Mark and Cindy attended church in their childhood but their families did not go all the time. “Sometimes we would. Sometimes we wouldn’t,” said Mark. “We were those Christmas and Easter kind of people,” said Cindy.
They both grew up in Fort Wayne and met while playing in the school orchestra. They dated in high school, went their separate ways then reconnected while Mark was in the Air Force.
After they married and had children they decided that they needed to start going to church regularly. It was during a Bible Study class at the First Christian Church of Fort Wayne they really developed their passion for church.
“That was the first time I had ever been connected with the Word. Not only was my heart touched, but I learned a lot,” said Cindy. “That is what I think really started it for me. Once the Lord touched us we wanted to do more.”
For 20 years they were active and highly involved members of Southport Heights Christian Church. But after years of living on the south side of Indianapolis they moved to the north side three years ago.
“We wanted to find a church nearby I had been involved in church stuff, Cindy too, in different ways, for a long time,” Mark said. “We were just trying to find a church home.”
They visited First Baptist Church of Indianapolis in the spring of 2016. “As we came in, people started greeting us. Then Gene Ton started introducing us to people, and everybody was so friendly,” Cindy said. “And we enjoyed the service itself. It was just the feel of everything.”
“Once we came here we never visited another church,” Mark said. “We were convinced this was it. The reaction we got from other people, plus just the feel of the church and the service,” Mark said. “We left here the first time and we thought maybe this is the place.”
They had both been involved in the music program at their previous churches and they were impressed with what they found at FBC Indy. “Compared to other churches the quality of the music, because of (music director) Steve Potts and his abilities, is another step up from a church this size,” Cindy said.
“We’re old enough to appreciate the old hymns, traditional music and the choir. We kind of enjoyed that but they mix it up with some contemporary stuff,” and it’s “all superb,” Mark said. They were impressed with the choir (which they have now joined). “Not many churches have choirs any more. Having a choir was something nice.”
In particular, they are impressed how well the church’s ethnic diversity is especially evident when the children’s choir sings. In addition to the multicultural diversity, they appreciate the range in ages from young to old. Even the older members seem young, Mark said. “There are a lot of people our age who get old,” Mark said. “They look old, they think old, they act old, they’re old. There is another group of people our same age who are still vibrant and seem younger.” That’s what they find at FBC Indy.
Mark and Cindy moved to Indianapolis in 1981 when he served as Director of Economic Development for the State of Indiana. Now he works primarily in education at the School of Business at the University of Indianapolis and is also an adjunct professor at Indiana University. Recently, he has provided economic advice to Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb.
Cindy worked as a school speech therapist early in their marriage. For 13 years she worked as a vision therapist and helped people correct eye conditions through therapy and treatment. “That was very, very rewarding work,” she said.
They have four sons and have five grandchildren, ages 2 to 20. “We have terrific sons and their wives are all good friends of each other. The kids are buddies. We are very blessed,” Mark said.
After attending FBC Indy for a year, they officially joined in March of 2017. “We had already felt like members but felt we should do something official,” said Mark.
They are both now very active at the church. They have participated in the Dine with Nine group that meets at various homes for dinner. Mark serves on the Management Resource Team while Cindy is on the Faith to Worship committee. They both sing in the choir. Cindy has volunteered to help Steve Potts in filing music. She has also volunteered through the church at Nora Elementary School.
Mark and Cindy are more than pleased to be making their church home at FBC Indy. Mark sums it up: “This is just a great place to worship!”