Mark Appleton (Pastoral Intern)
Grace upon grace, that’s the story of my life. I grew up in a sincere protestant Christian home in southern New Hampshire. A statistical anomaly. I don’t remember ever not believing Jesus was real, I was a sinner, and He saved me through his death and resurrection. But it wasn’t until late in high school that I started to realize I didn’t fully get it. Through the care of a committed member in my church who invited me to join the group of young men he discipled in his home each week, I started to see God come alive through His Word. As we read through Romans, I saw faith was not merely about religion, but that God was knowable, relational and personal. Salvation wasn’t just about believing something, but right believing would produce a life of willing surrender and devotion. The ultimate joy in life is God Himself.
I went off to college at Virginia Tech and studied Mechanical Engineering. I met Christian college students at the Baptist Collegiate Ministry who modeled the life I had started to pursue as I left home. The next four years were an education in life and ministry as much as engineering. God showed me his heart for all people around the world, led me into leadership and ministry opportunities, and planted a call in my heart that He would lead me into vocational ministry.
After working three years as an engineer, God began to direct that call more specifically. I served for three years back on staff at the Baptist Collegiate Ministry of Virginia Tech, writing Bible studies and leading the discipleship ministry. In 2006 I began taking classes at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s Charlotte campus on weekends, finally moving to Charlotte in 2008 to work for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and finish my MDiv. After various roles at BGEA, I’m privileged to lead their online evangelism ministry that mobilizes volunteers from around the world to share the Gospel in five languages using the internet and digital tools.
Our family joined Crossway in 2011 and found the church home that has loved, shaped, supported, and cared for our family for the past 8 years. Along the way, the elders and I have explored my fit for potential pastoral opportunities and I’m humbled to join the team as a pastoral intern and potential lay elder.
My wife, Leah, and I have four beautiful daughters. I love my family, fly fishing, different cultures, and if it’s a sport I’ll play it.
My Hope for Crossway
That we would wholeheartedly love Jesus above all else, and be known for showing His love to people from every tongue, tribe, and nation.