Back in 1998 I called a local radio station and volunteered to clean toilets for free if I could just put on my resume that I worked there. My offer was just crazy enough to get some attention and within a matter of days, I was given a chance to do an air check which earned me a spot as a full-time news anchor. Every morning I was blessed to be on air at that time, the guy sitting on the other side of my studio window doing his talk show was none other than Randy Pierce. If you have lived here for any length of time you have heard him on the radio whether you realized it or not. Randy has a passion for this region, for God and for making a positive impact. If you haven’t had the chance to meet him, you need to take a minute to hear his story. You’ll be glad you did.
BRIAN: Randy, thanks for taking time to talk with me and let folks get to know you a little better. Take it from the beginning, what was it like growing up for you?
RANDY: Born and raised in Greeneville, so east Tennessee has always been ‘home’ to me. My dad was a route salesman, my mom was a stay at home mom. I grew up with two sisters, a baby sister came along when I was a junior in high school, so several years in-between. I was a paper carrier for the Greeneville Sun when I turned 10, bagger for Giant Food Market in high school and then one class at Greeneville High School changed my life. It was called “Career Orientation” and we were allowed to job shadow at local businesses and learn their profession. My second semester was at WSMG-AM 1450 in Greeneville. I remember that day as if it was yesterday, January, 1975, walking into the studio and I know this sounds weird but I remember thinking, ‘I will do this for the rest of my life”. And to this date, that has been true. I have worked at WSMG, WGRV/WIKQ in Greeneville, WJCW/WQUT and since September 2000 at WCQR.
BRIAN: We have known each other for many years in the radio business and I know you could go work in any market you choose. What is so special about this region that has kept you here as your home?
RANDY: There is just something about the pace of life here. Great, hard-working people, people that love God, who take pride in their work and pride in their family. I have literally been around the world but flying or driving back into these mountains…no place in the world like it.
BRIAN: Obviously faith is a huge part of your life. How does your faith play into the everyday routine of your work and play?
RANDY: Just as I had no doubt about ‘being in radio the rest of my life’, in 2000, there was no doubt that serving God through Christian radio was something He had planned for my life. In addition to the best place in the world to live, serving God and sharing my faith on the air, through my dealings with local businesses who support our efforts, I honestly cannot tell you how blessed I am. In my office, I have four or five bookshelves filled with memories of what God has allowed me to do. From asking to pray with a man with cancer in South Africa, praying and sharing with a grandmother in Thailand, flying an hour into the Amazon in South American and singing hymns with a Waodani warrior, now a pastor, who murdered five missionaries in the 1950’s. The Movie “End of The Spear” was based on that tribe…to sitting in my office praying with a man struggling with his marriage. Brian, I am an old, shy country boy from Greeneville, Tennessee. Tell me there is no God.
BRIAN: Family is a huge part of what makes this region special. How important is your family life and how do you fit quality time in with work and career?
RANDY: Faith and Family are things you really can’t separate. Faith in God is first and foremost. Everything revolves around it. My wife Paige and I just celebrated our 33rd anniversary, our son is a police officer in Greeneville. He and his wife Courtney have one son, Aiden and very soon we will see their daughter, Lakelynn who will make her appearance in November of this year. Grandkids are another way God just smiles on your life. WCQR was in the midst of a fundraiser, long 12 hour days, heading home at 6:30pm Aiden calls and wants to play ball with “Pops”. I’m tired, starving, wanting to get home, but you know who was playing ball 40 minutes later! So blessed to have my family living in east Tennessee.
BRIAN: Last but not least, you have just got to share some of what is going on with WCQR. What do folks need to know and where can they learn more?
RANDY: OK…now you’ve hit another passion for me! Our mission at WCQR is to “Change the world by creating and delivering experiences that allow people to live passionately for Jesus Christ.’ I absolutely love what God is doing through WCQR. We launched a project called “Reach Out Tri Cities” this year that involves our family of listeners to invest time and effort and volunteer and serve in our community. We’ve collected pajamas for kids in need, donated blood through Marsh Regional Blood Center, we have helped women that were rescued from slavery get back on their feet, this fall we will have our Project Thanksgiving and also help kids with incarcerated parents experience Christmas, but even more than that, our parent company, Positive Alternative Radio, just launched an effort to impact “1Billion Lives In 5” through the #ENCW Project. (ENCW=Easy Never Changed the World) Local Christian Radio stations around the world, along with other non-profit Christian organizations teaming up to not only ‘share’ the gospel, but show the love of Jesus through acts of kindness. You will continue to hear more about it on 88.3fm WCQR. WCQR has been nominated again this year by the Christian Music Broadcaster Association as medium market Station of the Year. The credit really goes to and shows how our listeners reach out and help our community. This is WCQR’s sixth nomination in our 20 years and hopefully our fifth Station of the Year award. We will get those results in September. Other great ministries around the country share their impact in their communities and we are honored to share the efforts of our listeners and ministry.