I taken bushel of corn a bushel of wheat every Saturday and that's what we ate during the week so we were written the bike. We saw cousin Joey. We went to a bunch of the different houses that you've restored a lot of military ministries happened up here a lot of folks have come up and found Christ, there is the paramount. There's a lot going up here in Erat Virginia, the homeplace, the birthplace of of your brother who got you in a radio. Ralph Epperson right this is where it all started for radio. Ralph came home from college and after working at the Naval lab in 1943 and with electricity into the house for the first time, indoor plumbing, and we had a bathroom and persistent marital and then then he built a little radio station upstairs and suddenly we were there we were the most popular house and the whole community because people came in to talk on the radio and play the fiddle and band showing. A lot of preachers came in and boy they preached and they would have some great preachers out of these mountains talking about Jesus and in the end, the gospel of Jesus. And so I tell you what, I fell in love with radio right here in this house back in 1943, 44, and the progenitor of your family that the patriarch of one of the many, but Harry Epperson, Harry a Epperson your dad. My granddad who is now the Lord lived to be 96 he built this house. He was at the local undertaker farmer really renaissance man musician clockmaker worked in built organs.
Subpanels talk a really little bit about him and how you what what you think about him is an 84-year-old man sit here on his porch that he built Harry Bill Lally went off to the born in 1888 and April, and that his family had a sawmill and he lived about 3 miles from here 2 miles from here more than a cabin. So here they had a sawmill and so he came here and he went off to the Army World War I. He got the Spanish flu in 1917 and stayed in the tent hospital on account on the cot for long time, but he survived and most of the people there didn't survive but he actually survived and you know I never got the flu again. His whole life and then he came back here 1918 and until he had been going to see my mother, Lula Watson, who lives as fast unity church wants they had moved here 1913 for North Carolina and not down here Westfield is so huge.
She promised to wait for him so he finally came home and he built his house.
He saw the lumber and then built a house. One of the biggest things that he had to locate was nails to build it with so the I believe he actually bought an old house from somebody got the nails and and build this house and so it was a nice house is still here today and I got married in 1918 and that their children all born in this house and the land around it.
We farmed through what we will. We ate and use the got flour sacks to make sure it's in that sort of thing so anyway was it was a great life very hard work. You can the food for the winter and out of the garden you use a horse manure for your fertilizer. Many a time we that clean out the barn, put it on the wagon and would drive across the field with a pitchfork in switch scatter the horse manure worked and how we got down six or 7 bushels to the acre. Now they get maybe 100 sufficiently so when you your your definition of running water was what in those early 1990, ran down into the your hand that into the woods there too little spring and you got water and got a bucket of water and I brought it back and so it was sent always had cold water and then they dug a well on the side that has to put a pop up and down with the pump and so it was if it was a hard life, but we can consider it hard, nobody considered hard is just that we didn't have any money to spend except selling a little tobacco and sometimes you are just blast if you got that guy have to pay for the fertilizer lack of required a lot of fertilizer. It required a lot of work and sometimes it works so here and get nothing. When you settle for one penny a pound one cent per pound and that they intend such a big crop that the market was floated in and they said one. One time we worked on Sunday to get the crop in and he said as a result of working on Sunday.
The Lords product made the price of penny a pound it made nothing elements as a whole. Had absolutely no money coming and that was the monograph you did make money from tobacco. You did not make this time. This era would've been what in American history.
What years with this been 19.
It was 1930s and now 20s 30s and 40s to 1947. My brother finally 48 my brother built a radio station. Mattie area (groundhog's day I was there was a big moment and outline the legendary WPA QI Stu Epperson Junior sitting on the porch of the old country home that Stu Epperson senior and his siblings were born in two Harry and Lula Epperson looking at a beautiful view. I liked I just wish everyone could see what I'm seeing name each of your siblings real quick and just something quick about them. As we go into the got got a do segment in this break. What each sibling brothers and sisters and something briefly about them.
Maybe from oldest to youngest well always. Christ was the center of our Amanda in 1922. My father and his brother sought out the lumber and the community got together and build community church. He was the carpenter long was Jim his brother and he built the church bell and it whole community got involved in raising and half that. By that I mean they gave chickens and they gave in and everybody gave designation. Some people gave for five chickens to take to the store and sell and some people gave him a couple of pounds of butter and it was amazing. Some people gave no step from their garden salad and then built the church unity Presbyterian Church and that we went there every Sunday morning.
