Our Pastors …
Mark was called to ministry after a literal “roadside encounter with God” on September 13, 2001. Although having grown up in a Christian home and attending years of Christian school and religious training, Mark encountered God as his Father for the first time along that road. The accompanying revelation of the very real and personal love of God freed him from over 25 years of life as a practicing alcoholic and began the process of freeing him from over 40 years of performance based striving to try to prove his value in this world and to God. This spiritual experience radically changed his personality and empowered him to live a life of freedom and joy in place of addiction, striving, anger, and depression.
Over the next few years, Mark transitioned from being primarily identified as a highly successful engineering manager in the utility and telecommunications industries, to being identified as a minister and Pastor who seeks to reveal the true nature of our loving God to a world held captive by Satan’s lies and distortions. As Mark began to share the story of his roadside encounter with others he saw lives powerfully transformed and he became even more impassioned to share the gift that had been given to him along that road. He became a voracious student of God’s word and a seeker of deeper life in the Spirit. He enrolled in the Vineyard Bible Institute and completed university level training in Kingdom Theology. His revelation of the depth of God’s love and the grace of God, manifest in Jesus, continues to grow and is increasingly empowered through the Holy Spirit’s outpouring.
In 2002, Mark, along with a trusted friend and joint minister, began ministering in churches throughout the US and in Germany. The revelation of God’s love they brought was often accompanied with powerful moves of the Holy Spirit, including miraculous emotional and physical healings and deliverance from demonic forces.
Mark was blessed with a beautiful bride, Charleen, in 2008 and she joined him in the ministry, and they initiated a new ministry, Seeds of Grace. Together, as ordained ministers, they have traveled on speaking and ministry engagements to churches in the US and Europe where they have watched the Spirit impact hundreds of lives through revelation, empowering people to walk in the wholeness, freedom, and joy of the abundant life Jesus came to give us. Mark and Charleen have also witnessed dozens of lives transformed through their Grace Retreat inner healing encounters at Emerald Bay on Lake Kampeska.
Mark served as an Associate Pastor at Cornerstone Methodist Church in Watertown, SD from 2010 to 2012 and in 2013 Mark and Charleen were called to plant a new church, Abundant Life, in Watertown, where Mark serves as Senior Pastor. Mark continues to be actively involved as an advocate for social justice and works extensively to free those in bondage to addiction. He also ministers to inmates in jails and the state prisons. He never fails to be amazed at the power of God’s love to truly set the captives free! Mark also continues to utilize his God given technical skills and extensive management and engineering experience serving as a Senior Engineering Consultant with Ulteig Engineers, working part time from his home on Lake Kampeska and traveling as required.
Charleen can not remember a time when she didn’t love Jesus. She was blessed to be born into a family that had loved the Lord, the Bible, and and Church for generations. Her family of origin walked in a grace that was lived out in lifestyles of unselfishness and love. Her ‘roots’ established her strongly in a lifestyle that walked itself out with confidence and hope even when life was tough!
As a college student Charleen was baptized in the Holy Spirit. Her religious training had not prepared her for the wonder of Him! She grew rapidly during that phase in her life and she began to embrace the fullness of the Gospel. She expected God to show up with healing, supernatural-naturalness, and power. Her Bible took on a whole new wonder, that is identified with colored highlighters and notes in the margins!
Later Charleen had another ‘great awakening’ through the John Eldridge ministry. She began to see that she was like a Teflon pan…nothing really stuck to her ‘niceness.’ She began to be hungry for an authenticity and goodness that didn’t hinge on her behavior. She was awakened to the manipulation and lack of authenticity that surrounded religion and she began to become discontent with ‘church as usual.’ During this time in her life her husband died of pancreatic cancer. Shortly thereafter she attended the ‘Captivating’ conference hosted by John and Stacy Eldridge in Colorado. It was there that she heard God’s voice in a sweet and releasing way. She came away with a joy that was birthed out of an experience of His tender love for her and a knowledge of her identity in Him.
In 2008, Charleen met and married Mark. She discovered that Mark was on a spiritual journey that was very similar to hers. They discovered the amazing revelation of Grace together though John Sheasby’s ministry (Liberated Living) and as they opened their Bibles, the Word once again came alive in a way that was new and fresh. To this day, Charleen gazes in wonder at the Grace of God (Jesus) and has found that there is always another facet of His Being that she can yet experience. Her heart yearns for like-minded Believers who are on a similar journey.
Charleen loves to study the Word. She has studied the Kingdom with Bill Johnson, the Covenants and Grace with Jonathan Welton and John Sheasby…all of which have greatly impacted her understanding and thoughts. She is being transformed! She looks forward to the day when her joy will be full! Right now her cup is overflowing!
Charleen is the Senior Executive Director of the Edgewood Senior Living (Independent, Assisted and Memory Care) Community in Watertown, SD. As an RN she has been given the great honor of being with folks during some of their most fear-filled and difficult times. She considers her work a Divine appointment for this time.