Our congregation is named in honor of Mark, the author of the “Gospel According to Saint Mark,” the second book of the New Testament. There is good reason to name our congregation in honor of Mark. Mark was his surname and his given name was John as reported in Acts 12:12 “he (Peter) came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying.” Mark’s home was the meeting place for believers in Jerusalem.
Tradition identifies Mark as the “certain young man” who followed Christ when all His disciples forsook Him and fled from the garden of Gethsemane. (Mark 14:51). Mark was a companion of the Apostle Paul and the Prophet Barnabas (Acts 12:25). Mark, a cousin of Barnabas, (Colossians 4:10) accompanied the Apostle Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey, but for some unknown reason he left them before the end of the trip and returned to Jerusalem. Years later, Mark became a very close friend of Paul when Paul was in Rome. Paul told Timothy to bring Mark to him because “he is useful to me for ministry.” (2 Timothy 4;11)
The Apostle Peter was also a mentor to Mark and in 1 Peter 5:13 when Peter shared greetings with the saints he said “and so does Mark my son.” Mark was well informed by first hand knowledge when he wrote what is believed to be the first gospel between A.D. 50 and 60. The sixteen chapters of Mark are filled with the highlights of our Lord’s public ministry and it is the shortest of the four gospels. Mark wrote especially for Gentiles and presents our Lord Jesus as a Servant on the move. Mark 10:45 presents this truth “For even the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” We learn from the life of Mark the blessings of a godly home and godly people in his life such as his mother Mary, the Apostles Paul and Peter and his cousin Prophet Barnabas and especially the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the New Testament, we do not read that Mark preached a sermon or performed even one miracle. But, what we learn is that Mark used his time and talent to be a blessing to others. Let us learn from Mark the value of having a godly home and relationships with godly people and, let us use our time and talent to be a blessing to others. Yes, without a doubt, there is good reason to name our congregation in honor of Mark.
Rev. Dr. Victor C. Langford III