radio, Rev. Lee Michaels, Baltimore

Iconic Baltimore Gospel Radio Host Rev. Lee Michaels Retires After 40 Years

Rev. Lee Michaels, host of Baltimore's Gospel radio show 'The Morning Experience,' has officially retired after 40 years on air.

Rev. Lee Michaels is officially leaving radio. The host of the Baltimore radio show “The Morning Experience” has announced his retirement after 40 years on the air.

Michaels has been a voice in gospel radio for the city since 1991, primarily as host of the long-standing show for Baltimore’s Heaven 600/WCAO Radio. According to the Baltimore Sun, the reverend officially ended his tenure with a final show on Dec. 29. For the pastor at Manifest Wonders Christian Center in the city’s west side, his announcement is even a shock to him.

“I’m just sitting here trying to process everything after 40 years,” shared the 70-year-old to the news outlet. “It’s just been a great ride, and I’m grateful. It was hard to really wrap myself around the idea of it ending, but I just felt like it was time.”

As for his beginnings, Michaels originally had plans to be on the radio in a different capacity, opting to pursue a singing career when he was a child. Growing up in the Perkins Homes housing development, known as “The Bottom” by natives, Michaels never let his socioeconomic status thwart his goals. After being part of a failed singing group, the performer sought out radio years later.

After stints in the Air Force and studying computer management at Coppin State University, a coincidental exchange with a radio producer exposed Michaels to the industry he would find his footing in. He changed his major and school to pursue radio at the Broadcasting Institute of Maryland but left soon after getting a job at WCEM/WESP-FM.

However, the words of a television evangelist inspired Michaels, leading to a call from gospel radio host Rev. Naomi Durant to take on the afternoon slot at the city’s new gospel station, WBGR.

“I went and washed my face. It felt too surreal; I needed to make sure I was awake,” Michaels said. “In that moment before I accepted, what came to mind was I believe that God heard me when I prayed, and he sent me my answer.”

Five years later, after sparking listeners to donate to a homeless man through his encouraging words of giving, Michaels embarked on his longest career stint as host of “The Morning Experience.” His work on the show garnered numerous awards, including Announcer of the Year by the Gospel Music Workshop of America in 2001, and induction into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2005.

For Michaels’ last show before retirement, listeners nationwide called in to thank the man who has inspired them for generations.

“You’ve just been one of those people you can turn to, whether you have something weighing on you or something great happening,” shared Laurie DeYoung, a country music radio host and fan of Michaels. “You always have the right words at the right time.”

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