Friends of Spiritual Spectrum

Robert Venosa

Robert was one of the greatest artists and painters of our time. We were fortunate to be friends with him and Martina Hoffman, and he was kind enough to create the Spiritual Spectrum logo for us in 1991. He appeared on our Spirituality in Art program in 1989. You can see his fantastic artwork at

We miss you Bob!

January 21, 1936 - August 9, 2011

Chris Hewitt

Chris Hewitt was an exceptionally gifted musician and a truly wonderful spirit. He performed with incredible bands like Gitanjali and Intuition in Denver back in the early 1980's and later became a prominent music writer for cable TV, video games, a NASA video and exhibits at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. He appeared on our Spirituality in Music show in 1989. You can read more about him in this Rocky Mountain News tribute to his life. One of Chris performances can be seen on this YouTube video The Schwartzchild Solution

More info about Chris is available at

Chris passed away in the summer of 2007


Vance George Reed

Vance George Reed photo

Vance George Reed

Vance George Reed passed away on the morning of February 9, 2002.

He appeared in over 50 Spiritual Spectrum TV Shows as either a guest or host. He was one of the greatest people we've ever had the pleasure to work with. Kind, gentle, compassionate, loving, hard-working and dedicated to the exploration of all belief systems--these words barely do honor to his memory. He was a father, brother and friend to us all. He also did a tremendous amount of work for mentally ill and underpriviledged. He called himself a humanist, and he was, in the broadest and most inclusive meaning of the word. His religion was "to do good to others." He lived his religion every day of his adult life. We will never forget him.


Reverend Dr. Mel Venz Taylor

Death and Dying
Dr. Mel Taylor
Mel on the set of Spiritual Spectrum
June 10, 1934 - May 19, 1998

What can I possibly say about Mel Taylor that could convey the power of this man's love for Jesus and his fellow men and women?

I met Mel on the phone in early 1988 while calling the local American Baptist Headquarters in Denver, Co. He happened to be visiting that office when my call came in. I wanted to know what the difference was between American and Southern Baptists. They had put me on a speakerphone and amidst the chuckling I heard in the background, gave the call to Mel. He spent a good twenty minutes with me, a complete stranger, going over every historical detail tracing the roots of the two great organizations back to their infancy. Little did I realize that day that not only would I soon meet this man, but he would go on to make eleven appearances on Spiritual Spectrum TV Series over the next seven years and become a friend like I've never known.

Mel's first appearance was on our tenth show in February, 1988, which was about Christianity, and for his last appearance he hosted our 100th Retrospective show in June, 1994. The one show that stands out the most, was the night before I got married in September, 1988, about Marriage and Relationships. He was seated next to another dear friend of mine, Anuttama Dasa, a Hare Krishna devotee and then President of the Denver ISKCON organization. Mel marveled at the wisdom of Anuttama and was quick to give him credit for his truisms. Mel had never dialogued with a Hare Krishna before and was so impressed with him, he was like a kid in a candy store.

Mel went on to appear on shows like Mythology, Racism in the Pew, Tension in the Church, Sexual Ethics for Singles, Medicide: Doctor Assisted Suicide, America's Diverse Culture, Death and Dying, and Religion in the Press.

I've had many friends and relatives pass on in my life, but none's passing has ever affected me as has Mel's. The word Christian still holds value because Mel and people like him have lived a life so full of the same love Jesus had for the people of this planet. Mel's childlike faith in God was the same as that Jesus is described as having for his Father, "Abba," in the New Testament.

One day Mel was with two other preachers, all dressed in their suits, walking by the Denver Capital (Mel was also the Colorado Senate Chaplain). A street person approaced them asking for money. Rather than saying "no", or even giving away some money to get rid of the person, Mel asked his two colleagues' indulgance. Mel then accompanied the street person into a McDonald's restaurant, bought him some burgers, and visited with him until he was finished eating. During Mel's tenure as pastor of First Baptist Church of Denver, he established a Shelter for Homeless Men (in the church's basement, no less) and several lunch-dinner programs for the homeless of Denver. Mel practiced what he preached about Jesus.

Mel was only diagnosed with a rare skin cancer about a month ago and expired several weeks later. I extend all my condolences and love to Mel's wife, Judy. It will be hard for her to carry on without Mel, but all of his friends and those he touched as he passed by are rooting and praying for you, Judy.

I miss you Mel.

Julio Edwards, producer
Spiritual Spectrum TV Series
June 2, 1998

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