Marsha D. Sumner, the beloved radio announcer who spent 20 years spinning gospel songs and crusading for youth on local airwaves, will be celebrated in a funeral service February 3, 2015 @12:00 P.M. at Ebenezer A.M.E. Church, 7707 Allentown Road, Ft. Washington, MD. Viewing is at 10:00 A.M. Sumner died January 24th after a brief illness.
The Washington native graduated from Theodore Roosevelt Senior High School and spent 30 years at FEMA where she traveled the country doing recovery work at natural disaster sites. “I felt like I had found my niche,” she once said. “At the end of the day, I could always see that I had helped somebody.” Later in life, Sumner returned to school and graduated from the Columbia School of Broadcasting. She spent nearly ten years as a gospel announcer for WDCU 90.1 FM until it was sold to C-SPAN in 1997. After a brief stint with WWGB 1040 AM in Suitland, MD; Sumner spent the next decade with WPGC Heaven 1580 AM where her popularity skyrocketed.
Sumner used her radio platform to expand her mentoring and evangelistic ministry, focusing on youth in the DC metropolitan area. She organized “Holy Ghost Throwdown” youth rallies and “gospel nights” at various roller skating rinks. She was also one of the first regional radio announcers to insert Christian rap into the traditional gospel radio format. “I want them to come off the street and get this message while they [come together] and have fun,” she told The Washington Post in a 1993 article.
After that station flipped again, Sumner chose to retire to her home in Silver Spring, MD. However, she continued to actively attend and participate in her evangelistic ministry as a member of the Ebenezer A.M.E. Church in Fort Washington, MD, along with maintaining a presence at various local gospel and community events. Because of Sumner’s dedication to youth and the next generation, The Marsha D. Sumner Memorial Scholarship has been set up to target high school students seeking a career in radio broadcasting.
For more information on the scholarship, contact The Scott Lee Foundation, Inc., 14625 Baltimore Avenue, Suite #279, Laurel, MD 20707. (877) 726-8533 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.