Nestled up against the beautiful Catoctin Mountains, a place coveted by Presidents, stands a lone radio station, the only one in the small town of Thurmont. Started in 1966 as a sort of father and son hobby project, WTHU had its humble beginnings on June 12, 1967. That first broadcast was opened with a convocation from Reverend Robert Braden of Thurmont Methodist Church. How fitting that the first broadcast from this radio station honored God and asked for his blessing in this endeavor. As you read this history, it should become apparent to you that God will always answer righteous prayers.
Founded in 1967 by Vic and Bill Leisner, WTHU has been an integral part of the Thurmont community for over 51 years. Whether it is helping to rescue a small boy lost in the mountains or collecting clothing for a family devastated by fire, this small radio station has always been a valued member of the community. The Leisner family started WTHU because they wanted to provide a way for the community to hear Orioles games, or so they thought. God had a different plan. In 1991, many years after founding WTHU with his dad, Bill Leisner received Christ as his Lord and Saviour. He immediately felt a call to enter the ministry and began preparation for pastoral ministry by selling his dream home and entering seminary. As we mentioned, God had a different plan. After completing seminary, Bill Leisner went on to found three Christian radio stations. Little did he know, the number would soon be four! Bill went to be with the Lord on Jan. 7th 2004. Without a doubt, there were perhaps times later in Bill’s life when he reflected on the humble beginnings of WTHU and it seems certain that he prayed that the station would become a Christian station eventually.
As the events unfolded, there was a related bit of history. On February 14, 2004, WJTM, a Christian radio station in Braddock Heights, officially ceased to exist after 19 years of service. It was purchased by an NPR affiliate to serve as a relay for their Baltimore signal. A group of former managers and announcers at the station formed the Christian Radio Coalition, Inc. in an effort to preserve radio for the community. After four years of effort, much prayer and overwhelming support from the local Christian community, on June 15, 2008, WTHU started the next leg in its journey as one of the oldest locally owned and operated radio stations in central Maryland.
COOL AM1450 – WTHU is an oldies music format radio station.