“(‘Religion for Life’ is) a great program and is one that brings us lots of attention, and it’s something that people talk about,” Winkler said. “So we’re really pleased with both of our locally produced programs because they are of a quality that people would expect from a radio station in a much larger market.”

“Those two programs probably get more comments than even the NPR programs do in terms of listener feedback,” Winkler continued. “It tells you that people are listening, and we are getting a surprising level of feedback on those two programs.”

Wayne Winkler, Program Director WETS FM/HD1,

Kingsport Times-News


John Shuck has filled a void in broadcasting with his program Religion for Life. He ignores the generally-accepted advice to avoid talking about religion and faces head on the most difficult questions about faith. It’s certainly not cable TV. It’s not evangelistic preaching. There’s no yelling and no anger, but his guests are nationally recognized and most always provocative. Listeners often wonder about Shuck’s ministry in the Presbyterian Church because he doesn’t hold back in challenging anything. Listeners everywhere deserve to hear these programs.

Teresa Keller
General Manager
WEHC-FM, 90.7
Emory, Va.


Congratulations on having such an open minded show. I’m proud to tell people you’re on my station.

Roger Reynolds
Host: The Drive-Thru With Rog
WHAN Radio 1430AM/102.9FM
Ashland, VA


I just wanted to thank you for an excellent program. I’ve been a WETS listener and member for some years now, and your show is excellent and thought-provoking. Above all, it makes me feel not so alone! As an agnostic (with atheistic leanings) growing up in southeastern PA, the stifling dogma of the dominant culture in this area (Sevierville) has been difficult for a free-thinker like myself. Your show that I heard this evening was particularly refreshing to a person of my persuasion, as you can well imagine. But I always enjoy the show, regardless of the guest. Thank you ever so much!


Sevierville, TN


Hi John

Just wanted you to know how much i love your radio program…. I’ve struggled to find a place that I fit and that wants to grow in ways that I am growing. Your program gives me hope.. and it’s local!

Thanks so much for all that you do to bring fresh air to our spiritual neighborhood!

PS – I’m listening to a bunch of the shows as podcasts and that is a great way to spend time on the road.


Kingsport, TN


John….we wish to thank and affirm you for the effort put into “Religion for Life” Outstanding effort! Really enjoyed the Peter Rollins interview today. I was touched by your time with Harvey Cox….

We wish you the very best as you continue this important work. Are you beyond the local stations? I can hear you nationally!!

Roger Golden

Cinny Poppen



Dear Reverend Shuck,

I just wanted to express my appreciation for Religion for Life, especially the episode that aired this evening. I am deeply interested in religious questions, indeed I have made a career of investigating religion. At the same time, theology and genuine personal engagement with religion is often difficult for me due to the many intellectual and political objections I have to what generally passes for True religion.

Your program is a breath of fresh air and the honesty of your story and discussion with Peter Rollins was deeply moving. Thank you for being willing to share your own experience and for providing a religious forum for addressing real issues in a sincere and honest way.

Joseph Baker
Johnson City, TN

I just wanted you to know that I look forward to your show each week. You have brought hope back into my life….I feel like traditional Christianity has left out so many good folks and it is mostly about power and control. Thanks for the work you do, your show is inspiring.
Anne Newlun
…Urge you to continue vigorously to give the public some kind of “religious” education that others are mostly afraid to talk about.

Howard Box



Hi John,

On my way back from pastoring the Mt. Hermon Presbyterian Church in Big Stone Gap I listen to Religion for Life and find it exciting, enjoyable, debatable, sometimes disagreeable, but always interesting. You introduced me to Diana Butler Bass, whom I liked very much and bought her book, Christianity After Religion.
Today, your guest was Marcus Borg, In The Evolution of the Word, which I also found to be informative….
I look forward to your next broadcast.

Pastor Anthony T. Barnette
Bluff City, TN

Good morning, John:

I found your interview of Jerry DeWitt very interesting because of how it revealed you as a truly progressive practicing minister–most interesting; we need more of you in the believing world.

Stephen F. Uhl, Ph.D.
Oro Valley, AZ



I just wanted to commend you once again for the great work you are doing with Religion For Life. You are just putting information from all sides out there and making people think.

Dennett interview was great this past week. Looking forward to the next one.

Adam Mann,

Johnson City, TN


Thanks, I enjoy your series. You provide us with voices we need in this area.

