sees Moderatorship as a way to serve
At 42, Cornerstone church minister Mark Powell is set to become the third youngest Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of NSW's General Assembly.
tells KAREN THORNTON, it's a nomination he
could not decline.
When Cornerstone Strathfield associate minister Mark Powell
was contacted by the Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church
of NSW(PCNSW),Rev Dr Paul Logan, and told he
had been nominated to take on the role of Moderator of the PCNSW General Assembly in 2014, he
was in shock!
, who is 42 now but will be 43 by the time the Assembly Opens at PLC Sydney in July, thought a lot about his
church and family commitments (he has six kids including a baby) but
knew that it was a job he should accept, "Christ College principal Ian Smith said to me some years ago that as Presbyterian ministers we are a servant of the court of the Church; so if the court asks us to do something, then we should do it, and not decline," he says, juggling baby Noah on his knee as we chat in his Sydney home.
With the July Assembly not too far away, Mark
says that, while somewhat daunted, he
is also really looking forward to it."At the end of the day, the role of the Moderator is fairly well set out.
sees the third major opportunity for him as Moderator as being involved in written communications, whether through the column he
will pen for the Pulse or other means.
likes the idea of blogging and is involved with AP (Australian Presbyterian) magazine.
Those who knew Mark
growing up might be somewhat surprised at his
current role but Mark
is confident that God has him precisely where He
"I was born in Box Hill NSW, near Dural, and came from a devout Roman Catholic family which attended mass once a week and sent me for a privateCatholicschooleducation,"hesays."When I was younger I was seriously considering becoming a teaching brother.
But my mum was a semi-professional tennis player and I inherited her
abilities on the court.
In fact, Dad built her
a tennis court and so I had no option but to play tennis."
At the end of high school Mark
was offered a tennis scholarship to the United States to play on the university circuit and given the choice between Oklahoma State or Christ College Irvine
(a Lutheran University) - "In my mind it was a choice basically between cornfields or Disneyland", he
By now married, Mark
became Dad to Joshua, now 16 and Hannah, now 14 before he
exited to his
first parish role in Wee Waa.
Mark spent five years at Cornerstone Concord.
Then two years ago was part of a merger between St David's
Presbyterian Church Strathfield and Concord
"We have seen significant growth and God has really blessed a good co-operative work," he
Baby Noah was born a year ago.
Sadly,Mark's mother died"still angry at me"but his
father joined a Presbyterian church
in Glenwood and died 18 months later, now five years ago a Christian.
With a busy church and family, Mark
doesn't have much time for other activities, and is sad he
recently had to give up cycling due to a back injury.
"I like walking with my wife, which we do every Monday and I am enjoying teaching my 16 year old son how to drive.
ith five to go - they have to do 120 hours each at the wheel - I have a fair few to get through!
With Assembly just a few months away, Mark is eagerly researching his
role and praying for guidance on how to execute it.