I came to
know Christ as Savior at 19 years old. My father who was in
secular radio had a great impact on my love for radio. I started
working in week-end AM radio at 15 years of age. Shortly after
my conversion, I graduated from Community College with an
emphasis on telecommunications. Later, I attended John Brown
University for a short time before enrolling as a student at
Word of Life Bible Institute in Schroon lake, NY. After
completing studies there, I eventually applied and was accepted
to Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, where I majored in the
pastoral/Christian education program. I became a youth pastor
while at Moody, met my wife Evie, and moved back east where I
was hired by WMHR (Mars Hill flagship) for overnights and for
children’s programming. Later, I was asked to develop WMHN’s
radio ministry in the Rochester, NY market. After almost 9 years
as station manager there, I was brought back to Syracuse as
network program director. I served in that capacity for 3 years
and was given the opportunity become Operations Manager, and
then General Manager. I have held the GM title for 11 years.
I have been employed by the Mars Hill Network for
31 years…and treasure each day I have served the Lord in this
Christian radio ministry.
Tell us about Mars Hill Network (a little history, etc) ?
The Mars Hill Network signed
on the air in march of 1969. A number of men believed strongly
that central NY needed a Christian radio station. After much
prayer, an studies were done and an application was filed with
the FCC for 102.9 FM licensed to Syracuse. A number of
contenders vied for the valuable commercial frequency and things
looked glim for a Christian group to be awarded the frequency. A
hearing was held in Washington, and miraculously representatives
from Mars Hill Broadcasting were the only applicants that showed
up. The judge “reluctantly” awarded Mars Hill the frequency.
WMHR was born.
During the last number of
years MHN has added 4 additional full power stations and 15
translators in New York. Mars Hill has a strong listenership in
southern Ontario Canada, as well.
2. Describe your local markets, uniqueness, etc.?
MHN serves a large portion
of Upstate NY in the Finger Lakes region, and what is called the
“North Country” of NY State, and via our border stations, the
southern Ontario Province of Canada.
Upstate NY is a beautiful
area with numerous lakes, including its northern and eastern
borders on Lake Ontario, one of the “Great Lakes”. With the St.
Lawrence Seaway, Adirondack Mountains, and rich history, the
Finger Lakes region has a healthy tourism trade.
Our larger markets include
Syracuse, Rochester, Watertown, Rome/Utica, Malone/Massena and
across the border into Kingston and Cornwall Ontario Canada. It
is interesting to note that many of the regions we cover have
been cited as areas of spiritual dryness.
Many of the smaller
communities we serve with our full power stations or by
translator stations join with the larger markets in decreasing
manufacturing industry and agricultural decline. The largest
boost to the economy in recent years is the wine producing
industry taking advantage of the fertile Finger Lake valleys and
with that some limited tourism.
3. In what ways are the Mars Hill stations touching listeners?
The Mars Hill Network
touches its listeners by primarily its radio and internet
services. As most stations now do, we stream our radio signal.
Our affiliate, Mars Hill Radio Canada offers additional streams
on their web site.
Our programming include some
of the best Bible preachers/teachers available. Mars Hill
Network remains committed to provide Bible teaching and
Christian informational programs to listeners in keeping with
our missions statement. That, along with our statement of
purpose, dictates the mandate of using our resources in helping
to build up Christians and Christian families by supplying
programs that teach the believer and reach those with the
message of hope and rescue found in Jesus Christ.
The network also offers a
unique music format that we call “I M Music” format. That music
is a mix of familiar favorites, today’s praise and timeless
standards. Musically we are bring a contemporary sound by
contemporary artists on a progressively softer end of the
Christian music spectrum.
Mars Hill also brings to our
listeners a variety of “extended ministries”. These extensions
provide the network with umbrellas for music ministry, teaching
workshops, student pastors and workers ministry, children’s
ministry, prison outreach, military outreach, and apologetics.
These resources are relatively new to the networks ministry.
We also offer traditional
Bible correspondence courses with materials and resources
provided in partnership with SLM International.
In addition, the Mars Hill
Network regularly spotlights local para-church organizations by
its month long “Missions at Our Doorstep” feature. That effort
provides listeners with a month long look at Christian
organizations in the communities we serve, such as rescue
missions, adoption services, pro-life pregnancy care centers,
college campus ministries, and the like.
4. How do you keep the staffs motivated?
Christian leadership defined
as: “A leader is great, not because of his or her power, but
because of his or her ability to empower others.”
Challenging new projects.
Regular staff prayer and
time in the Word. We meet three times per week at 10:10 AM for
prayer time for listeners, staff, and network ministry. On
Wednesdays we spend a measured amount of time in the Word.
Always focusing on the fact
that we are first ministry. We are servants to our listeners and
to those we serve the Lord with
5. Where do you find new talent for your station?
Our staff comes from
traditional employment resources, generally. At times we are
introduced to talented people who have an interest in Christian
radio ministry and encourage them to stay in touch with us.
6. What promotions have been successful at Mars Hill stations?
As said earlier, our
Missions at Our Doorstep” feature has been effective. We have
also teamed up with HCJB, TWR, FEBC to provide radios to
churches in countries serviced by those global radio ministries.
Our annual New Hope for Christmas, providing material goods for
a local pregnancy care ministry has been successful, as has been
our work with Samaritans Purse and helping a local Christian
adoption agency to create a financial resource for those who
are already involved in the adoption process
7. Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest
obstacles facing Christian radio today?
Some important ones are:
I think that potential
government restrictions on what we can address in Christian
media and as individuals will no doubt become increasingly an
issue. Those things that we proclaim as part of the full council
of God will be classified as “hate speech”, or held to be
intolerant of others rights.
The future of radio in
general. There are a lot of unanswered questions regarding the
internet and what will become of traditional radio delivery.
A potential here to end
signals from Mom and Pop Christian stations due to federal
There are still some big markets without a CCM station, why do
you think that is?
9. What (if any) Christian radio stations do you consider as
K-LOVE’s musically intensive
format has shown us successful national marketing of their
ministry and has evidently filled a need.
10. Where do you see Wayne Taylor in 5 years?
In five years, most likely I
will have left this ministry in capable hands of those who will
understand how to minister life to an angry culture and an
upcoming hurting generation. They will understand how to
effectively reach them for Christ in a post Christian era.
Personally, I will remain
active in ministry and continue to get to know my Savior, love
his Word, and cherish my family and those whom God brings into
my life. By His grace.