ALEXANDRIA, Va. (BP) – Although he may not seem like a typical bi-vocational minister, Southern Baptist pastor Don Kroah said being a full-time pastor and hosting an award-winning radio show are simply two things he believes “God has assigned for me.”
Kroah, who has been the senior pastor at Plymouth Haven Baptist Church in Alexandria, Va., since 2015, also hosts “The Don Kroah Show” on 105.1 FM WAVA (Washington, Arlington), which is owned by the Salem Media Group.
The show broadcasts daily Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m., and has received multiple broadcasting awards since its start in 1997.
Its most recent award was a first-place prize for Best Documentary or Public Affairs Program at the Virginia Association of Broadcasters.
The program’s winning submission was an interview with former Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf regarding Christian genocide in Nigeria. The competition for the award included any general radio programming, not just Christian.
Despite the success he has seen in the radio business over the years, Kroah sees it as only supplemental to his ministry.
“My primary calling is that of pastor, but my vocation as well that the Lord has assigned me is broadcasting, and I think the two have served each other well in terms of the body of Christ and how we’ve been able to work,” Kroah said.
Kroah said the show’s location in close proximity to D.C. affords it the opportunity to host guests with influence in the political and economic spheres, but the show also prioritizes discussing Christian topics with well-known pastors.
Ministry leaders the show has interviewed include Tony Evans, Chuck Swindoll and Charles Stanley. Kroah emphasized wanting to use the show’s platform not to achieve worldly success, but to build the kingdom of God.
“I have a microphone in front of me and I try to remind myself on a regular basis that it’s not my microphone, it’s the Lord’s,” he said. “I never had a desire to separate the two, and I just see the church as being obligated to the needs of the culture whatever they are.
“This is God’s opportunity for us (the radio show) to speak into the culture and reach people that otherwise would never be sitting in one of our church pews, but we can reach them with Christ’s message and make a difference that way.”
In addition to hearing from some of the world’s foremost Christian leaders, Kroah has used the show to discuss important Christian issues such as the persecuted church and discipleship around the world.
“The persecuted church in general has been a passion of mine ever since I’ve been in the ministry but especially coming to the Washington area with such a big platform to speak to that issue,” Kroah said. “We have a profound obligation to the suffering church.”
The show frequently holds fundraisers on the air for organizations that support the persecuted church and hosts discussions on Christian persecution, such as they did with Wolf.
Regarding discipleship, Kroah founded a non-profit called “Reach Africa Now” in 2001, which is focused on equipping and training pastors.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Kroah said he would visit Africa at least once a year, speaking and ministering mostly in Nigeria and Tanzania. He said he believes supporting other pastors is one of the most important avenues of ministry.
“I feel the two most important areas of ministry are to strengthen churches and encourage their pastors, because they’re the change agents in their cultures,” Kroah said.
Both pastoring and broadcasting have been part of Kroah’s life for a long time.
Shortly after beginning his first pastorate in Maine in 1963, he contacted the local radio station to see about the possibility of starting a church program.
He eventually pastored and worked in broadcasting in New England for more than 20 years.
Upon moving to Virginia to begin the current show, Kroah gave up pastoring full time, but would occasionally guest preach at various churches.
After serving as an interim pastor at Plymouth Haven Baptist in 2014, the church asked him to consider accepting a call to be the pastor.
Kroah said he initially said no multiple times, but he felt the Lord “speaking to me in my spirit that He wanted me to reconsider.”
While it works for him, he doesn’t recommend the life of a bivocational pastor to everyone. He suggests pastors only attempt to do multiple things if they know God has called them to do so, and says his love for both pastoring and broadcasting is what drives him.
“Both things need to be clearly designed as the will of God for that person because otherwise it will just make them ineffective at both ends,” Kroah said. “I think the great challenge for the pastor is not to let himself be distracted or get off course of his primary objective which is to build the saints and preach the Word … I hold the pulpit greatly responsible over the long term for what happens in a particular church.
“I’m doing what I’m doing because I know in my own heart of hearts that these are the things that God has assigned for me. … It’s my love for the Lord and my desire to just make sure I’m doing what He wants me to do that makes it all worthwhile.”