After 30 years of faithful service, John Marks will retire from Rhema 99.7 on February 4, 2022.
John Marks joined Rhema 99.7 Newcastle on the 3rd of Feb 1992. Having served the organisation faithfully for 30 years – the most recent 26 as CEO – John has announced his intention to retire on the 4th of Feb 2022. The accuracy of these dates reflects the way John has led Rhema over the years, with a high-level of attention to detail, and a commitment to building an organisation for a higher cause.
Rhema 99.7 has been a hallmark of the Newcastle and the Lower Hunter community and, as one of the largest Community Broadcasters in the region, has enjoyed a significant following over the years. For most of the last 30 years, Rhema occupied a prominent location on Denison St in Newcastle West. In 2019 the station moved to their current home in the Compassion Building in Warabrook., just one of the many 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 multiple Rhemathon fundraisers over the years.
Shayne Holstein the current Operations Manager at Rhema, had this to say about the legacy that John leaves behind, “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 has loved every minute of his time at Rhema and 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,” said John, “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.”
With John’s endorsement, the Board of Rhema 99.7 unanimously appointed Ben Kiujian (currently Head of Sponsorship Sales) to the role of Transitional CEO and Ben will officially begin working as the CEO at Rhema from the 7th of February 2022.
“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,” said Ben.
Ben will work closely with Shayne Holstein and Aaron Brown (Content Director) who together, represent over 45 years of broadcasting experience. The whole Rhema team feel positive about the future of community broadcasting and the ways Rhema can grow as a media organisation in spaces including streaming services, podcasting, and video.
It is the end of an incredible era for John, and the entire Board and Staff of CMAA wish him and his family all the best in retirement.
We look forward to what the future has in store for Rhema 99.7 Newcastle.