In the Spotlight with Terra Brantley (Dee McKinley & ‘Gospel Flight’)

Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 6:20 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - “Gospel music is always joy,” Dee McKinley told WBOI 89.1 President and General Manager Terra Brantley. For nearly 50 years, McKinley has been involved in some capacity, with radio. She’s volunteered for Northeast Indiana Public Radio since the late 1990s.

“I love it because I get to come and do my own music, program my own show,” she said, elaborating on ‘Gospel Flight’. “My music is chosen by way of what my listeners want to hear.” McKinley’s playlists are scrawled out on pages of notebook paper — requests she collects from fans during the week.

A pivotal moment in her life, was during her youth, as she played a role in the Civil Rights movement. “We marched, we ran from dogs… the firehoses,” she shared. “I took a number of kids back to Alabama — busloads of kids when I had a project called ‘passages’ — and we went to Birmingham just to walk through that path.”

Now, for four hours every week, from 4-8:00 a.m. on Sundays, McKinley plays uplifting and encouraging songs for those that tune in. “I always like to say, ‘if He brought you to it, He’ll take you through it’,” she explained. “My payment is when somebody tells me, ‘if I had not heard that song, I would’ve taken my life’ — that’s what keeps me going.”

“If we never get a dime or a check from wherever, it’s okay — because we get payment from him upstairs,” McKinley concluded. “I love what I do!”

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