Mark Andress has been the Kids Pastor for over five years. Get to know Mark here:
Where are you from?
I’ve lived all over the country, but I was born in Vermont.
What brought you to Arizona?
I moved here with my parents after I graduated high school, due to health concerns for my mom.
Tell us about your family.
I’ve been married to my wife Patti for over 10 years. We have three kids already, and twin girls who were just born (Kinley and Piper). One of our favorite pastimes is sleeping, which in our current season of life is not something we get to do very much of. Sophie is almost 5, and is in her second year of preschool. She’s super girly, soft-spoken, loves princesses — especially Ariel — and is very loving and considerate of her younger siblings. Brennan is 3, and he’s a total goofball. He loves laughing and making other people laugh, and he loves to sing. Ashlyn is almost 2, and she’s the toughest and most stubborn one of the bunch…for now. She’s by far the most expressive of our kids, knows that she’s cute and totally works it to her advantage, and it’s a little scary that’s she’s already mastered the art of sarcasm. We’re a very close-knit family. We love playing and spending time together, and purposely keep our schedule commitments light so that we can be together as much as possible. We also don’t eat leftovers.
What do you like to do for fun?
I’m a huge baseball fanatic, and will watch and read about it as much as I can. I also enjoy reading well-written science fiction and graphic novels.
What is your favorite part of your work at the church?
I love watching the kids run through the hallways at church because they’re excited to go to their classes, and I especially love hearing the stories of kids who were initially scared and hesitant to go into a new class, but now can’t wait to go back. I love working with our volunteer team to create environments where kids feel loved and valued and want to come back.
What are the best books you’ve read in the last year?
The Pastor’s Kid by Barnabas Piper, Sifted: Pursuing Growth through Trials, Challenges, and Disappointments by Wayne Cordeiro, and Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
What excites you about the future of Gateway?
I’m excited to see new families (either new to the area or completely new to church) come and meet Jesus. We’ve got such a strong kid’s ministry and student ministry, and I’m particularly excited to see our students grow and thrive under Josh Watt’s leadership as they transition from R/Kids to R/Students. My prayer is that many of these kids who are the recipients of and participants in our current ministry will grow in their love for the gospel, this community, and this church, and that a few decades from now they’ll be the ones faithfully leading at Redemption Gateway.