Reverend David Mainse had an amazing capacity for work, energy, and networking. He was just 26 years old when, through his own connections and chutzpah he blew past a boundary of, “No gospel broadcasting,” and aired his first late night television program.
It was June 1962, and the impact, and audacity of saying, “God loves you” to a television audience surprised even David.
Fast forward to the 1980s – remember when Canadian phone books sat in every home? There you would find a public number to call in for prayer to Rev. Mainse’s TV program – 100 Huntley Street – listed on the cover flap, right alongside the civic emergency numbers!
Rev. Mainse soon became a household name.
No one in Canadian history has anchored and produced as many TV programs as David did, no media in the nation has left as unique a legacy of social good around the world.
The Canadian government broadcast regulator didn’t know what to do with Rev Mainse.
He persistently nagged the CRTC for a break in the 50 year ban on religious broadcasters owning and operating a television station. Rev. Mainse was a bold, classy, tea totaling pastor who schmoozed whom he could among the Ottawa crowd.
Prime Minister’s Trudeau Sr. and Brian Mulroney warmly endorsed his work.
Permission was eventually granted by the CRTC, in 1998 David Mainse founded a 24 hour religious channel that broadcasts today as YES TV.
I first met David in 1994 when he was on a tour in Winnipeg, trying to convince as many people as possible into speaking with one voice for religious broadcasting be increased in Canada. I next went to hear David speak to a packed out crowd at Calvary Temple in Winnipeg. This time it was all Gospel message, near the end of the sermon, David asked if anyone would like to say yes to an invitation to be a follower of Jesus.
The moment was so sacred, I fell under conviction about my career, and I prayed to be willing to work with Rev Mainse in media.
David had a few leadership lessons that I think anchored his tenacity and success.
Listening to God speak through the Scriptures and spending time in prayer were bedrock for David. As staff we knew David would be alone in prayer in the chapel in the early hours. Extended times of daily Bible reading and meditation was central to his identity.
David knew God spoke, he often reminded me, “Sheep know the Shepherd’s voice,” and all kinds of decisions were made because David had an inner confidence he had heard a direction from God.
“Come apart or you’ll fall apart” was a favorite David axiom.
At 80 years old, David was still riding his motorcycle for the sheer fun of it. When I asked my family for a favorite David memory, my daughter quipped, “coolest farm with the best zip line!” We were just one of many families and friends who benefitted from the hours David would spend in creating a little Heaven on Earth to relax in.
I rarely saw David leave the office with a briefcase for home. In the days long before email, his paperwork stayed at the office. While he worked harder than anyone I knew, he coached his team on boundaries all the time, warning that media took a creativity that required rest.
Keep your focus. David saw well past divides of Protestant, Catholic, evangelical or mainline church structures. He saw past financial scandals that derailed American based televangelism and kept a deep sense of the Holy, the Sacred life of Jesus Christ was ever present to David.
A most important focus for David was that every person could know they could confess their sins and come home to their Saviour Jesus Christ.
In a recent interview David told me, “The one statement I’ve made on 100 Huntley Street more than any other is, “We’re not presenting a doctrine, definitely not a denomination, we are presenting Jesus. And people are open to Jesus.”
There could be no better place for David than in the celebrations of Heaven, but he will be deeply missed for the gift he left on so many of our lives.
More on his legacy at www.DavidMainse.com
“I’ve lost my mentor, dear friend, and champion – Rev. Dr. David Mainse who passed on to his Heavenly broadcast seat. Oh the people he will meet!” www.DavidMainse.com