Jannie Venter celebrates 50 years in radio business

Published 6:00 am Saturday, September 9, 2023

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Jannie Venter celebrates her 50th year as a gospel radio host on Sunday.

Best-known in Selma and Dallas County as “Mother of the Airwaves” at WHBB Radio, Venter is asking local churches, pastors, sponsors, supporters, businesses and listeners to purchase ads to help her celebrate. A full-page ad costs $100, a half-page ad is $50 and a 1/4 page $35. Venter said her donations goes to charities throughout Selma and Dallas County.

Venter, 82, said she stopped holding live celebrations when COVID-19 hit the country in 2020. Venter also said the celebration continues until the end of the month.

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“Because of COVID, I started taking donations,” Venter said.

Venter has two Sunday shows on WHBB: 9-10 a.m. and 7 p.m.-midnight.

Venter takes song requests from her listeners. When she can’t find the song, she sings it to them herself.

“It’s not about me,” Venter said. “The ministry is not about me, but all about Jesus.  I am blessed to provide good gospel service to the sick, shut-in and people in the nursing home. I thank my fans and sponsors for supporting me all these years.”

A Selma City Councilwoman in Ward 8 from 2004 to 2008, Venter is a longtime member of the Second Missionary Baptist Church, where she enjoys singing in the choir and serving on the usher board.

In the past, Venter volunteered at Vaughan Regional Medical Center and served as Mistress of Ceremonies at several churches across the county.

Venter has two children, Thelma and Lawrence, and is grandmother of four and a great-grandmother to one great-grandson.