Dr. Mark Strong is foremost a lover and follower of Jesus Christ. He and his wife Marla have served as the Lead Pastors of Life Change Church in Portland Oregon since 1988. Life Change is a multi-ethnic church that is passionate about sharing the love of Jesus to the city of Portland. Located in the heart of Portland, Oregon; Life Change is a church that labors for personal, spiritual, and social transformation in the city and community. Over the years, God has caused Life Change to grow and become an influence for Christ in the city on many levels. Dr. Strong has received numerous awards from the Christian Community, City Government, and other agencies. He is considered a key bridge builder, peacemaker and reconciler between churches and the city.
Dr. Mark is also the chairman of 11:45 an organization that works extensively with the City of Portland, the Judicial System, Multnomah County, churches and other social agencies to help youth who are gang affected, fatherless and disenfranchised. In 2011, 11:45 received the Mayor’s award for the year’s most impactful organization. In 2013, 11:45 received the Portland Police Bureau medal of Commendation. This the first time the medal has ever been awarded to a church or faith based institution.
Dr. Mark holds several degrees. He has an Associates Degree from Portland Community College (1984). He completed his B.A. in Speech Communications at Portland State University (1987). Following the completion of his undergraduate studies, he went on to earn a Masters Degree in Biblical Studies from Western Evangelical Seminary (1992) and a Doctorate of Ministry Degree in Leadership from George Fox Seminary (2003). In addition, he serves on the Board of Regents of George Fox Seminary and speaks at colleges, schools, and seminaries.
Dr. Strong is the founder of the Father-Shift Conference. An international conference that ministers the love of the Father to local churches by bringing healing to those who have been affected by careless or absent fathers, as well as helping others to fall more deeply in love with their Heavenly Father, and empowering men to become better fathers. Dr. Mark has traveled extensively throughout the United Stated and the nations of the world.
Dr. Strong has authored several books and many teaching resources, a few are:
Church for the Father the Fatherless, “A Ministry Model for Societies Most Pressing Problem (IVP)
The Forgiveness Factor, Finding Peace by Forgiving Others and Yourself (Zeal) Written with Bruce Wilkinson, multiple New York Times, bestselling author (The Prayer of Jabez)
Divine Merger, What Happens when Jesus Collides with Your Community (IVP) Foreword by Kevin Palau, President of the Luis Palau Evangelistic Association.
Mark and his wife Marla have been married since 1988. They have four children, all of whom names start with the letter “M”. So, on Christmas when they exchange gifts with other family members, they just say from the “M – Strong’s”.