Rev. David Mainse, founder of Crossroads Christian Communications and Canada’s longest running daily Christian talk show 100 Huntley Street, has died at the age of 81.
Mainse passed away after a five-year battle with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) leukemia.
“David stepped down as CEO of Crossroads and host of Canada’s longest running daily television program 100 Huntley Street in the summer of 2003,” says chairman Gil Scott. “But he never really retired. He continued to visit with ministry supporters in person, his daily Bible reading blog and through occasional appearances on air. He will be dearly missed by the Crossroads family, and by the millions of Canadians whose lives have been touched by his public ministry.”
Under Mainse’s leadership and direction, what began in 1962 as a weekly black-and-white, 15-minute broadcast that aired after the nightly news on a small Pembroke, Ont., TV station grew to become an expansive family of not-for-profit ministries.
Those ministries included international multimedia programming, an international relief and development organization, a broadcast school (that trained communicators from more than 80 countries around the world) and a national prayer centre that staffs more than 100 volunteers to field 30,000 calls each month, providing 24/7 telephone prayer support to Canadians.
“He was passionate about people, about Canadian unity, and about ecumenical dialogue,” says Lorna Dueck, Crossroads CEO. “That passion led to innovation. David used the platform of daily television to model open, respectful conversation on faith among citizens across denominations and faith groups from coast-to-coast. And his cross-Canada tours made broadcast history.”
It was a result of Mainse’s vision (which was motivated by a desire to see Christian programming in primetime) and his team’s argument before Canada’s broadcast regulator in the early 1980s, that the CRTC determined there was merit to the idea of allowing religious groups to own and operate broadcast stations. This was an opportunity that had not existed in Canada for 50 years.
The CRTC subsequently amended the Broadcasting Act and later called for applications for religious channels.
Mainse subsequently founded one of Canada’s most-watched religious broadcaster YES TV (formerly CTS) consisting of television stations in Burlington, Calgary and Edmonton. Numerous spin-off ministries were also launched by Crossroads, including the Circle Square Ranch children’s camps (which Crossroads gifted to Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship in 2011).
Condolences started pouring in on Twitter once news of his passing spread.
— 100 Huntley Street (@100Huntley) September 25, 2017
Rest in Peace to a patriarch in Canadian Television & Spreading the Gospel…Rev. David Mainse – take your rest… pic.twitter.com/NErgzyyLxa
— R. Chung (@RdotChung) September 25, 2017
I'm so sad to report our beloved David Mainse passed away this morning. We find peace in knowing he had an amazing homecoming celebration. https://t.co/3HwVpZuM9o
— Cheryl Weber (@CherylWeber100) September 25, 2017
We lost a giant of the faith this morning. #DavidMainse was a pioneer of Christian media in Canada. His faith-filled vision led to the daily broadcast of @100huntley which has been watched by millions and millions of people. My mother was one of them. Because of David’s vision, dozens of my family members are serving the Lord. I was privileged to have played a small role in carrying on his vision. He will be greatly missed and his legacy will live on.
Mourning the loss of an honourable man. Our condolences to Mrs. Mainse, family, friends on the death of David Mainse https://t.co/ehLaftUUnQ
— Jeff Watson YYC (@JeffWatsonEssex) September 25, 2017
Canada's Foremost Christian Leader Passed Away – Dr. David Mainse founded 100 Huntley Street, Yes TV and Crossroads Communications. pic.twitter.com/j5XvPzMb5B
— Charles McVety (@CharlesHMcVety) September 25, 2017
— Anthony Does (@anthonydoes) September 25, 2017
David Mainse passed away today. He was a good friend to me and supported me when many would not. Prayers for his family. RIP. @yestvcanada
— Michael Coren (@michaelcoren) September 25, 2017
— Shane Pennells (@ShanePennells) September 25, 2017
It is with sadness that we share the passing of YES TV founder Rev. David Mainse. He will be dearly missed by his YES TV family. https://t.co/vXbChe44zL
— YES TV (@yestvcanada) September 25, 2017
Saddened to hear that a prince of a man passed away, David Mainse, a humble smiling man of faith! #hundredhuntley Loved by tens of thousands
— Peter DeWit (@PeterDeWit_) September 25, 2017
Our condolences are going to our friends at @yestvcanada as we heard news that founder David Mainse has passed away. May he rest in peace.
— ANorth Game Shows (@ANorthGameShows) September 25, 2017
Rev. David Mainse, iconic founder of 100 Huntley Street, Canada’s largest Christian TV ministry, has died of leukaemia this morning at 81 pic.twitter.com/Wu5bWtd6m0
— CallingOut Community (@calling1out) September 25, 2017
Oh that's so sad. RIP Rev. David Mainse. Thanks for sending the message of Jesus to millions of viewers.👌🇨🇦❤️
— ANTONIO (@vancouver321) September 25, 2017
— Christopher Van-Lane (@cvanlane) September 25, 2017
Rest in power David Mainse! I was blessed to meet this great Christian in my teens. He walked the walk and talked the talk. https://t.co/AXmHnZtth8
— Donald Barrie (@DonBarrie) September 25, 2017
JUST IN: Longtime Canadian televangelist Rev. David Mainse (founder of 100 Huntley Street & Crossroads) died this morning at the age of 81.
— Tony Grace (@tonygracectv) September 25, 2017
— Christopher Van-Lane (@cvanlane) September 25, 2017
Mainse leaves behind wife Norma-Jean and four children, Elaine, Ellen, Reynold and Ron, as well as 16 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Crossroads will honour the life of Mainse with special programming all week on 100 Huntley Street.