My father was the Sunday school superintendent weren't very many men in body fat for a while. He was the only man involved in the church and a few other people that Bob George P. Smithson, Nathan Watson was involved constant Epperson and so on.
But that was and we always prayed before the meal, and we have read the Bible every day and Sunday was the day we did not work and how did we look forward Lally look forward to Sunday. No work on Sundays at the livestock in the FDA.
Your mom was a big part of that spiritual life, wrote real prayer warrior. Wish all of you to the Lord right. She witnessed everybody they came walking along this road. I sit on this porch and Stephen walked by and I noticed sometimes they would try to get on the other side of the road to avoid being seen.
That only saw and then have some subtle energy from the church and they never accepted Jesus as your personal savior is in the lobby after something, but they never showed up. If you have shown that she witnessed in every single but she made sure all the kids were church and I would have been the oldest would've been Ralph. Rather, they own a radio patriarch. I was already allograft was curious about things and ask questions. He was a prodigy stream. A smart memory had yet he was always getting things in the catalog because she had two weeks to return it. Get all your money back. So he ordered things like a high-powered telescope is not on the hill and invited everybody to come by and see the stars and the planets and it was just amazing.
My uncle named him the astronomer and that he was always curious when author John Brown, John Brown University first went to Brevard and they convinced him that day should become a communist and in one semester and he came home and told everybody in the church look good. I just went to college and I learned it I learned that the battle is not true. Your your marshaling a false God, and just about broke everybody's Harkness community event then we heard on the radio. John Brown Senior he said he get out here will teach you about the Lord and if you get out here will give you a job and you go to school rancid extra want to go and so he hitchhiked out there with homemade flows and they gave him a job because you're from the farmer gave me about a job in the bar said no I want to be in a radio graduated inventive about that he was valedictorian John Brown University and so then route Arnold went out for skilled. He served in the Battle of the Bulge and was wounded in the knee is a whole story that he came back and he was.
He and I were very close brother. And then there was Lucy, my sister, she adopted me when she was shy was born she was 10 years old.
She was a second mother to me extremely close extremely this everybody needs everybody needs someone who loves him and and and believes, and when she really believes in me, it was Roy.
He was a successful farmer. Here he came he was a bootlegger for a long time and I kinda join him in that trade back in 1952, 53, he became a Christian later, and really, really became a pillar of the church adhered community church and his kids all went to John to Bob Jones University as ideas and so you can impact your life were double. While there, and I got a choice you get to go to the penitentiary or to go to Bob Jones University are still try to figure out which one was tougher well I did at that time – God used Bob Jones really form your spiritual life in the meta-wonderful woman there. I guess to my mom.
It was a miracle place for me.
Bob Jones University, Greenville, South Carolina met Nancy my wife. She was born in Hawaii and not just worked in our life and wonderful way. It's minute it was. It's been a dream life Yahweh that struggles we had problems and challenges with God. God is been there all the time leading us and guiding us that he still doing that today and so I'm just so thankful for Jesus coming to my heart back 10 years of your church. I was or what is your 84-year-old man sit on the porch. The house grew up in.
You were born in looking back now about life and about Christ. What's really important.
What would you say your passion is right now just in a sentence, we got a take a break will you say your sentence God's sake, I thought I would advise you to do got what God wants you seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he's near seek the Lord study the Bible get serious about it. Don't be a casual believer. Don't be a casual Christian be a true blue sold out to the Lord and study the Bible, the student Bible student. The rest your life on the porch of the homeplace, looking at the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains with my dad Stu Epperson shearing Stu Epperson Junior and Eileen radio today because he had a big brother who brought a radio kit back from college and started one of the first radio stations. I guess in North Carolina. Maybe the country WPA QAM 740 got a start) you in the attic at his house and people came from all over preachers to preach and he would haul the covered wagon their music there. There there different instruments just to play and sing in you grew up and that is a little guy pops sure daddy as I started this back in 43 and for the electricity in the house and Ralph started that is cited in the bedroom upstairs same room where my dad used to store cough and the two under the bed. He was the undertaker and he was that you gonna build everything he help build all kinds of things at a sawmill.
It's a mining. He did a little bit of everything getting your dad had a package for funeral home he operated out of the house.
Not a good idea and so gave it up when the requirement $35 license and he says that that's his expense that I can afford that.
