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Published: Monday, 10/18/2010

Stay Tuned with Kirk Baird: Tommy Briggs

First job: My first job was passing out coupons for a local pizza place. Every week we'd go over, pick up our coupons, and hand them out door to door. At the end of the week we'd ride our bikes back (because this was a child labor operation) and collect $5 plus 50 cents for every coupon turned in. I would immediately take my hard-earned cash to the local drug store and buy a Hires root beer, a bag of honey-roasted cashews, and a book or comic book. Then, I made the long ride home hopped up on sugar and the dreams of youth, completely broke until the next week.

First salary: $5 a week, which, ironically, is exactly what I make at YES-FM. (Well, it was until this summer when I threatened to hold out, and management, terrified that they would have to get up early to cover my shift, raised it to a hefty $7 a week.)

My idol is: Jesus Christ. I know, I know — it's shades of George W. Bush calling Jesus his favorite philosopher, but an idol is something people give worship and adoration to, and who I worship and adore is Jesus.

Most embarrassing radio moment: My most embarrassing moment on radio came courtesy of my father. At the time I was still just a regular guest on the morning show. I would come in once a week with different characters and comedy bits. We had one character named Dudley De'Lamor, our Canadian relationship adviser. He was having people call in with their best anniversary gifts, to help out a caller whose wedding anniversary was coming up and was in need of ideas. One caller phoned in to say he had gotten his wife a funeral plot for their last anniversary. The other hosts had great fun with this, but I was appalled because I clearly recognized the caller as my own father. I kept my cool, stayed in character, and got him off the phone as quickly as I could, to spare my family any more shame. As soon as he was off the air I tore off my headphones and declared loudly, “I can't believe it. That was my Dad.” At which point the other host reminded me the microphones were still on. So much for professional cool.

Highlight of my career: The highlight of my career will mean nothing to anybody but me — it was getting to meet and interview Larry Norman, the godfather of Christian rock. Larry was the first true Christian rock star and is still the best ever. He passed away a year or two ago, so I'm thrilled that I got to meet him. He was an interesting character, a bit of an odd duck, but, man, could he sing and write incredible songs.

My favorite thing to do outside of work: I love to read, cook, spend time with my family, browse bookstores, and, on occasion, to stare off at that infinite line of space that slices through the far horizon while pondering the deep, immutable mysteries of life, faith, and existence. Oh, and goofy golf.

I think Toledo's best-kept secret is: The number of great local Christian bands we have. Sanctus Real, This Beautiful Republic, and Southbound Fearing are the most well known, but there are many others (Not Forgotten, Remembering Venice, Romantic Warfare, etc.). We have a really vibrant Christian music scene in northwest Ohio.

People may be surprised to know that I: Also pastor two churches in addition to my duties at YES-FM. The first is Gateway Community Church, meeting at the Greater Toledo House of Prayer on Byrne Road. The other is a newer church in Waterville called Water's Edge, meeting at the A.W. Octane Building. So, if you're keeping score at home, that's three kids, two churches, one radio show, and one veeerrrry understanding (and beautiful) wife.

In five years, I see myself: Pastoring a vibrant group of house churches throughout the Toledo/Northwest Ohio area, annoying people daily on YES-FM, and basking in my recent victory on the latest ABC spinoff show Dancing With The Slightly Well Known.

My dream job is: Anything that helps me fulfill my desire to help people to unleash the power, joy, and love of God in their lives. There is nothing more exciting than to see people connect to God with real meaning and passion and to see him glorify himself in their lives. I could also do something that involves lying in a hammock on a Caribbean beach, sipping iced tea, and reading a book, but I haven't quite figured out how to make a living at that.

Contact Kirk Baird atkbaird@theblade.comor 419-724-6734.



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