ST. PETERSBURG — After retiring from the police department, Edie Darling first got the idea to do her radio show “Wake Up with Edie Darling” when she wanted to continue to help the community any way she could. A former Pinellas County deputy sheriff, Darling left law enforcement after an illness in 2013.
“I knew that I could not go back to the uniform wearing the gun belt anymore,” Darling said, “but my services to humanity have not stopped.”
The talk show, which Darling started in May 2014, is on lifeimprovementradio.com and is broadcast every Sunday at 10 a.m.
“After I had gotten somewhat better after my illness, I wanted people to feel what I felt and that was the peace of God,” Darling attested. “That no matter what happens in your life, to live your life the fullest and do all that God has called you to do, because life is not promised to anybody. I want God’s people to wake up. So ‘Wake Up with Edie Darling’ is really an awakening in God!”
Darling has also been a member of the ministry since 2004, serving as a pastor and evangelist. She says what she tries to do with her radio show is draw out the gift in every person so that they all know they are valued in the eyes of God.
“Everybody has a gift, everybody has a purpose,” Darling said. “So I look to those individuals to share their stories.”
Such stories include two ladies that Darling interviewed that suffered from kidney failure and became the recipients of new kidneys.
“Now they are sharing their testimonies to educate the community on how to recognize when their bodies have certain signs,” Darling said. “That is sharing their gift. They’ve gone through a traumatic experience but that traumatic experience did not defeat them in life, and they’re able to share that story with someone else and help them on their journey.”
Darling stressed that the show encourages people to think outside the box of tradition.
“This show is to let us see that regardless of what race you are, what sexuality you are, whether you’re rich or poor, we are one body and we make up the entire body of Christ,” Darling averred. “So our brothers and sisters may not look like you. It doesn’t matter what religion you are. That’s the thinking outside the box of tradition.
“Tradition wants you to think that you are the only right person, but let me explain to you what God had revealed to me: God had revealed to me that looking at life or where we come from is like looking through a kaleidoscope—each one of us holds a piece of truth. And we pull those pieces of truth together; there we find the true body of Christ. So my brothers of a different race, my brothers of a different nationality, my brothers of different religions hold a piece of truth. So that’s the thinking outside the box.”
Other guests have included Darling’s former boss, Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, Florida House Representative Ed Hooper and Sheriff Chris Nocco of Pasco County. As a former law enforcement officer, she highlights different agencies on her show because she firmly believes it is important to bring community and law enforcement together.
“We’re in this together,” Darling affirmed. “Yes, we’re here to serve and protect, but we can’t do it if we don’t have a relationship with the community, and that’s one reason why we’re doing a TV pilot.”
Darling has already filmed episode 1 at the freeFall Theater in St. Pete in September, in which she interviewed members of the Springtime Club of Clearwater. TV pilot episode 2 will be taped in front of a live studio audience Sun., Nov. 23, also at the freeFall Theater, 6099 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, and will feature Police Chief Anthony Holloway of the St. Petersburg Police Department.
“He said that he wanted to address the hardcore questions and get to the root of the issues of the past,” Darling said, explaining that the show is like a roundtable discussion as she facilitates conversation among the guests. She added that the show will also feature Chief Judge J. Thomas McGrady of the 6th judicial circuit court and activist Theresa “Momma Tee” Lassiter, which Darling said will represent the “voice of the community.”
Darling said that her desire is to transition from radio to TV full time.
“If you don’t believe in the vision that God has given you,” she attested, “then who else will believe in it, right? I believe in the message of community. I believe in the message that we all can do it together. So once I get enough footage, I am then going to send that around to networks to see if they’re interested in picking it up. But regardless of whether a network picks it up, I believe that we as a community need to have a platform so we can address these issues at a roundtable of peace.”