Marianne Gubler

Johnson City


Hello Mr. Shuck,
I have never met you, but hope to someday. I want to say thank you because you have done something that no one else has been able to do. You have my husband’s attention. My husband was raised in a home where they did not attend church. His mother didn’t believe in it. He had always had a somewhat harsh opinion of all churches. Last night, he heard you on NPR and couldn’t get enough. He was different when he came home. He said “you have to hear this pastor.” Okay, hold up, what–kept going through my mind. He really had a connection. I wanted to cry because I was so happy. I didn’t say anything, just listened to him. I have prayed so many times through the years for this very thing to happen in our lives. He has even said that he wanted to attend your Sunday service. I couldn’t resist the urge to email you and tell you thanks so very much for your amazing program.

Sherry McLeod


Just wanted you to know that my husband and I are great fans of your radio program with its varied perspectives and vibrant discussions.

Thank you.
Carole Coates/Ron Wynn

You have been a light in a spiritually dark time in my life. Your stance, along with the of Rev. Spong, the Jesus Seminar, and some of my more moderate relatives, some of whom are open-minded Southern Baptists, has helped keep me from rejecting Christianity completely. I might also add that I live in the South and I have difficulty dealing with the dogmatic, paternalistic bigotry that is so pervasive here particularly in our politics (I am a Southerner, born and bred BTW). I really appreciate your openness about your own views because it helps to know that I am not alone, like Lennon said, “not the only one”.

Kathy Sanders


Dear John,

….I am so grateful for your messages and the wonderful interviews. I send you all the encouragement I can muster up as you continue in this most important age of information in such lovable openness.

Again, thank you and keep on keeping on in your much needed work.

Bill Denison


Dear Wayne Winkler and WETS staff,

I sincerely want to thank you for your support and production of both “Religion for Life” and “The Constitution Today” programs.

This is what radio should be about and I can’t emphasize enough the important impact these programs have had on my own life.

I had lost faith in Christianity (I was raised Methodist and even attended a Methodist College) and have given up hope that my faith in the teachings of Jesus would ever be reinforced. Today’s Christianity has been kidnapped and has become an integral part of the most mean spirited of the Right Wing ideology. I have felt betrayed, especially when tragic events like Newtown seem to have no impact on how Christians view their attitudes towards gun violence.

This silence goes totally against the teachings of Jesus.

“Religion for Life” has prevented me from abandoning the Church altogether out of disgust and depression.

By purchasing and reading books written by authors who have been interviewed on the show, I have renewed my motivation to speak truth to my own community and try my best to again study what the words of Jesus actually mean in application.

The program on the Constitution is sober and informative, putting our current rhetoric into perspective.

Thanks to you all for giving John Shuck an opportunity to help many of us reclaim ownership ofour faith and rejuvenate our commitment to making this world a better place.

With great respect and gratitude,

Steve Ferguson, Johnson City


Dear John,

Just the other day, while trying to find something to listen to during my walks (which I now take more frequently) I stumbled across your podcast. It is brilliant … and I wanted to share that with you.

Loren Fry,

Johnson City, TN


To Whom It May Concern,

Please consider this letter a ringing endorsement of the radio show Religion for Life, hosted by Reverend John Shuck. I make this endorsement to encourage your consideration of including this show in your community’s radio lineup. The show is both entertaining and enlightening, and I am of the firm opinion that a wider audience awaits it.

At times riveting and exhilarating, the show’s exploration of belief systems, social justice issues and ways of life is a perfect fit the the times we live in. Our country is becoming increasingly diverse amid an increasingly smaller world. We can barely comprehend our giant leaps in technology and science as well as our own continuing impact on the environment as we struggle with lifestyle decisions and sustainability. Conversations about these issues are already happening across our country in a variety of ways. Religion for Life begins to deal with these things while finding common ground across a multitude of beliefs.

I believe that for a healthy society, we all should be having more of the discussions presented on this show. The tone of the show even points the way as to how to do this. Unlike many other inflammatory radio shows, Religion for Life effortlessly manages to be thought-provoking and even controversial without ever getting ugly, mean-spirited or accusatory in tone. Reverend Shuck’s background in radio is immediately evident as he is completely at ease behind the microphone. He is a gracious and relaxed host and has a showman’s ear towards keeping the beats of the show moving at a good pace.

I’m confident this show will continue to find new communities to engage. Radio stations that air Religion for Life will benefit from it while performing a valuable public service at the same time. I hope you consider adding this remarkable show to your lineup for your community.


Bob Swanay, Director

Johnson City Public Library


IMHO, Religion for Life is too good a program for its relatively small audience, at least on broadcast radio.

Jack White

Abingdon, VA