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Rhema to farewell radio stalwart


After 30 years as one of the voices behind Rhema 99.7, John Marks has decided to hang up his headphones.

The not-for-profit, community radio station based in Warabrook has been catering for the Hunter’s Christian demographic since 1985.

It is now one of the largest community broadcasters in the region.

Mr Marks, who joined the station in February 1992 and has been fulfilling the role of CEO for the past 26 years, oversaw the group’s move from Denison Street in Newcastle West to its current home within the Compassion Building in 2019.

He was also present when the station was granted its permanent broadcast licence in 1999 and has been involved in the fundraising of more than $7m across the multiple Rhemathon fundraisers he has run. 

Rhema operations manager Shayne Holstein said Mr Marks would leave behind an indelible legacy.

“It’s been a real pleasure to have worked with John for over 24 years,” he stated. 

“John is very passionate about this Christian ministry and has led the way from humble beginnings to where we are now.” 

Mr Marks says despite looking forward to a 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,” he said.

“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.

Mr Kiujian will officially begin working as the CEO at Rhema from 7 February 2022. 

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