Mark Swayze is the Student Pastor at Rebelbase. Mark spent the first five years at the Woodlands United Methodist Church as the Harvest worship leader and Director of Contemporary Worship. But as of September 2019, Mark became the new Pastor of Students after the retirement of the beloved and long-tenured Bob Swan.
Bob Swan was actually instrumental in bringing Mark to The Woodlands UMC. Throughout 2005-2014, Swayze served at University United Methodist Church in San Antonio and he and his wife were quite settled in that community. Then Bob called and asked if he’d meet with Mark Sorensen, the pastor of The Harvest, which was looking for a new worship leader.
“Sorensen was a worship leader, so he instantly connected with me, and Nycki and (Swayze’s wife) Missie instantly connected over Haiti,” Swayze says. “So all of a sudden we’re sitting there, and he starts talking about Harvest and where he wants it to go and the new building and his dream for the community. Missie and I sat there listening, and when we left the lunch were like, ‘Dang it. We’re going to go to The Woodlands.’”
After sharing the decision to move with his team, Mark did not anticipate their response. “By the end of that week, all seven members and their spouses and kids said ‘We’re in for Houston,’” Swayze says. “They sold their houses, quit their jobs, and 22 people moved from San Antonio to Houston and then went looking for new houses and jobs. It was crazy. Our first six months is the story of God opening up doors for jobs and opening up houses and neighborhoods for every single one of them.”
Mark is excited about now being the Student Pastor at The Woodlands UMC under the leadership of Mark Sorensen and Dr. Robb because they are willing to equip their people and give them a large canvas on which to bring their visions to life. And he has a vision for youth.
“My heart is now creating a culture of leadership with the next generation. My heart has always been for The Woodlands UMC to impact neighborhoods, nations and the next generation. The future is bright. I can feel God about to do something incredible here. He already has the last 40 years and it’s going to continue in ways beyond our understanding.”
Mark and his wife, Missie, have two children: Lauren and Caleb.