Family Research Council (FRC) presented its Vision and Leadership Award to Stuart W. Epperson, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of Salem Media Group, at the organization’s Faith, Family, and Freedom Gala Dinner on October 14.
Epperson founded Salem with his brother-in-law, Edward Atsinger, in the early 1970s. Since then, the company has become America’s leading radio broadcaster, internet content provider, and magazine and book publisher targeting audiences interested in Christian and family-themed content and conservative values.
“For over 40 years as Chairman of the Board of Salem Communications, Stu Epperson’s vision and leadership have brought positive and life-changing messages that have influenced the spiritual, and the cultural, and the political landscape of America,” said FRC President Tony Perkins during the award presentation.
“Very few people in the conservative movement have done more to shape the national conversation than Stu Epperson,” Perkins added. “It is because of his faith and his foresight and his leadership.”
In accepting the award, Epperson expressed his gratitude and recalled the days of his youth and the founding of Salem. He recalled how he started his first radio station in Roanoke, Virginia, at the age of 23, around the time his brother-in-law did the same.
“You don’t have to have money to start a good thing,” Epperson told the crowd. “What you’ve got to have is vision and determination that are God-given and God-inspired.”
Epperson and Atsinger would soon after combine their radio assets to create Salem Communications, which would later be renamed Salem Media Group in 2015.
“We started Salem because we had an opinion,” Epperson recalled. “First and foremost, we want to build radio stations and buy radio stations to present the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ by the very best communicators of the Gospel in the world. And God sent those people to us.”
In concluding his remarks, Epperson said, “God has led, and I thank Him for it.”
Also speaking in honor of Epperson at the gala dinner were Richard Viguerie, Chairman of ConservativeHQ.com; the Honorable Edwin Meese III, Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow Emeritus at The Heritage Foundation; the Honorable Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives (by video); Rebecca Hagelin, President and CEO of Rebecca Hagelin Communications and Marketing, LLC; Hugh Hewitt, Host of The Hugh Hewitt Show; and Stephanie Acosta Inks, Legal Fellow & Adjunct Professor at the Georgetown University Law Center.
The Faith, Family, and Freedom Gala Dinner was held on the third day of FRC’s Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., which for more than a decade has provided a forum to help inform and mobilize citizens across America to preserve the bedrock values of traditional marriage, religious liberty, sanctity of life, and limited government that make the nation strong. Each year, it showcases prominent policymakers and leading conservative voices. The event has drawn more than 3,000 attendees from around the nation and foreign countries.
By NRB Staff
Published: October 19, 2017