by ROBERT LACOSTA
Tom Threlkeld was sixty-six when he and his wife Laura spearheaded the purchase of Bethlehem’s WOPG-AM radio station across from Kleinke’s Farm on Kenwood Avenue.
They saw that meadow as a mission field where they could plant spiritual seeds during their golden years.
“The senior years are a tremendous gift from God,” Threlkeld said. “In them, we recognize the last four things: death, judgment, heaven and hell. We find that God has lovingly guided us for the good of His will and we are invited to be open to His message.
“There’s more joy in the senior years than you can ever imagine. Grandchildren, for one. Ours love to sit in front of the microphone.”
In 2014, the all-volunteer group bought the station from media giant Disney to broaden the reach of programs airing on the global Catholic network EWTN, although non-Catholic individuals and groups are often invited to share their ministries.
How does one go from being an engineer of General Electric’s power plant division to running local radio?
Saudi Arabia is the short answer. When Threlkeld’s work took him to the middle east in 1981, he and his wife found themselves meeting in house prayer groups that led them back to their Catholic roots.
Later, that same faith became bolstered by EWTN programming. He simply wanted to bring those broadcast teachings to the capital district.
Kenwood Avenue studios may not draw a lot of tech-savvy volunteers, but they are always open to anyone who’d like to help plow the “field” across from Kleinke’s Farm.
To arrange a visit, contact Threlkeld at 518-478-0121.
Robert J. LaCosta’s free daily devotional may be received by writing [email protected].