Mark and Kathy grew up in Winnipeg in the Fort Garry neighbourhood where Church of the Rock Winnipeg South Campus is located. They have been married for over 30 years and have 3 grown children.
Graduating from the University of Manitoba Faculty of Agriculture in 1977, Mark ran the family-owned farm for 10 years. It wasn’t until his mid-twenties that he entered Bible School and then went on to study New Testament Greek at Providence Theological Seminary. Mark has also been involved in politics over the years and in 1993 ran as a candidate in the federal general election.
Mark and Kathy founded Church of the Rock in 1987 with just a handful of family and friends, renting out a small, former church building in the Grant Park area. Despite humble beginnings, Mark’s calling and passion to reach and evangelize the city of Winnipeg began to see results, with new believers coming to Christ every week. Soon, the church outgrew their building, being forced to move several times into increasingly bigger spaces and having up to four services in a weekend. It was during this time that Mark and Kathy were inspired to begin a television ministry, and in 1996, Mark’s first service was televised on Manitoba’s “A” Channel. Now, Church of the Rock has a thriving television ministry that airs all across Canada.
Using a blend of comedy and storytelling to weave seamlessly with his fervor for evangelism, Mark doesn’t shy away from challenging and empowering his audience. Outspoken, he presents in a relevant and captivating style, connecting with a diverse range of ages and backgrounds. Desiring to reach more people within Winnipeg, September 2013 marked the opening of the first of many Church of the Rock Campuses, live-streaming services from the Winnipeg South Campus. Within the same year, online services launched, suddenly engaging an online congregation from all over the world.
Mark also strives to see unity within the churches and Christian organizations of Winnipeg, and he serves as a principal leader in a city-wide prayer movement. He actively and intentionally meets with church and para-church leaders to equip and enable them to more effectively reach others. For 13 years, Mark was a primary organizer of North America’s largest March for Jesus, which drew crowds of up to 50,000 people. More recently, Mark spearheaded the Love Winnipeg movement—a group of churches showing love to the people of Winnipeg through random acts of kindness. Whether it is a free carnival, cleaning up community buildings, or blessing local teachers or police officers, Mark encourages churches to get creative in ways to show Christ’s love to people outside of their buildings.
Mark and Kathy feel extremely blessed to have the opportunity to give back to the same neighbourhood and city they grew up in, continually striving to extend Christ’s influence across Winnipeg and globally. They are excited to see what God will continue to do through them and are constantly seeking new ways to spread His Word to all people.