Rhema 99.7 Newcastle CEO, John Marks, has announced his retirement and will step away from the station in February next year.
Marks joined the station in February 1992, serving as the CEO for the past 26 years, and will retire after 30 years and 1 day.
Rhema 99.7 has enjoyed a significant following over the years in Newcastle and the Hunter and for most of the last 30 years occupied a prominent location on Denison St in Newcastle West.
In 2019 they moved to their current home in the Compassion Building in Warabrook, and this move is just one of the significant events that John has overseen throughout his years at Rhema.
Others include the granting of Rhema’s permanent broadcast licence in 1999 and fundraising over $7m across the multiple Rhemathon fundraisers.
Operations Manager, Shayne Holstein, says, “It’s been a real pleasure to have worked with John for over 24 years. John is very passionate about this Christian ministry and has led the way from humble beginnings to where we are now.”
John says that while he is looking forward to his well-earned retirement with his wife Kay, it is bittersweet to leave the organisation that has meant so much to him over the years, “Rhema’s mission statement ‘A Home Mission, with a Mission to Reach Every Home,’ is something that God gave to this ministry many years ago.
“My retirement seems a little surreal after so many years but as I’ve said before, I would do it all again in a heartbeat. It’s been the most amazing journey for the past 30 years, not always easy but worth every minute.”
The stations Board unanimously appointed the Head of Sponsorship Sales, Ben Kiujian as the new CEO, effective from 7th of February 2022.
Ben says, “This is a period of change for us as an organisation, but it is definitely not ‘out with the old in with the new.’ We are incredibly proud of the legacy that John leaves behind and look to the future, standing on the foundation set by those who have been part of Rhema over many years. We remain thoroughly committed to producing high-quality radio and committed to the Christian message,”
Picture: John Marks and Ben Kiujian