Mark Vannocker, deacon of Flint Hills Christian Church in Emporia, Kansas (KS).
I was raised in a Christian home, and God gave me many opportunities to follow Him. But I struggled with worldly distractions for most of my youth and young adult life.
In 1983, I was baptized at FHCC, but I did not truly give Christ my whole heart. I still wanted to be self seeking and worldly. I found myself doing the opposite of 1 John 2:15 “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” For the next 21 years, I went to church but didn’t fully devote my life to Christ. I was very proud and wrapped up in worldly things.
Praise God! In July 2003, through the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the calling of the Gospel, I was convicted of the habitual sin and pride in my life. My eyes were opened to the fact that I was sinning against a Holy God. Our God is sovereign in all things and He allowed me to hit rock bottom before He grabbed my heart. Grace and mercy took on a whole new meaning for me because God gave me true repentance.
God has blessed me with my wife, Jolene and my three boys, Derek, Jordan, and Ethan. Jolene and I have been active in the youth ministry for several years, but as I continued to grow in the faith, God revealed to me that I needed to step up in faith and start serving more. I had been praying for guidance and direction in ways to serve when I was asked to consider serving as a Deacon. With a servant’s heart, I’m excited about the privilege to serve God and our church family in this way.