Wayne Rice

I’ve been involved in ministry (mostly youth ministry) for over 50 years. Currently I spend a lot of my time working with a ministry that serves grandparents!.  I am also a bluegrass music nut and since 1976 I have hosted a bluegrass radio show in San Diego. I also maintain a website called BluegrassBios.com. I occasionally do some speaking and writing but my most important priorities these days are being a husband, father, grandpa and disciple of Jesus.

Here’s a bit of history:

  • I married my wife Marci in 1966. We were married in late January, exactly one year before the first Super Bowl (which was in 1967). So … our first anniversary was on Super Bowl I and we’ve been counting our years of marriage in Roman numerals ever since.
  • We have been blessed with three kids and five grandkids who are a joy!
  • I co-founded (with Mike Yaconelli) a youth ministry organization called Youth Specialties, which continues to sponsor the National Youth Workers Convention (NYWC). I was publisher of “The Wittenburg Door,” a Christian news and satire magazine, “YouthWorker Journal” and several other periodicals.
  • I started up another organization called Understanding Your Teenager, which is now part of HomeWord.
  • I have written a bunch of books (last count, about 30).
  • For two years, I taught youth ministry and Bible at San Diego Christian College.
  • I once played in a semi-successful country band called Brush Arbor and even got to play a few shows with Johnny Cash!
  • I have hosted a radio program called “The Bluegrass Special” since 1976. For 44 years, it was broadcast on KSON-FM, San Diego’s top-rated country music station. It is currently heard every Sunday on KRLY-FM in Alpine, better known as “Mountain Country 107.9.”
  • I also played banjo in three San Diego bluegrass bands: Pacific-ly Bluegrass, Lighthouse and Grassology.
  • Since 1990, I have served on the Board of the Bluegrass Music Trust Fund which was established to provide help for bluegrass music professionals in times of emergency financial need. This is the best job in bluegrass music.
  • I served as Pastor to Generations at College Avenue Baptist Church in San Diego for 6 years (2009-2015), working mostly with families.
  • Since 2016, I have been on the staff of the Legacy Coalition, a ministry to equip and encourage grandparents. One of my responsibilities is planning the Legacy Grandparenting Summit, the only national conference on Christian grandparenting. I also co-host the organization’s podcast.
  • In 2020, I received a Distinguished Achievement Award from the IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) for my contributions to bluegrass music. Quite an honor.
  • Since 2022, I have served as an overseer for College Avenue Baptist Church.
  • My wife Marci and I live in Alpine, California — about 45 minutes from downtown San Diego.

15 Responses to About

  1. Mark Hamersly says:


    Or should I say, Pastor? I have e-mailed you a couple of times in the past, but looking you up on the Internet (at work we were talking Bluegrass, I work now as a CBP Tech after blowing out my right knee (meniscus tear), twice, as an Officer. I read about your time in the hospital, and it felt familiar. At the age of 42, I had two “left lacunar infarcts,” I recovered extremely well,passing CA Peace Officer Standards of Training, including the treadmill stress test, one year post strokes! After gettin ghired by SDSO, then the Probation Department, I came here after 9-11. What I would like to do now,is say THANK YOU,for your much earlier impact on my life. I started attending CABC at age 16 while a student at Patrick Henry and goping to Campus Life meetings and volunteering at Youth for Christ. Your church brought me to Christ in 1971. When I graduated a year early, enlisted as that was all I could do, knowing that better men than me were fighting, and dying in Vietnam, I immediately volunteered for Vietnam service. Being a Christian, and trying to live my life in according to the guidance of Fomans 8:28, was a great blessing. I wasn’t afraid of dying. The Lord had me in His hands, and when He wants me, I was ready. I thank Him for that daily, still today. God Bless you, and, like the car window, I like my grass blue, with Rice.

    Mark Hamersly

    “Who, more than self, his Country loved.”

  2. Ruth Gentry says:

    Wayne, I am contacting you to see if you are the author of Creation Do Wah Ditty and to get permission to use that song in our Emmaus Community.

    Thank you so much!!!!

  3. Olivia Andrews says:

    I’m only 11 but I’m super interested in your stories and preaching.
    I have been very touched and inspired by these. I want to let you know that you have put a great impact on my life as a christian! Thank you so much and may god bless you and your family.

  4. Caroline Clark says:

    Are you related to Mary Rice Hopkins who used to sing with Mary Hofheimer as “Wendy and Mary”?

  5. Craig Morris says:

    What was the name of the band who played ‘Bring Him Home’? It was on your program for Veterans Day. I’d like to download it on iTunes. Thanks. Merry Christmas!

    • rw says:

      The Rigney’s recorded “Bring Him Home” on their album Double Or Nothing. I think you can download it from iTunes or Amazon, etc. Thanks for listening!

  6. Craig Morris says:

    I missed the name of the artist who sang ‘I’m a Child of the King’ from your Easter show last Sunday. I want to download it on iTunes. Thanks.

  7. Craig Morris says:

    I don’t know if the message I just sent went through. I missed the name of the artist who sang ‘I’m a Child of the King’ from your Easter show last Sunday. I want to download it on iTunes. Thanks.

  8. Craig Morris says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed your Picking and Grinning’ program last summer. So many songs to download! There were some I had trouble identifying. I was glad to see today that you listed the songs and artists from last Sunday night. I emailed them to myself. Hopefully ‘Picking and Grinning’ will be an annual event. Thought about a program of bluegrass songs featured in films and TV? Bonnie and Clyde, Deliverance, Oh Brother Where Art Thou, just to name a few from films. On TV there’s Andy Griffith Show, Beverly Hillbillies, and others. I downloaded a bluegrass cover from the Glee TV show featuring Gwyneth Paltrow singing ‘Landslide.’ YouTube the video. Thanks.

  9. Len Kageler says:

    Really enjoyed seeing this Wayne. I had wondered what ever became of you. It’s exciting to have such a ministry heart and continue to be a blessing to others. You can see what I’ve been up to on my website listed below.

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