I’m Mark! I’m new to the board this year, but my journey with Eleven:28 goes back to its early days. Participating in a spiritual formation group led by Rhesa each week from 2011-2014 was a lifeline to me in a difficult season of ministry and in my personal journey. Rhesa was also the first person I turned to for guidance when my church leadership gifted me with the opportunity to go on a personal retreat for solitude, reflection, and restoration. I had found the perfect location at a retreat center on an island off the coast of British Columbia (if that sounds incredible…it’s because it is). All I needed was some guidance on what to do with my time at the retreat center. At first, I gathered a tall stack of books and other reading materials that I intended to wade through (I’m a 5 on the Enneagram, so a week to withdraw by myself to read was just what I thought I needed)…and I brought them to Rhesa, knowing she would be proud of my agenda. Her response was, “That looks…ambitious.” She encouraged me instead to focus on a few resources and to spend the rest of my time moving “out of my head” (again with the Enneagram 5!) and into opportunities to be fully present in the moment. The result was life-changing and the beginning of a reoriented way of being that has sustained me ever since.
I’m passionate about the mission of Eleven:28 because spiritual direction matters in my life and in the lives of so many other ministers I know. Ministry life can quickly dry up our spiritual wells, and spiritual direction helps many of us stay connected to the Source so that we can live fully and deeply.
After serving in youth ministry for 13 years, I’m now the preaching minister at the South Baton Rouge Church of Christ in Louisiana, where we’ve lived since 2014. I’m celebrating 17 years of marriage this year with my wife, Beth. We have a six-year-old son, Grayson, who is a Jedi in training, and an 18-month-old daughter, Cora, who is nearing completion on her dissertation in quantum field theory. I’m also a movie-quotation enthusiast, book-lover, coffee-snob, snowboarder, fitness-enthusiast, and bass guitar legend (I wish).