God Sets the Prisoner Free: Spotlight on Rev. Mark Porter
Rev. Mark Porter came to the New Life Worship service on October 18th. Mark is the pastor of the Friends Church in Lynnville, Iowa. On that Thursday night worship service, Lynnville Friends was well-represented as 21 visitors provided music and fellowship.
1. Tell us about yourself & your family.
I am married to wife Lindsey. We have two boys, Julian age 7 and Waylen 8 months. We live in Lynnville, Iowa. We enjoy fishing, playing games, rodeos and God.
|Rev. Mark & Lindsey Porter of Lynnville, Iowa|
2. How have things changed dramatically for you in the last few years?
After being released from prison on March 30, 2010, I have experienced blessing after blessing as I have followed hard after the Lord (Psalm 63:8 KJV). I have graduated from Crown College with a B.S. in Christian Ministries; I have been licensed as a Pastor in the Christian and Missionary Alliance Denomination, working toward ordination; We've had Waylen; I became Pastor of Lynnville Friends Church in October 2012.
3. Why do you feel inspired to help men in prison?
I feel called to give back where I was so touched while I served in prison. I believe the Lord blesses us to be a blessing, and coming to visit and spur on the men in prison is something the Lord laid on my heart even before I left prison. Hebrews 13:3 in the NKJV says “Remember the prisoners as if chained with them”, and this is something I take to heart.
4. What was it like for you to share your testimony & preach at our October worship service?
It was a highlight of mine to come back and share with the saints at the Newton Prison. I felt the Lord’s presence there and many, many emotions flooded my heart and soul as I stepped foot back behind the walls.
5. Describe how it felt for you to return to prison in a totally different capacity.
It's funny because as the men came into the gym, I really still saw myself as one of them. I think I will always have a special bond there with the men. I hoped to give them a message of hope, trying to show them that the promises of God are true. That when the Word says “He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him”, we need only say yes and amen.
6. The Lynnville Friends praise team did a great job. Talk about their ministry of music...
The praise team was deeply touched by coming to New Life worship and continue to speak of the time when we were able to worship our Lord there. They love meeting with the guys, and love seeing the passion in which the men joined them in worship.
7. What positives do you see at New Life Prison Community?
I really felt the love of Christ coming from Rick and Rose, and all the volunteers with New Life Prison community. The men had many and only good things to say about the ministry. I love that life is being brought and taught at the Newton Prison, and the life being shared is eternal life in Jesus Christ.
8. From your perspective, why is it so crucial for New Life and other ministries to reach out to men in prison?
It is crucial to continue to reach the men behind the walls because the Lord is very active and alive there. The Spirit of God cannot be contained, and He is hard at work at the Newton Prison and the other prisons in Iowa and all over the United States. The harvest is indeed plentiful, and the workers must continue to reap for the Lord.