Mars Hill Radio Canada (Ltd) Since 1984.
In the early 1970's, a Kingston doctor and his wife told everybody possible that there were two Christian Radio Stations that were worthy of their attention. One was HCJB, a short wave radio station from Quito Ecuador that was nigh impossible to get except on the occasional clear day. The other station was WMHR out of Syracuse, almost as equally difficult to hear on any but the best of receivers.
That did not dissuade Dr. A. Kenneth and Mrs. Mary Wyllie from getting as many people possible to listen to and support Christian Broadcasting and seek to gain Christian Radio in Canada. The first boost to reception possibilities came when a local cable company captured the WMHR signal and rebroadcast it on their cable network.
In about 1982, after several Mars Hill Radio breakfasts organized by the Wyllie family and attended by over one hundred personally invited guests, Dr. Wyllie suggested the formation of a committee to start a charitable organization that should encourage Christian broadcasting in Canada. He visualized the use of more Christian format radio stations, beaming the message of the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ into more Canadian communities. The committee could start with supporting the Mars Hill Network in Syracuse and hopefully someday, be able to broadcast conservative evangelical ministry into Ontario's largest city of Toronto. With the encouragement and fellowship of the Syracuse Board and then Station Manager, Gordon Bell, this desire took on form with the incorporation of Mars Hill Radio (Canada) Inc. on April 10, 1984.
The founding members of the incorporated charitable organization included the father of MHR (Canada) - Dr. A.K Wyllie, missionary James Green from Napanee and a young Public Health Inspector, Hank Blok.
Mars Hill Radio (Canada) Inc. was founded with the main objectives being threefold:
- To communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ by radio broadcasting.
- To disseminate information through all lawful means which will promote the doctrines of the Holy Scripture.
- To assist and co-operate with individuals and organizations dedicated to like purposes and devoted to teaching, preaching or broadcasting the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; and to do any and all things which will lawfully promote the purposes herein expressed.
Early activities included the yearly breakfast with WMHR board and staff members, usually featuring a message from a radio personality regularly heard in WMHR. Mars Hill Radio Canada also was able to collect funds (and issue tax receipts) for the support of Christian broadcasting especially through the Mars Hill Radio station, and any other possible activities to reach out to touch people for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Over the years, the Board has changed with the assistance (for some years) of Treasurer, Percy Gillespie, the continued counsel of Robert Wylie from Belleville, the loss of Jim Green on his promotion to Glory and the retirement of our beloved Dr. Wyllie. Dennis Tysick joined the Canadian Board and due to his organizing skills, was invited to become the second president of this ministry. We were also joined by Council member, Brett Lockerbie on the retirement of Percy Gillespie. In 2008, John Gurr showed an interest in the work and was invited to join the ministry of Mars Hill Radio (Canada) Inc. Each man keeps a very active participation on the Board with the quiet but often busy support of their wonderfully spirited wives. While Bob Wylie has maintained a quiet service in counsel (and the provision of the Parkdale Sunday service for the many years that this church service was aired on WMHI), several of the other members have voices more recognizable to WMHI listeners, as Dennis Tysick, Brett Lockerbie and Hank Blok were regular announcers on the early renditionsof the WMHI Community Bulletin Board when it was recorded at Cape Vincent. Some of these voices have also been heard on Open Mike and Careathon visitations.
Through a website development process begun in the early 2000’s MHR Canada was able to broadcast the WMHI signal over the World Wide Web. This service was taken over by the Syracuse staff and a second stream of conservative music was added to the MHR broadcasting schedule by Mars Hill Radio Canada in 2009.
While most of today's ministry of Mars Hill Radio (Canada) Inc. is behind-the-scene service to the Lord and His people, it is the Board's hope to continue any possible projects that will magnify, not their beings, but the Lord and Saviour who loves them.