Yesterday I had a conversation and time of prayer with Pastor Vernon McMorris of International Church Christ Built. He had stopped by the HCN office for a few minutes and shared a deep burden in his life. He told me that morning while he was sitting on his front porch doing his morning quiet time he heard five shots fired not far from where he lives. Then he told me that he had run into a young man at a store a couple of weeks ago who had been attending his church off and on. Pastor Vernon mentioned to the young man that he wasn’t in church the previous Sunday. The young man said he would be back, but then Vernon told me that the young man had been shot and killed in an apparent gang-related encounter just a few days later. My heart grieved for the young man’s family and for Pastor Vernon and his church.
Mark is in his twenty-seventh year of serving as an Associational Missions Strategist. He served in western Iowa for almost eight years, and is in his nineteenth year with HCN. He has a passion to see pastors and church leaders grow in their abilities to lead their churches. He continues to have a heart and desire to see new churches planted and God continues to use his strategic thinking skills in this area. Mark also has a wealth of experience in helping churches clarify who God has created them to be, and what they can do best to reach their community. He has had ample opportunities to help churches in times of conflict, and has seen God do exciting things to restore a spirit of harmony, returning churches to a time of fruitfulness. He also helps churches in transition by working with search committees. Mark and Phyllis who were married in November of 2018 have four children and three grandchildren. They will enjoy their combined 87th anniversary in just a few days.