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THE LAST WORD | Vol. 5, No. 38, October 6, 2005
(Rebuild's Story)

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The Last Word

by Duwayne Escobedo


Believe it or not, 'Papa Don' Schroeder says he's having more fun today than he did 30 years ago as a Pensacola DJ and producer. Schroeder is currently the president of WPNN 790 AM, a CNN-affiliated radio station, and president of Internet Global Phone, a local and long distance phone service done over high-speed Internet. The 64-year-old Schroeder talks about traveling in his 40-foot bus, taking a trip this year to Israel and arriving to church early to sit in "his" pew.

What is your greatest fear?
The Lord has not given me a spirit of fear.

What do you most dislike?
I really cringe when I hear the Lord's name used in vain. I may say, "Shit." But you won't hear the g.d. word come out of my mouth or "Jesus Christ."

Which living person do you most admire?
My wife, Mama Gail Schroeder, and Billy Graham.

What is your greatest extravagance?
My 40-foot bus. I love it. I take trips with my grandchildren all the time.

What is your favorite journey?
Absolutely Israel. I stayed on the Sea of Galilee and saw the whole city of Jerusalem back in January.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
I don't think you can have any virtues that are overrated.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
You know what I mean.

When and where are you most comfortable?
In my pew at the 11 a.m. service at Olive Baptist Church. I have to make sure I get there early so I can get it.

Which talent would you most like to have?
I'd like to be an effective soul winner.

What is your current state of mind?
I have a peace that passes all understanding and I'm so grateful for it.

If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
I'd hope to be able to increase their inheritance because I love them so much.

What do you consider your greatest failure?
Waiting until I was 34 to say, "Yes," to Jesus. I'm so ashamed of it. But I'm having more fun now than I did in my first 34 years.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
I can't imagine now that I've faced death, facing death without the security of the promise of eternal life.

What is your dream job?
Helping my children build businesses.

What is your most striking characteristic?
You'd have to say my voice now that I've had chemotherapy and radiation on my throat. I sure am glad I'm not looking for a job in radio or TV now. It's distinctive all right.

What is the quality you most like in other people?

What do you most value in friends?
Friends who love you with all your faults because none of us are perfect.

What have you learned in life?
I can't live without my quiet time in the morning with my Bible. I'm so addicted to it, I've started doing it at nighttime, too.

What is your motto?
The Golden Rule: "Do onto others as you would wish them to do onto you."