Patrick Connery Ellis (1943-2020) was an American radio show host and production director. Ellis hosted "Gospel Spirit" for over forty years on WHUR-FM. Upon his death, he was the longest running on air personality in Washington radio history.
1 Early life and education
3 Personal life and death
5 External links
Early life and education
Patrick Connery Ellis was born at Freedman's Hospital in Washington, D.C. on May 30, 1943. His mother, Ida Delaney Ellis, was a teacher and his father, Roy Alexander Ellis, was a government labor relations specialist. He had one brother, Roy M. Ellis. After attending public schools, Ellis attended Westminster School in Connecticut.
He was raised Episcopalian. Ellis first heard gospel music as a boy, when he walked past a church and heard “drums and tambourines and people singing and shouting.” Relatives took him to see Shirley Caesar and the Caravans at the Apollo Theater, which he cited as the turning point for his love for gospel. As a child, Ellis also listened to local DC radio how DJ Lord Fauntleroy Bandy.
After graduating from Westminster, Ellis attended Howard University for communications. In 1971, he started volunteering at WHUR-FM, Howard's radio station. He became a full-time staff member at the station in 1975. In 1977, he earned his bachelor's degree from Howard.
In 1979, he was asked by program director Jesse Fax to host a gospel show. He started hosting "Sunday Morning Gospel", a four-hour gospel music show every Sunday morning. To learn more about gospel, he visited local religious record stores and bookstores, eavesdropping on customers talking about music.
Ellis provided what he called a "spiritual transfusion during the week" for churchgoers. During the show, Ellis also shared his own personal journey with faith and shared announcements from local nonprofits and churches. He also hosted fundraisers, including fundraisers to feed the hungry, domestic violence victims, and cancer patient care.
In 1986, he became production director of WHUR-FM. By 1989, the radio show, now called "Gospel Spirit," averaged 64,000 listeners weekly and was regularly ranked as the most popular show at the station. That year, an anniversary party was held with BeBe and CeCe Winans and the Barrett Sisters performing and Jesse Jackson, Del. Walter Fauntroy and Marion Barry in attendance.
In 1999, Ellis was honored with a proclamation for his work by Prince George's County, Maryland.
In June 2020, Ellis finished building his at-home studio in Annapolis. He hosted his last shows of "Gospel Spirit" at his home studio before his death in July 2020. One of Ellis' favorite gospel songs were "Take Away" by Yolanda Adams and a revival piece by Luther Barnes.
Personal life and death
Ellis was married four times. He divorced his first three wives (Maxine Lindsey, Marcia Brown and Clara Patterson). He had a daughter with Maxine Lindsey, Susan Cooper, and a second daughter, Adina Ellis Cato, with Marcia Brown. In 1999, he married Angela Green and lived in Mitchellville, Maryland.
In June 2020, Ellis was hospitalized with covid-19. He died at a hospital in Annapolis, Maryland, of complications from covid-19 on July 16, 2020.
About cookies on this site
ALLOW ALL COOKIES