Wards Moving to Washington State

by Jun 25, 2015Personal10 comments

BJU Bruins Fans

BJU Bruins Fans

The Ward family is moving to Washington state so I can work for Logos Bible Software (now called the Faithlife Corporation) as a writer and theological/exegetical instructor—and so we can help our church’s supported church-planting missionaries, Tom and Naomi Parr in nearby Anacortes.

There is no way I could possibly thank all the people who have had a positive influence on my life during my eighteen years in Greenville, SC. I believe in the church, because eighteen years in the same one has changed me profoundly. I believe in Christian education, because I literally cannot imagine who I would be without it. I believe in residential Christian higher education, because I cannot imagine who my friends—and wife—would be without it. I believe in the absolute necessity of graduate education for would-be preachers of God’s Word (who, in God’s good providence, are able to attend), precisely because I can readily imagine what I’d be without it. I remember being that, and I shudder.

Tom and Naomi Parr have that good education, and they are using it faithfully in a church plant that, after nine years, is still working to get a good foothold in a very secular culture. I visited them a few months ago and spent a lot of time talking to my respected friend Tom. The Parrs say we are welcome to come, and Laura and I are both excited to serve in a church we’ve been supporting for five and half years through the offerings at Neighborhood Bible Class, the weekly outreach ministry I lead. (Incidentally, Tom was one of the previous leaders of NBC, and was my immediate predecessor as Bible Curriculum Author at BJU Press.)

I believe in the fundamentals of the Christian faith, I’m a convinced credo-Baptist, I’m a redheaded Ph.D., and there aren’t many educational institutions left who want people like me. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Lord brings me back to BJU in the future; I would welcome it. Leaving was not an easy decision, nor one made lightly. I called in all my counselors, the whole multitude and not just Rehoboam’s friends. I sought the right application of Scripture texts about ministry and money. But in the end I had to follow my own theology of discerning God’s will: my wife and I prayed, we are walking with God, and we want to go. Greenville brethren, pray for us. We’d like to stay in touch with you.

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Leave a comment.

  1. Greg and April Peck

    Glad to see how the Lord is using you. I know the Parrs will welcome the help.

  2. Jayson

    Happy to hear this Mark. Congratulations! We will keep you in our prayers as you make this big transition.

  3. anaselli

    Happy for you, brother. Godspeed.

  4. Dave Crooks

    Looking forward to this next part of the journey, and I’m not even going. Congrats!

  5. Van

    Godspeed, my brother! I was just starting to get to know you. One of my former GA’s works for Logos – Reuben Evans. He is Director of Video at Faithlife.

  6. Duncan Johnson

    Congratulations, Mark! You will be in the US state that is nearest to the Promised Land. We’ll find ways to visit, I’m sure. Really happy for you.

  7. Don Johnson

    Well, since you will be just across the water, you will have to come visit us sometime along the way. Look forward to more frequent contacts!

    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  8. Sam Schnaiter

    You will be greatly missed around here. Your work ethic and compassionate heart has always been an inspiration to me and I am glad to have been a small part in your time here. Keep in touch. I know the Lord will greatly use you and Laura and bless your family in special ways.