‘It will always be the gospel train’: Central Texas community mourns loss of Sunday morning radio show host

WACO, Texas (KWTX) – The broadcaster of Central Texas Sunday radio show “The Gospel Train” died on Tuesday, but his legacy of spreading hope in the community lives on as he passed his show on to his son.

Joe Montgomery started his Sunday show in 1963. His show ran for six hours filled with scripture, gospel music, and spreading hope in the community.

“He was doing a lot for the communities, a lot of outreach,” Montgomery’s son, Roderick “Tre” Montgomery, said. “There are sick people who are locked up, they can’t get out. And he is basically their church.

Tre said Montgomery had many Marlin listeners in Dallas.

“A lot of times he’d go to the grocery store and they’d be like, ‘Hey, are you Joe on the radio?’ because they heard his voice,” he said.

As a full-time construction worker who operated heavy equipment, Montgomery always made time for his show on Sunday mornings. His radio engineer and producer, Van Goodall, said he never misses a Sunday show.

“If there was bad weather in the area, he would often spend the night at the radio station, so he would be there doing his show the next morning,” Goodall said.

Montgomery’s son said it was his passion and he was lucky to have discovered it so early in his life.

“He loved the radio station and he loved that dredge (a big crane that he would use for construction) and his family,” Tre said. “You’ve only been here so long, and if we could all live as vigorously as he did, we’re sure to live great lives.”

Prior to Montgomery’s passing, he asked Tre to resume his Sunday slot.

“He said, ‘You do the radio program for me.’ I said, ‘All right, dad. Got you, Tre said. “And he knew I would take care of it.”

Now it’s Tre on the radio instead of Joe on the radio on Sunday mornings for radio station KRVI.

“I still keep the old gospel fashion,” he said. “I’m going to slip a song here and there…I’m just trying to follow what he wanted me to do and try to keep the community built up.”

However, he says the show will always be his father’s “Gospel Train.” A Name Montgomery named the show after the song he opened each show with. Tre said this meant he tried to take his listeners along by providing them with “spiritual food”.

“I always call the program Joe on the Radio Program,” he said. “It will always be the Gospel Train.”

As Montgomery’s show continues, he will be missed by his family and his many listeners.

“All I can say to people in the community is that his memories will live on, and we’ll do our best and just try to keep going,” Tre said.

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