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Jack Mortenson Dies at 85

He co-founded Christian radio’s Mortenson Broadcasting with his father

Jack Mortenson, Mortenson Broadcasting
Photo: Milward Funeral Directors

Jack Mortenson, co-founder of Christian radio company Mortenson Broadcasting, died on April 1. He was 85.

According to his obituary from Milward Funeral Directors, the Rev. Jack Maurice Mortenson died at his home in Lexington, Ky.

“As the eldest son of traveling evangelists, Jack became intricately involved in his parents’ ministry at an early age by assisting them with musical presentations,” it stated.

His father was Dr. E. M. Mortenson. The family founded Faith Memorial Baptist Church in Canton, Ohio. “It was during those years at Faith Memorial that Jack and his father pursued their vision for Christian radio in founding Mortenson Broadcasting Co.,” the obituary reports.

“The company was founded with the mission statement of ‘Helping to make and keep the home sacred.’”

Their first station was WTOF(FM), “Tower of Faith,” launched in 1960 in Canton. The second was WHKK(FM) serving the greater Cincinnati area.

The company grew to 40 stations in 18 U.S. markets and also started one of the nation’s first networks of Black gospel radio formats. According to the company website, “MBC continues to lead a growing trend of transition from general Christian formats to formats directed to specifically targeted audiences. These specialized formats have included Christian teaching and preaching, Christian talk, Contemporary Christian music, Southern Gospel music, Urban Christian Talk, Urban Gospel and Hispanic, which is the latest and fastest-growing targeted Christian audience.”

Mortenson Broadcasting received the 2012 National Religious Broadcasters Milestone award. According to his obituary, Jack Mortenson continued to work until his hospitalization in mid-March.