From Southern California to Northeast Ohio

So, here goes!  This website is for my new family at Leroy Community Chapel as we begin this journey together as God’s people in Northeast Ohio.  I want you all to know who I am, how I think, what I dream of, pray for, and plead with God to accomplish through us.  I want you to know how I walk with God, my heart to humbly lead His Bride, and to turn Ohio and beyond upside down for the Gospel.  To which you realists say, “He’s young, idealistic, what is this turn the world upside down stuff …”  And my response is, “I want my dreams to be bigger than my memories … I want to attempt things for the Kingdom that are beyond my ability to accomplish in my lifetime.”  And in all of that we will throw ourselves on the grace of God to find our only identity in His Story, in His Mission, for His glory.


It’s going to be a couple months before the nine of us get to be with you all in the Buckeye state, but let’s “talk” now.  You web-savvy folks will bookmark this blog and wonder what Spansel is talking about next.  And maybe for some of you this will be a new adventure in the “techie” world as you see that it’s not all evil.  In any case, for however much any of you read this, please know I don’t think I have great and profound thoughts to share here that no one has thought before, or deep theological insights that you couldn’t read in a systematic theology, but I do have a heart that is unique to me … and that is what I want my church family to hear – My heart to shepherd the people of Leroy to live transformed lives in the world!  And to that I pray, “May God make it so!”


Already in love with you all,

Pastor Mark


3 thoughts on “From Southern California to Northeast Ohio

  1. Wow! It is so good to read your words on my screen! It is so encouraging to know that God has hand-picked and placed His desires in your heart to lead a congregation in Spirit and in Truth. Praise Him! What an immense blessing from an even more immense GOD!

    I am 24 years old. Have been a believer for almost 6 years now, truly having my ears opened to the Gospel at Leroy Community Chapel, God has pursued me passionately for His Glory and I desire to serve him faithfully in the strength that He gives.

    My burden for the lost was given to me in 2003 on a trip with Campus Crusade for Christ and since then God has been using me as His tool for reaching a lost world. It has manifested itself in my life as an “as you go ministry” primarily taking place in the seasons of life that God orchestrated for me. He uses me where he puts me. Coffee shops in Kent and Painesville have been and marvelous places to see his hand at work as well as in my neighborhood and even extended family. How good He is to use such a broken tool as myself. I do not deserve to even have His name on my lips let alone be tied so responsibly to His precious name.

    I graduated from Kent State University in Dec. of 2007 with a degree in early childhood education and have come to see that I was not there for the degree at all….hahaha….God had other plans….which are still to this day being revealed to me! How I love how creative He is….Our Creator!

    I am looking forward to working as a discussion leader in the INSIGHT program at Stony Glen Camp as well as working with the youth in our 90@9 ministry. I lead a small group of high school girls. I love teaching and “preaching.” When I study to teach I am overwhelmed by God’s presence…..I could almost explode in excitement and awe as He reveals His Truth to me! I love the Hispanic/Latino people group. God has put in my heart a love for His Word and a desire to see others passionately living out transformed lives as they fall in love with the Lover of their souls. And…..I enjoy coffee! Lots of coffee!

    I have been broken for His Glory and am thankful for that. A friend gave me this quote once….it is so true: “The experience of God’s presence is not void of pain. But the pain is so deep that you do not want to miss it since it is in this pain that the joy of God’s presence can be tasted…The experience of God’s unifying presence is an experience in which the distinction between joy and pain seems to be transcended and which the beginning of a new life is intimated,”
    -Henri Nouwen

    I am awaiting promises that He has given me….restoration from my sin. I live in Psalm 40&55&100. I am tempted often but not beyond what I can handle as God always provides a way out….thankfully. I love that we have a High Priest that is not without compassion and who was tempted in every way……oh how He intercedes for us!

    As I learn more and more about God I realize just how much more I need Him daily…..I see how wretched I am as a sinner but how righteous I am in His sight due to Christ blood….and only His blood.

    I desire to seek after Him in such a way that I find Him, NOT knowledge ABOUT Him…..I want to KNOW Him. He has done wonderful things in my life as He has brought to light the conviction of my sin. His Spirit is ever present and undeniably magnificent. How He speaks is remarkable and the journey that He has planned for me will be even more then I could have asked for or imagined! I am a big dreamer too! He is up to something…I am just not sure exactly what that is yet! ….and that’s ok. I will wait upon Him.


  2. Breanna –

    Your passion for His glory oozes through your every word and pumps me up! The way you speak Gospel is anything but shallow … it rings with depth, Bible, and best yet … brokenness like one who has tasted and seen that the Lord is good. Your words make me think of a quote by one of my favorite (I like Nouwen too) pastors of old – Charles Simeon, he said, “the deeper we are brought in humiliation, the higher we are able to soar in adoration.” Don’t you find that so true? When you really get who you are before Him it doesn’t drown you in self-pity, it makes you burst forth in Worship! Thanks for sharing your heart and story with me, I can’t wait to see more and more of how God uses Breanna to build the Kingdom … and to encourage me to seek after more and more of God, thanks!



  3. Hi Mark!
    Greetings in the matchless, beautiful Name above all names, JESUS!!
    Here’s a hearty amen for your God-given desire to see NE Ohio and beyond “turned upside down” for the gospel of Jesus Christ! Your phrase “turned upside down” is not a new or idealistic concept at all. In fact, it’s the reality of a God-saturated life and reminded me of Acts 17:6, “….they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying,’These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also” (KJV). May it be said of us, wherever we go, that we are those that “turn the world upside down”. Your words also reminded me of how Paul described the house of Stephanas in I Cor. 16:15: “they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints” (KJV)….or how the NIV says it: “they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints”. May we at LCC do both: turn the world upside down with the gospel of Jesus; and addict ourselves to the ministry of the saints, becoming truly devoted followers of Christ!! May the Lord bless you with wisdom from above in leading us in His radical ways!

    We heard today at church that it is your birthday. As a fellow lover of old quotes from the “great cloud of witnesses” that surrounds us from bygone days, here is a birthday blessing/quote for you:

    Psalm 118:14 “The Lord is my…song”
    “Let us think of God Himself becoming our song. This is the fullness and perfection of knowing God: so to know Him that He Himself becomes our delight; so to know Him that praise is sweetest, and fullest, and freshest, and gladdest, when we sing of Him. He who has learned this blessed secret carries the golden key of Heaven—nay, he hath fetched Heaven down to earth, and need not envy the angels now.”
    –Mark Guy Pearse

    Pastor Mark, may the Lord be your Song this year….your Song of songs, your Lord of lords, your King of kings! May your heart strings be making melody for His ears only….in your praises as well as your dirges, may you lift His name high!

    Marisa Lapish


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