Popular radio host and former pastor Neil Boron resigned from his position as Program Manager of WDCX 99.5 effective May 2 citing family and personal reasons for the sudden resignation that has left listeners wondering what happened. WDCX released a statement updating their followers on Facebook saying, "Neil Boron has resigned from WDCX for personal reasons. We are not trying to be elusive with information, but unfortunately, this is all we are able to tell you. We are hard at work as we determine what God wants for the future of our 3-6pm day-part." Fans and followers since have posted nearly daily seeking more information and offering their prayers and condolences to the family. According to WDCX, replacement programming is in the works with qualified candidates already being considered for the premium time slot Neil Boron Live filled in WDCX's programming- 3-6pm Monday through Friday.
Praying for YOU... many hugs"
For now it is a new season in Western New York Christian radio as the baton is passed to the next host of WDCX's afternoon show.
Editor's Note: We originally published a profile of Neil Boron when he started NBL in our sister publication THRiVE! in our Spring 2008 issue by Christine Setlock which we have included below.
Sipping coffee in the small conference room of the WDCX radio station at 625 Delaware Avenue, talk show host and program director Neil Boron reflects on how good it is to be home.
His first season back on Christian radio, after an 8-year absence to lead a local church, is a change Boron says, is true to his calling, and has many people in the Buffalo area welcoming his return.
In addition to exploring issues from a biblical worldview, the Neil Boron Live broadcast is giving voice to the work of God in people’s lives.
Lives like special guests Jeryl and Nikole Marohn, who are finding strength and comfort in Christ in the midst of their daughter’s suffering, Amelia Joy, 3, as they prepare for her third open heart surgery on March 20. Or, the man identified as Abdul, who had a life-changing conversion experience after leaving the Muslim religion and coming to faith in Christ.
Response to the Feb. 7 show on the Muslim topic was enough to cause WDCX to re-air the broadcast on Feb. 21, according to Neil Boron Live producer, Jesse Pohle.
The show takes off from Boron’s previous work in WDCX talk-radio as host of the former LifeLine, which aired through the late 90’s, becoming a Christian forum for evangelical Western New York. It’s the only Christian radio show of its kind at the local level, broadcasting live from the WDCX studio in downtown Buffalo.
Boron has been engaging his listening audience on a wide variety of issues, but the show’s real impact is doing that in a context that shares the good news of Christ.
“I care about the world around me and what’s going on, but ultimately, that leads right back to Jesus,” Boron said. “Since I came to faith in Christ I know that He is the way to God and He’s what matters.”
Guests on Neil Boron Live include Christian psychologist and author Kevin Lehman, local personality Jill Kelly and authors Allison Bottke (Setting Boundaries With Your Adult Children) and Faisal Malick (The Destiny of Islam in End Times).
“We’ll talk about hard issues: marriage and family and culture,” Boron said. “We’ll get into politics, particularly as it relates to the lives we lead. When there’s bioethical issues involved like stem cell research, abortion, all the life issues — we’ll talk about those things.”
“It’s trying to talk about real life, and yet do it with some balance, so that every program isn’t heavy,” he said.
It’s not easy to see where the Buffalo-area Christian community has Public Square outside the local church, but the show changes that, with local call-in listeners sharing testimony through the medium of radio.
“We’re hoping we’ll be able to reach Western New York and Southern Ontario in a new way,” said Nev Larson, general manager of WDCX. “In terms of reaching people for Christ, there’s just an openness today that we haven’t seen before.”
It has been what Boron described as “one miracle after another,” that led him to where he is now.
He first sensed a calling to Buffalo Christian radio at the tender age of 16, as a Kenmore East Bull Dog on the high school football field. He knew the Lord was with him the day his team played against their Kenmore West rivalry, where he made four touchdowns, kicked a fuel goal, and ran 85 yards, scoring 30 out of his team’s 32 points to victory. “It was like God just opened up the Red Sea and handed me the ball,” he said.
That led Boron to a full football scholarship at Boston University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in mass communication, and on to an unlikely academic scholarship at Pat Robertson’s Regent University where he received his masters degree in broadcast management.
Boron’s WDCX Buffalo coverage of the “Spring of Life” protests at abortion clinics in the early 90’s led him to Washington D.C. where he worked as the east coast correspondent for James Dobson’s Family News in Focus.
His radio experience includes news coverage of Billy Graham Crusades, Promisekeeper events, and political conventions during both the 1996 and 1992 presidential races.
But a major turning point in Boron’s career came when he met a certain mother and was moved by the depth of her plight. A young boy involved in pornography raped her 4-year-old daughter, and she was raising awareness on the harmful nature of it out of the ashes of her pain. Boron’s difficult task was that of condensing her heart-wrenching story into three, ten-second sound bites for the radio broadcast, Family News in Focus.
“Lord, I can’t do this anymore,” he prayed, wanting to help others tell their stories in a more in-depth, Christ-healing kind of way.
About two weeks later, the phone rang. It was Larson, from WDCX, asking him to come host a radio talk show. Thus, the creation of Boron’s first show, LifeLine, which came to be characterized by a hometown style of Christian talk that was “Buffalo” to the church community.
“It was a fulfillment of my heart’s desire to be able to do talk radio on Christian radio, and just be with people and hear stories, and try to focus on what’s important — get to the heart of matter,” Boron said. “And there were people who came to Christ during that time.”
The difference between that time and now is that Boron is bringing eight years of pastoral experience to the plate. LifeLine aired till 1999 when Boron obeyed the call of God on his heart and left, shifting to pastoral work at Amherst Baptist Church where he came to serve as senior pastor until his most recent return to radio.
The transition was not an easy one.
The Lord brought a major turning point came in Boron’s path again, this time in the form of another pastor named Chip Ingram. He listened to his sermon, (which contained many parallels to Boron’s life) from his Holiday Inn hotel room where he stayed while attending a Baptist meeting in Nashville, Tennessee:
Find the thing that you were uniquely created to do and do that thing. So, what is it that you were uniquely designed by God to do — that He designed you to do and no else can do it quite like you? You know, the other things you’re doing, somebody else can do, but what one thing did God create you to do? —Recreated excerpt of sermon.
“Lord, I really think you created me for Christian radio,” Boron prayed out of his heart’s conviction. Then a realization hit. “Wait a second — I’m a pastor of a church! I can’t betray the flock. I can’t be thinkin’ these thoughts. I have responsibilities back at the church—”
The phone rang.
It was WDCX, general manager, Larson. Would Boron come back and host a talk show at WDCX?
Thus, came the creation of Neil Boron Live.
No one knew that when the opening music started rolling for Boron’s first moment back on-air, tears came to his eyes.
“It felt good to be home,” he said.
Boron has three children named Bethany, 21; Zachary, 19; and Benjamin, 16; and lives in Amherst with his wife, Mary. He is a trustee on the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and also serves as an elder at Amherst Baptist Church
WDCX serves the WNY and southern Ontario region and is owned by Crawford Broadcasting Company, which has 24 radio stations in 11 markets. Neil Boron Live airs Mon. -- Fri. from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. ( WDCX FM 99.5).