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DC has lost the voice of a friend next door in Patrick Ellis | Reese's Final Thought

The long-time host of Gospel Spirit on Sunday mornings has passed away from coronavirus complications.

WASHINGTON — I would like to take a few moments to recognize a D.C. legend that we recently lost to the coronavirus. 

It’s my opinion that D.C. has some of the finest radio hosts and programming in the nation, and Patrick Ellis was one of the cornerstones. For over 40 years he hosted Gospel Spirit, his morning radio show on Howard University’s WHUR.

The longest running host in the area, he was in his chair every Sunday morning from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m., delivering gospel standards and hits, while also serving as a trusted source of information for the community, relaying announcements from churches and nonprofits at no cost. He would also shout out birthdays, anniversaries and community fundraisers, and sometimes share stories of his own walk in faith.  

There is a Bible verse that says, "Faith without works is dead," and Mr. Ellis took this to heart. He devoted himself to working in his community, helping to feed and clothe the homeless, the building of shelters for survivors of domestic abuse and raising monies for the care of cancer patients.

A hometown born and bred Howard graduate, he had a conversational radio style that made it feel like you were talking to your friend from next door. It was this style that pulled in the thousands of listeners he drew each week, and won him countless awards over his broadcast career, including NAB Radio Host of the Year, and The Washingtonian Magazines Person of The Year.

He stayed on the air during this pandemic, serving the community the best way he could: Giving out the information that was needed, while at the same time working to keep spirits up.  

Unfortunately for us all, the virus came for him. 

I would like to extend my deep condolences to his family and friends. As well as to the DC community that will miss the voice of their friend next door.

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