Marc has been heard to say, “I am never happier than when I am teaching the Bible.” That passion has played out in several disparate arenas.
A contributing experience to his commitment to Bible teaching came in the early 1980s, during the ten years that Marc was Associate Pastor at Columbia (California) Presbyterian Church. Marc was working with a high school student named Brett, and they spent a year memorizing Bible verses through the Navigators Topical Memory System. A few years later Marc heard Brett give a testimony in which he said that he met Christ during that period. Marc said he did not evangelize, or lead Brett in the sinner’s prayer. The simple fact was that the Word of God did its work in Brett, and he met Jesus in those verses. So Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” came alive for Marc as far more than philosophy or theory. It is a living reality.
After his time in Columbia Marc was Senior Pastor of Calvin Presbyterian Church in Corvallis, Oregon from March 1,1990 until retirement July 1, 2015. From the first day with Calvin, till his last day, he knew this was not just another stop along the way, but a “life’s call,” to live life and follow Christ with this community of believers. Through it all preaching, teaching, and leading inductive Bible studies have been a constant.
Another major component of his life has been the habit of keeping a prayer journal. For several decades the Lord has given him this “inner room” in which to meet on a daily basis. It is, for him, a place of communion, nurture, and joy.
In 1996 Marc and his wife, Carol, accepted an invitation to travel to the nation of Belarus with the International School Project, which was part of the Co-Mission that arose with the demise of the Soviet Union. That trip was the first of what is now about thirteen trips to Eastern Europe. Teaching in ministry-training settings in Belarus, Latvia, Uganda, and Liberia since 1996 has changed the focus and course of his life. Cross-cultural leadership training developed into a key passion of his life.
In 2005 Marc and his wife Carol were with a team in Kapchorwa, Uganda holding a pastors’ conference. During their days together a pastor approached Marc and said, “You should come and do this where I live.” Marc of course had no idea where this man lived, so he really didn’t give any thought to the suggestion. Two years later they were back in Uganda, in a village called Bukwo. That same man came up to Marc and asked, “Do you remember me?” Marc replied, “I do.” Pastor Rogers said, “I prayed that you would come.”
That was a life-lesson for an over-educated, wealthy, American pastor. Marc realizes that following God’s call to ministry in general, and to working with pastors in developing nations in specific, doesn’t happen because he is a good guy or exceptionally gifted. These ministries happen because God is Sovereign and listens to the prayers of poor, unheralded African pastors.
All of these experiences led Marc to apply for the Doctor of Ministry program at George Fox Evangelical Seminary, focusing on “Leadership and Global Perspectives.” He decided that “retirement” was not really to be retirement, but rather simply a change of jobs. He and his wife want to keep offering cross-cultural training, as long as they are able, and this D. Min. offers a great way to further develop those abilities and opportunities.
Marc and his wife believe that it has been God’s plan to give them vast ministry experience and enough financial resource to be comfortable, and that it is a joyful task to steward these gifts by using them in other countries and with international students in their home town.
Marc and his family have lived in Corvallis, Oregon since February 1990. He has been married to Carol since 1977, and they have a grown son and daughter, a daughter in law, and beautiful baby granddaughter.
If you ask him, Marc will tell you stories of working as a chipmunk (Dale) at Disneyland during the summers of 1969-72. He will also be glad to show you pictures of his 1969 MG-B (that’s a British sports car). In fact, he also loves taking pictures so much he’ll gladly bore you for hours showing you some of the thousands of pictures he’s taken in the last ten years. Marc’s first love in life was music, having been raised in the home of a music teacher, and playing flute in worship has brought great joy to him.
His love for international travel began in 1952 when his family moved to Okinawa for a year while his dad was in the Navy. He continued traveling in 1970 with a shipboard college program that journeyed to fourteen countries. Mission trips and personal travel have raised his countries-visited count to thirty eight.