Evangelist Marie Butler of Jesup is not your typical preacher, but she has a wide audience.
Instead of speaking to a normal Sunday morning church crowd, her voice goes out over the airwaves seven days a week, reaching an audience that spans nine counties.
Butler is the station manager of WTLD FM 90.5 (the Lord’s Day Radio) in Jesup. She has served as the station manager for eight years.
Butler has been in the ministry for 15 years and is a member of Litway Baptist Church in Savannah where the Rev. Dr. Leonard Smalls is pastor. Smalls is also the owner of the radio station.
As the station manager, Butler meets people from different backgrounds, denominations, cultures and all walks of life.
“Our intent is to reach as many people as possible with the word of God,” she said. “People are constantly stopping me and telling me how much the radio programs have been a blessing to them. We also receive telephone calls and cards from our listening audience expressing their appreciation for the radio ministry.
“The people motivate me. Sometimes I can just feel the needs of the listening audience. I love what I am doing and I play songs that uplift the people. Lee Williams’ (who signs ‘Lord I am Willing’ and ‘Can’t Give Up Now’) are favorites. Win Thompkins’ ‘Leaning Tree’ is also a favorite,” Butler said. “We get a lot of calls to play it. Valerie Boyd’s ‘I Found Jesus,’ Marvin Sapp’s ‘He Sees the Best in Me’ and Bishop Paul S. Morton’s ‘Don’t Call the Roll until I Get There’ are also requested a lot.”
From 6-7 p.m. every Thursday, the radio provides free air time to community organizations and churches. Its broadcast features formatted programs such as a community forum, troops speak and a Christian youth period.
“WTLD provides Bibles to the juvenile detention centers and provides food and clothing to those in need,” Butler said.
Churches from Liberty, Effingham, Long, Wayne, Glynn and other counties have ministries on the air. Pastors from various churches and their associates offer a ministry of hope and inspiration to the listening audience.
“We even have an 83-year-old pastor, the Rev. Samuel Richardson, from Tuscaloosa, Ala., who sends a weekly tape to be aired on the radio. He visits Jesup once a year to run revivals. He always has a seasoned word for the church. Next year, I will be going to Tuscaloosa to preach for him and I am excited,” Butler said.
In addition to her radio ministry, Butler preaches in Wayne, Liberty and Chatham counties. She also spreads the word of God in Surrency and Baxley and travels to Connecticut to conduct revivals, women’s conferences and seminars. Butler is part of a coalition of ministers who visit the Free Heart Rehabilitation Home in Jesup to minister to people who are recovering from addictions.
Butler, who has two sons and five grandchildren, was born and raised in Jesup and still lives there. In her spare time, she loves going to the beach, playing tennis and going to the gym. She also enjoys visiting the elderly and nurturing and mentoring young women.
Butler invites the community to tune in to WTLD FM 90.5 radio. The station is on the air 24 hours a day.