So you're here will see these kids walk around with their phones listing to Annapolis into a radio station on their phone use legacy you had an 80 all you had back then in the AM radio and everyone had it and that was the thing. What's it like for you. Looking back at what was and how complex it's gotten it says it's fascinating is that the changes it has. Radio is never diet is been that it's been there. Along the way and it still has a lot of life left and a lot of people still think that we land with my brother-in-law Edward at Canary really really a great thinker, led by the Lord.
He came to Bob Jones. He came to the Lord early in life in high school and came to Bob Johnson and together we started this would have been 100 radio stations now.
Although the country Salem media is the name of company sale media group where public company on NASDAQ, and our goal is to provide build a platform build a radio station platform now the Internet platform for the preaching of the gospel and the teaching of the ethics of the Bible to do Judeo-Christian tradition. That's our goal. We just met. We just spoke with Stephen want to hear your nephews. My second cousin who whose granddad is the one his granddad Ralph is the one that got us all going radio initially told him about the greatness of the legacy and the opportunity to carry on that name and just tell how God used him in your life.
God used you in my life and now I'm try to get my kids involved now.
I want to jump up to to to to mop modernity here as I'm sitting on the set the scene for one. One more time. Beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. This is a view that's just breathtakingly got baled hay and all these sprawling fields worth recording this in the summer. Right now I dad is 84. I'm 49 were looking at it this Mountains.
This is just beautiful. And this is these are I guess these are the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains right Southwest Virginia Erat Virginia right near Mount Airy, North Carolina. Lot of folks know that better right southern Appalachians. Your oldest brother what Harry Lulu, mom and dad are often having and the rest of your siblings. Ralph, you talk about Ralph Arnold, Roy, Lucy, now Mary Lisi still living as of the date of this recording we call her warmly and gizzard talk C7 about her real quick. She's a special lady and that was her favorite part of chicken and that she got the nickname in an honest way and so she is that she was a child prodigy with the piano. She started playing at the church year unity church when she was 10 years old. She still the PNS, there so that would be. She's 90 years old.
She still substitute teaching and I in the Mount Airy public school so she's them just an amazing lady and I'm so thankful for our she's a Christian sweet Christian lady, very careful with her health. Of course, which you have to be linear and diagnostic around that's right. And gizzard and she in all her all the kids of the siblings that you mentioned your siblings are wonderful cousins of mine are all caring on in different ways in ministry and education and radio audit epicenter and radio are relit relatives of apparitions are in radio making a difference. That way, dad. Looking back you had looked up there. Met mom and Bob Jones University. Did you have any idea that asking her to bar a nickel returning to for a soda pop, returning to a date and how to I probably missed that story a bit to take it takes a real quick and then out accepted me in the bar there snack my hand that asked for a loan of $0.25 to buy a butterscotch sanity and so I I said I will if you will date me on Sunday for church. That's what we did.
That was a big date while dating time at Bob Jones University's that was church okay and so she agreed to and then so we got very well acquainted and then I was just leaving my last semester of her first semester I laughed and she dated someone else now for about three years and then they broke up. Meanwhile, I went to Afton and I was living in Roanoke and the YMCA, and that had little business scepter radio station vintage Virginia and so she sent word that she had broken up with her with her boyfriend and that and so I went down the seer and then we got married in 1919 63 so well. This was a wonderful wonderful relationship to a dream come true. She's been in the love of my life I don't I don't know how I lived in the success from it all in life or as close to the Lord. She memorizes Scripture know several books of the Bible that she start you some of them. I believe Stuart Fisher has an membership. We had a lot of scripture in our home in our family and, in so far. So far everybody are 21 grandchildren and down and therefore children and their wives and husbands are living for the Lord and I think some your profession of faith in Jesus Christ and I'm so thankful for that one year you legacy point Stu Epperson Junior talking Stu Epperson Senior about his life's passion for Christ is getting a radio work sitting in a very significant place in his life.
This is where you were born into reality born in the South reborn local hospital was born near this house and the midwife was my grandmother, Mary, Margie, Arnold, she, her daddy had been a doctor and she became a midwife and she was professional and delivering babies, so she delivered a number of my siblings and she died when I was so when I was five years old. She was so close to maniac. She died in this house and in Granny's room.
