Pastor Mark comes to Kingsburg First Baptist Church highly qualified and with a rich background in Christian ministry and experience. Educationally, he received a Bachelor
of Arts in Physical Education/Kinesiology at Fresno State University in 1986 and a Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry from Hope International University in 1992. He also did graduate study at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary from 1986-1987. He is ordained by the Cross City Church of Fresno.
In his past ministry roles, Pastor Mark has served the kingdom as a Student/College/Career Pastor, Associate Pastor, over-seeing Evangelism, Discipleship and Small Groups Ministries, Church Planting Pastor and Lead Pastor. In his current role with Multiply, he serves some 34 denominations as a Missions Mobilizer/Pastor, training and equipping people to be involved in short-term mission opportunities, recruiting long-term workers and mobilizing churches into local-national-global mission. He equips interns/ apprentices and missionaries to serve Jesus. His passion is to reach people of all backgrounds, ethnicities and cultures with the love of Jesus.
Pastor Mark came to know Christ as a freshman at Fresno State University. He was the first of his family to personally trust Christ as Savior and Lord. His good friend and track coach Bob Fraley was a key influence in his life at that time. Soon, he became involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and eventually served as student president for two years. He started speaking at high schools all over the valley at FCA huddles. This led to involvements in his local church. Internships turned into staff positions and staff positions turned into pastoral calling!
His four-year ministry at the First Christian Church in Santa Maria helped him hone his student ministry skills, working with grades 7-12 as well as young adults. From there, God led him to the Reedley MB Church where he served from 1991-1997. In this context, he gained valuable experience leading and overseeing the evangelism, discipleship and small group ministries of the church. In 1997 Pastor Mark sensed the call of God to go to Capitola, CA to church plant. He became the founding pastor of Shoreline Community Church. While there, he met Brian Griffin who served as a member of the staff team with him. He also was privileged to lead the Santa Cruz County Pastors Fellowship, serving
as chairman for two years. Chip Ingram, a fellow pastor, invested in him significantly then and does so even today through his writings and conferences.
Following his time in Capitola, Butler Church of Fresno, CA called Mark to be their Lead Pastor. This was a multi-ethnic, multi-generational congregation that served three language groups (English, Khmu and Spanish). Pastor Mark worked primarily with the English speaking congregation, but from time to time also ministered at the Khmu/Spanish worship services with translation. Sensing the call of God for a much broader, global ministry Mark accepted the invitation to be Missions Mobilizer/Pastor for Multiply, formerly known as MB Mission. Since 2008, he has served as a pastor to pastors all across America, recruiting, mobilizing and equipping teams of workers to serve many parts of our world. This summer Multiply will have up to six summer interns and celebrate the 10th anniversary of their South East Asian Basketball Mission, sending men’s and women’s teams to the Philippines and Thailand!
Without question Pastor Thompson has a heart for God, the valley and understands our culture. His collaborative team-building skills have been recognized and valued by colleagues and associates inside and outside the churches he has served. God’s working in Mark’s heart and the hearts of our Lead Pastor Search Team has been nothing less than “a God moment” neither of us will forget. As we all have been praying these last seven months: “God bring us your man for this moment at Kingsburg First Baptist.” GOD HAS ANSWERED OUR PRAYER. HE IS UP TO SOMETHING VERY SPECIAL AMONG HIS PEOPLE!
Mark’s wife Karen is outgoing and excited about ministry at First Baptist. She has ministered with children, students and women’s ministries. She has mercy gifts and loves working with people. The Thompsons have two grown sons: Michael who is married to Brianna and Chris who is single. They have one grandbaby,4-month old Gracelynn, born to Michael and Briana. Karen sees her primary role here at First Baptist as supporting her husband Mark and serving in any way she can.