From the heart of Syracuse, New York, Mars Hill Network is offering listeners encouragement and inspiration to live a faithful, victorious Christian life.
“Our commitment, by nature of Christian radio, is to serve the church of Jesus Christ with carefully selected uncompromising Bible teaching and preaching programs, new features and short form program features of interest to believers, and programming that encourages the believer to live a godly Christian lifestyle, to raise families under the authority of the Word of God, [and to] provide Christian music that glorifies the Lord and reflects the victory that Christians can have in Christ,” said Mars Hill Network General Manager Wayne Taylor.
Mars Hill Broadcasting Company originated in the mid-1960s through the collaborative efforts of a group of skilled General Electric (GE) engineers and visionary entrepreneurs hailing from central New York. On March 19, 1969, the network commenced its broadcasting journey with the launch of its flagship station, WMHR, which aired on the frequency 102.9 FM.
Mars Hill Broadcasting scoured the landscapes of Central New York for an ideal location to erect their tower and FM antenna, ultimately settling on Onondaga Hill, a picturesque area beyond Syracuse. At first, the landowner on Makyes Road declined their purchase offer, but divine intervention nudged him towards a change of heart.
Mars Hill Broadcasting found themselves initially at odds with the local community, who were apprehensive about the construction of a towering structure on Onondaga Hill. However, during a town hall meeting, a courageous elderly woman stood to her feet and uttered resolutely, “Syracuse needs something clean on the air.” Her insistence swayed town opinion, leading to the subsequent zoning approval for the tower.
The engineering team determined the optimal frequency and Mars Hill Broadcasting submitted its license application to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Several other interested parties were also seeking the same license. A hearing was convened in Washington D.C., but none of the other contenders made an appearance. Somewhat reluctantly, the judge awarded the coveted license to Mars Hill Broadcasting.
In 1998, the broadcasting group adopted the more encompassing moniker Mars Hill Network. The network has expanded its reach through the addition of six full-power stations and fifteen translator stations throughout upstate New York. Notably, two of these stations, WMHI in Cape Vincent and WMHQ in Malone, operate near the Canadian border, making their broadcasts accessible to audiences across southern Ontario, Canada, and regions of Quebec. Recognizing the interest across the border, a group of Canadian Christian businessmen led by Dr. A. Kenneth Wyllie created Mars Hill Radio Canada, a supportive entity dedicated to promoting and advancing the radio ministry in Canada.
Mars Hill Network understands the importance of Christian broadcasting in “reinforcing the local church,” providing platforms for Bible-believing churches and para-church ministries to extend their reach and being involved in community events with like-minded ministries. The network also facilitates a prayer ministry known as “The Wall,” inviting listeners to submit prayer requests that the Mars Hill prayer team will focus on daily for a period of two weeks.
Tyler shared his concern toward rising hostility to the truth of Scripture and its impact on the future of Christian communications.
“If our culture continues to evolve in opposition to many of the moral guidelines and lifestyle mandates found in the Word of God, we share the concern with all other Christian ministries that the uncompromised teaching of the Scriptures will become criminalized,” Tyler expressed. He also emphasized the significance of issues like music licensing in preserving the ability of broadcasters to spread the Christian message unhindered.
Tyler’s philosophy on developing excellence as a Christian communicator is three-fold––stay in the Word, be creative, and pray. He shared several words of wisdom that have proven effective at Mars Hill Network: “Stay in the Word of God. Avoid compromise. Instill in staff a ministry mindset. Cultivate a burden for the lost,” said Tyler. “Be creative. Stay professional but reachable. Consider your listeners as people whom God has entrusted to you. Don’t be afraid of change. Care for staff and show it, look out for their interests, and finally, but not least of all, pray. Engage in scheduled staff prayer times at least twice a week.”
Mars Hill Network has been an NRB member since 1993 and is the recipient of the 1999 Radio Program of the Year. To learn more about Mars Hill Network, visit www.marshillnetwork.org