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CBN.com David Kithcart [reporting]: Walt “Baby” Love is the charismatic host of three syndicated radio music countdown shows. They include the longest running urban radio music program in history: The Countdown with Walt "Baby" Love and his celebrated Gospel Traxx program. Although his shows are popular, Walt refuses to compromise his moral standards for success.
Rev. Walt "Baby" Love: We don’t play the explicit, filthy versions of the songs.
Kithcart [reporting]: He’s not shy about giving a little “piece of his mind” to his audience.
Love: Hip-hop has gone too far. It’s opened up a discussion that we have already talked about. You know Rev. Walt is gonna talk about it.
Kithcart: Where did the name come from?
Love: My name is Walter Shaw. But when I got into the broadcasting industry, they had another guy whose name was Rick Shaw. So the management said to me, "Well, we can’t have two Shaws." I said, “Could I be Walt Love?” And they said, “Oh, yeah, that sounds like a good idea.”
Kithcart [reporting]: While driving in to do his shift, the DJ at his Houston station “promo-ed” Walt as “Walt Baby Love.” When he arrived, he was told to call his boss. He wanted to know what Walt thought of the nickname.
Love: I said, “I thought it was like really cool." He said, "People will never forget your name." And that’s how it came about.
Kithcart [reporting]: Walt “Baby” Love moved onward and upward in radio and the name stuck. After taking a job in Chicago, his new pastor, L.K. Johnson, told him something that Walt wasn’t ready to accept.
Love: He kept saying to me, “There’s more that God wants you to do, but you just don’t realize.You’re going to preach. One day, you’ll realize it for yourself.”
Kithcart [reporting]: Walt soon had to deal with a different realization that changed his life in a moment.
Love: I had gone to the bathroom and found blood in my urine.
Kithcart [reporting]: When his doctors examined him…
Love: They found this tumor. They told me, “You’ve got kidney cancer, and the one thing we know is, if we don’t get it out of you – the kidney – you will not live.”
Kithcart: What did kidney cancer mean to you? Because there was a history...
Love: It meant death. That’s what it meant to me.
Kithcart [reporting]: Walt’s father and great-grandfather had both died from the disease.
Love: They said, “Well, we think you have a 30 percent chance of survival – a 70 percent chance you’re not going to make it." At this point, I was totally helpless, and finally I realized that the only way for me to survive is that I had to trust God. I didn’t have all the faith that I should have had, but I had just enough. Jesus talks about having the faith of a mustard seed. All of a sudden I began to speak, and it wasn’t me speaking. It was the Holy Spirit speaking. Before I knew it, I slammed my fist on the desk of my internal medicine specialist and said, “I don’t want to hear anything else. All I want you to do is to listen to what I have to say. My God is going to save me. He’s going to use your knowledge of this disease, your abilities, your medical technology to save my life. Whether y’all believe it or not, that’s what my God is going to do. So y’all just tell me what I have to do. Set a date for surgery, and let’s go."
Kithcart [reporting]: Walt had the surgery. The results of his lymph node biopsies came in: the cancer had not spread.
Love: I know that that’s all by the grace of God.
Kithcart [reporting]: After a long, painful recovery, Walt was pronounced “cancer-free”, and he resumed his radio shows. But, on his way to work one day, Walt says that he couldn’t get rid of a nagging unrest.
Love: I had to get off the freeway, because I became so upset. I began to weep and just cry out to God. I just raised my hands up in the air when I stopped the car. I said, “Lord, what do You want? Give me some peace.” I wish I could say it was audible, but it wasn’t. In my spirit, it was: “Serve Me. I want you to really serve Me.”
Kithcart [reporting]: Walt remembered the words of his pastor.
Love: I told Rev. Johnson what had happened, and he said, “Oh, now you feel it and know it for yourself.”
Kithcart [reporting]: Walt decided to study the Bible at Fuller Theological Seminary . Now, along with his radio shows, he’s an associate minister at first AME Church of Los Angeles. He recounts his entire journey of faith in his book: The Gospel According to Rev. Walt “Baby” Love. Walt says that there’s one thing he’s learned that can’t be taught in school.
Love: I’ve learned that you’ve got to praise Him, not only in the good times. You’ve got to praise Him in the bad times. When it’s difficult, when it hurts, when you want to say something else, you got to say “Thank You, Jesus. Thank You, Lord. Bless You. Thank You for taking care of me. This is only temporary. I’ll overcome it. I got to get through this, because I know You’re there with me.”
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