I spent every day in her room and when she died. It was consistent moment in my life I'll never forget you grow up in this house you got into radio when the Bob Jones God use you connected you to your your marriage to mom, her brother, glad you guys started you know Salem through a lot a lot of obviously narrative to fill images to give the big picture view of God's brought you here back home now and you have a you just told me our bike ride dad that your passion for this place is never been been the warmer is never been stronger because you have seen for just prayer mountain.
For example, I see two things have happened in these years of your life. One is your passion for mentoring fatherless kids who have no dad and you've you've tried to be a father.
The policies encourage all of us to be that you help mentoring all of the country.
It's been amazing and then your passion for getting people appear the farm to prayer mountain to find Christ.
Who would've thought that a junkie old house. He drove binding and think about you know 56 years ago would be a place where families come together work are military guys come from Fort Bragg with their families and get healed and find Christ.
Well I did I tell you I do happen. I had a mother and father here. They were not educated, but they had they had God in their life and their Bible and they were determined their kids are going to grow up to love God and that was the chief goal. Okay, and them and but I only island there were basically I think three families here were that husband left okay just left and there was. I saw the family's kids grow up and it was not a pretty picture. Okay, reset little bit of success now and then but mostly was bad success. It didn't end well and I tell you all my life I know intuitively and now statistically that if your not born in a family that's married, your €70.75 percent more likely to end in poverty and unsuccessful person 75% if you're not born to a married husband and wife so that's why marriage God ordained it that you can't you can't break God's rules and how to hope to be successful. God ordained marriage is holy is acceptable and even the marriage of the Lamb is the church is coming back soon. To God be the glory Stu Epperson Senior 84 is busier now that he's ever been. He's got he's riding his bike 20 miles in time I came keep up with a man I'm tired.
I'm hoping this interview will go on as I can rest more because were recuperating on the porch of his family home. He grew up in. In Ararat, Virginia. Dad talk about what you're involved with. Now you you touched on mentoring fatherless kids helping the widow helping the orphan, you're involved a lot. Our church is just try to love these kids and give them a meeting and give a purpose by month by when I scream us officer adjusted to take an interest in well and father kids extreme which goes into neighborhoods with half poverty kids with that single parents, and then teaching them the Bible tried to also teach them some basic skills in life, very little kids and that we need volunteers for that kids extreme working with Ron P. Griffin, Jackie figure, who is the greatest person I've ever known. For young people, little people getting them excited about the Lord. Tell them about Jesus and then we have Christian Association of youth mentoring, which is a national organization, CA YM.org maybe 5000 kids. The inventor one kid at a time is a great slogan and it like you to design think small.
Just get involved with one kidneys, aerobic and change one kid you can change one to believe man no matter of 84 and I still find it a kid who didn't have a daddy enjoys talking with me. I'm little surprised that okay and 84 years for some attention, talk about the Lord. Encourage them to get lunch. You know there's good to get them plugged in the church, but there waiting Lillian were walking by getting political this and that have undertaken a kid in Lebanon like Jesus did on demand distant just take the kid aside and talk with them and get acquainted with and you'll be amazed at how they'll cling to you because these kids without fathers have never met him, never talk to an adult male. Okay, they don't have nothing to pattern the life I and most lineup and up in prison on the street, murdered chronic criminals.
It's just a shame and we can cure this through the power of God and the Holy Spirit, we can cure this by getting involved with one kid at a time here in Ararat Virginia. There's a bunch of farmhouses and a bunch of hopeful appear on a random Saturday night will be a big bonfire in a bunch of special forces guys around the fire with their wives in a Amana God bringing them a message and guys will go up to Paramount and were in grade received Christ re-dedicate her life to Christ to live a little bit about your vision for this area. How God used didn't just use this area to shape Stu Epperson Senior buddies using now this area.
Stu Epperson voluntary shape others for Christ. What's your vision. Well, Larry Ledford, one day and said you got some farmhouses you got some land. Can we come up bringing the chaplains of Bragg and other places to bring people back from the Middle East and this is the number of years ago and so I simmer sure brand often so we found that those soldiers coming up here. This became their favorite place to come. They want to come right now, it shut down, because they can stay within 30 miles in place for pregnant, they came up. You have a lot I'm found the Lord.
A lot of got their lives together with about two months ago as a highway patrolman from California. He was in the special forces at Fort Bragg was in California Highway Patrol's life is falling apart and them wife was going and his kids were going and he was suicidal and his counselor said you need to get away somewhere. So he called his chaplain Fort Bragg and the similar skill they are in Virginia spent some time so they came up here few days talking and walking conversation and then when he was ready to leave he said. Now I'm ready to talk about becoming a Christian.
