Pastor Mark Scholten
I was born in Detroit, Michigan and baptized in a Christian Reformed Church. I spent most of my childhood living just outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan and I attended the Reformed Church of America. I did not know Christ. At 16 years old I was converted while watching “Jesus of Nazareth” on television during the Easter season. I saw the huge divide between my life and Christ's perfect life.
Hope College in Holland, Michigan was my choice for further schooling simply because they had a religion department. This course of study left me with more questions than answers. I spent a semester in the mountains at the Oregon Extension and here I saw myself, my sin, and Christ more deeply. I graduated with a BA in Religion in 1986. I met my wife, Kathy, while at college. She was raised in a ultra conservative reformed church and she knew the doctrine well, but she did not have a relationship with Christ. I had Christ and she had doctrine, so God used each of us to strengthen each other's weaknesses! We attended L’abri Study Center in Switzerland for 6 weeks after we graduated from college. Kathy studied education, worldview, and family living. I studied the authority, canonicity and inspiration of the Bible. We got engaged in Switzerland and were married in October of 1986.
At this time I was wrestling with a call to the ministry and thinking about seminary but I needed to mature. During these three years, I was under great preaching, studied several hours each day, and I began to grow spiritually. By now I had a wife, a daughter and a baby on the way, so I tried to put thoughts of the seminary out of my mind. I was told not to enter the ministry unless God drags you kicking and screaming against your will. Others told me that seminaries do not make ministers; God makes ministers. So, I spent three years working in the “real” world. I worked with juvenile delinquent girls in a group home with Bethany Christian Services. I worked with developmentally disabled adults for Kent Client Services. I traveled throughout Michigan as a spokesman for Right to Life's Committee to End Tax-Funded Abortions. I was also a cash register salesman for Great Lakes Retail Systems.
God finally impressed on my heart that I must follow His call to the ministry in 1989. My wife and I and our two daughters moved to Jackson, Mississippi and I enrolled in the Reformed Theological Seminary. My first son was born the week I graduated from seminary in 1992. I served in a small, independent reformed church in Grand Rapids Michigan for 5 years. We added two children. Next we accepted a call to the Presbyterian Church in Manchester Connecticut for 10 years. The church grew, we moved onto new facilities and planted another church. We also helped to start and run a Classical Christian School called Covenant Academy. I served Faith Presbyterian Church in Akron Ohio for 8 years. I have preached for 23 years and I love it. My one desire is to pastor a growing, thriving church by building a godly community of grace-based relationships.