One of the giants of the faith, Pastor Jack Hayford, went to be with the Lord today. My favorite memories of him are from moments like these when I was privileged to sit at his feet while going through his mentoring program called, “The School of Pastoral Nurture.” Participating in those four weeklong sessions over a two-year period, each starting early in the morning and lasting until night, felt a bit like drinking out of a fire hose, or like trying to assimilate a massive, broadband download of his accumulated insights concerning virtually every facet of ministry. Coming as they did during an exceptionally difficult season of my life and ministry, it is no exaggeration to say that I may not have survived spiritually without them. I thank Jesus for the privilege and for Pastor Jack’s willingness to set aside the times necessary to make such an investment in me and many others. Words from Revelation 14:13 (NLT) come to mind: “Blessed are those who die in the Lord […] they are blessed indeed, for they will rest from their hard work; for their good deeds follow them!”
Born in 1960, Mark was raised by ministry parents in the USA and South America. A fourth generation pastor, he sensed his own call at a very young age. Before coming to Dallas in 2003, Mark ministered as an itinerant preacher, Bible school instructor, and career overseas missionary in partnership with Teresa, his best friend and wife of more than thirty years. While living in Paris, they helped lead a French-language congregation and trained emerging spiritual leaders throughout Europe and in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. In 2011, the Antioch Church family embraced Mark’s vision to relocate into the heart of downtown Dallas. Mark and Teresa’s greatest earthly joy is their two children, Charity and Jean-Marc, who were born to them as answers to prayer following many years of infertility. In addition to serving as a Team Antioch ministry volunteer, Teresa home-schooled their children in partnership with the Coram Deo Academy where she teaches elementary school while she pursues her MA in Teaching at Dallas Baptist University. Mark holds a Master of Arts from the University of Birmingham (U.K.) and has begun his DMin at Fuller Seminary as part of their Holy Spirit Leadership and Ministry Practice cohort.
Antioch Church website: http://www.teamantioch.com
Mark's former blog: http://teamantioch.blogspot.com
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