Tell me how to become a Christian. And so he prayed to receive Christ.
The last report. His life is come turned around his life and he are getting back together and as kids and just made a big difference. So sometimes if you get a loan with God and not in a private place like this and you see the wonder of nature what God is created and you start thinking about God and a very serious way. Okay, get away from it all. So that's why we have this year. If anybody wants to come to get away. Call us will try to work it out and will talk about Jesus year and that's what you he does not get little cabin and whenever youngsters like him fishing the big pond or they want to go swimming. The big lake what what it was a requirement misdirection. I go down and say look hey how you doing man I'm glad to see I just have one requirement for you to finish your swim. I say what's that, I say we gotta talk for about 10 minutes and we gotta talk about Jesus. Have you ever heard of him and so I guess the whole plan of salvation, how Jesus came and everything so far everybody and every body is accepted that that the condition many non-Christians already encourage them to get closer to God and God. Saturday night I came out finances and he said hey you already talk today is in life. You believe in Jesus are you and are you born again and he said yeah yes I am thinking there there fishing for for whatever the catch of the day is in that pond, but they don't know their being fished for themselves right so Stu Epperson Senior steps Junior interviewing data in order to sit on the porch as is and since this is why most relaxing views is a pop. They were wrapping up at tell me this real quick is a wrap up for your grandkids are great. We arty have a great grandkids my daughter helping Harry her husband have fell in brushes and you got more common. Lord willing I God gave Stephen we read about in acts maybe maybe he was only 25 years old or so got you he was a young life you you know but God gave him a short life at a very powerful life in he had one more sermon to preach in acts seven. We have recorded there, and then he died and went straight to heaven. God's given you eight decades plus an 8 1/2 you know and 84 may give you another decade or two you know you got the Epperson gene what what you what your final sermon. If you got immediately handed a mic is a got one more sermon before you go on home. What you say to everybody thoughts. I say look to Jesus for survival out. I'm looking down at a store right now run by Amos Beasley many years.
Many years ago, my mother invited him to church guided him to read the Bible quoted Scripture to line never and never touched one day he got sick he went to rinse them out or a doctor and they said no. You gotta go to Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem and take a look and they went down there and they did x-rays, examinations, and they said to him, they said he tell me the stories that Amos know you got leukemia and you're gonna die Amos and I rushed out of that office. I got in my car. I burnt the road after coming home, I ran into that I got to Mount Airy I came to write here to Ararat engine and went into the store, which had been running and I went into the bedroom.
Not looking all over the house for Bob that that he said I got that Tylenol. He said, and I started reading it and he said Stuart I read that Bible and he said I read I read John 316, and Nick at Nicodemus came to Jesus and he said I I asked Jesus to come into my heart and that and I'm saved and he says I'm going to heaven when I die well and he said I'd love to hear you preach and so we are out here unity church and I didn't have a preacher they say would you say a few words.
I so I went out information that was Amos sitting with his wife and he to have a little later if he had that praise God when you when you get desperate, you will turn to the Lord. But why wait till you get desperate.
You're desperate now and don't know we're desperate for Jesus.
Okay were hungry so seek the Lord while he can be found calling Holly's near get your Bible out and start reading it in a serious way, rather than just a casual way so you read a chapter today so may not even be thinking about it when you're reading but think about it. What does it mean and especially first John first chapter and also the book of John. Those are the good entryways into the Bible very good dad to thank you for sharing that Stu Epperson Senior was Jim's injury were about to get back on the bicycle and ride down the road to some beautiful country here in Ararat, Virginia, and I want to love the challenge that the way he left it just to reiterate your driving on the road. Maybe just listen to a radio station here in this program you hear or hear some random preacher on another station take seriously the word of God. This could be your moment to turn to him and trust in the Lord and be saved.
It could be your last opportunity for that. Thank you dad got bless you. Thanks for being awesome pops my life, my hero all these years and I'm honored to call you dad will think he is at cellular how you sure you mean that what you say next is very important to myself him possibly better. Choose your words carefully listen. I've always been proud of you have Jesus as your guide is your Savior and the Holy Spirit in you and then I just pray God through through the Lord Jesus Christ and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and in the guidance of the Bible you will do greater greater things much greater stuff that I've ever done for Jesus Christ. So I pray for you every day that that happened. This is the Truth Network