A voice broadcast from a home in a town of 2,200 people is sometimes reaching across the globe — and often highlighting the lives of celebrities and other notables sharing their Christian faith.
Hope resident Ed Boston considered nothing of that magnitude in 2008 when he launched the politically oriented Do The Right Thing Radio podcast with a Christian perspective. Back then, the right thing simply was to let his voice, and others, be heard.
“I was so green at all this,” he said. “I just had no idea. I would have guessed in the beginning that maybe a handful of people across the country would have listened.”
Now, according to BlogTalkRadio, the international medium through which the morphed and roughly one-hour Ed Boston Podcast is disseminated, the former Hope pastor now reaches listeners in far-flung areas including Canada, the United Kingdom and Egypt.
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“That’s one of those ‘wow’ moments I have,” Boston said. “I’ve never quite figured it out.”
Besides, the now-polished interviewer who has completed some 1,600 shows is all about other questions.
The 55-year-old Boston, who lands such high-profile interviews as “America’s Got Talent” 2017 champion ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer and TV actress and producer Roma Downey, takes an upbeat, easy-going approach with guests.
“They know my job is not to dig (into the negative),” Boston said.
In fact, with a recent show highlighting cast and crew members from the faith-based nationally released movie “I Can Only Imagine,” he not only avoids what could be construed as negative, he gushes about the redeeming and restorative Christian message of the film. Plus, he closes every interview with a prayer. And with Downey, known from 1994 to 2003 as the star and leading character of Tess in the CBS drama “Touched By An Angel,” that practice led to a lighthearted quip he has used more than once.
“I always tell people that I prayed for an angel,” he said.
With other guests, such as WWE Hall of Fame wrestler Jeff Jarrett, he would never have allowed their three separate conversations and programs to veer too far toward specific Jarrett struggles. Also, during a live broadcast en route to the nationally controversial Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky, he floated his talk more toward biblical matters than some of mainstream media’s criticisms of the attraction.
His most faithful listeners, many of whom say they never miss a broadcast, readily identify with his unassuming ways.
Tony Ogle, a 55-year-old Columbus resident, discovered the program from chatting with Boston’s wife. He acknowledged that he grew up outside the Christian church and never was taught much about the Bible. He said Boston’s teachings and interviews give him strength “especially if I’m having a bad day.”
“He talks about real life — and unlike a lot of other (online) preachers, he’s not asking for anything,” Ogle said. “He’s straight up, honest and truthful. And sometimes what he says can (excitedly) raise the hair on my arms.”
Others also have developed an allegiance to the podcast.
Donald Middlebrooks, 55, a tow truck driver in the small community of Eastern Valley, Alabama, finds himself working six and seven days per week, including most Sundays. Such a schedule makes it difficult to attend worship services. So, a few years ago, on his smartphone’s Tune In Radio app, he typed in the keyword “religion.”
Up popped Boston’s podcast. Middlebrooks began listening every night as he was going to bed. He liked Boston’s easy-going manner with guests, plus a laid-back approach in a few sermons he caught.
“He definitely doesn’t preach down on the sinner,” Middlebrooks said, adding that he has little use for condemning preachers.
And the Alabama resident soon realized that, even though people in several other countries have listened to some of Boston’s programs, the podcaster still makes time for one-on-one chats with listeners. After Middlebrooks sent Boston a Facebook message saying he enjoyed the show, Boston responded with a phone call.
Since then, he has phoned Middlebrooks, a recovering alcoholic, to pray with him.
“That especially means a lot to me,” said the listener.
Host: Hope resident and former church pastor Ed Boston. His wife Amy Boston sometimes is on some of the podcasts, such as a recent review of the new film “I Can Only Imagine.”
A little help from his friend: Originally included producer Trevor Decker, who is now an adviser.
Length: About an hour.
Shows: Normally posted at 9 a.m. Saturdays. Others are posted during the week as he gets ideas, gathers thoughts and arranges interviews.
Where to listen online: blogtalkradio.com/edboston or the Facebook page for Ed Boston Podcast Network.