Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mark's Testimony

I was born in Albion, ME and raised in a Christian home. My parents were very careful to teach my two older sisters, myself, and my younger brother the ways of the Lord. At the age of eight I ‘prayed the sinners prayer’, but I believe it had more to do with pleasing my parents than personal faith. Growing up, my life was marred with inner rebellion even though I ‘looked like a Christian’ on the outside. After high school, I went to New Brunswick Bible Institute. The Lord had closed the doors for all the other schools I wanted to attend. During the first week of that school year, the Lord worked in my heart and revealed to me my need for a Savior. It was that night at NBBI that I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. 

For the next year I continued to grow in my walk with the Lord, developing my devotional and prayer life with Him. After my first year of Bible school I really had no sense of direction as to what the Lord would have me to do. I returned to NBBI in the fall after serving at Camp Good News in New Hampshire for the summer. During my second year at school, I really started to feel God’s call on my life for fulltime service. I was able to get involved in music teams at NBBI and to go on a few missions trips. These were great opportunities for me to learn and grow closer to the Lord.

My third year at NBBI was very beneficial to me. I was very focused in my studies and also had the opportunity to be a Resident Advisor in my dorm. The Lord brought me through some tough situations that often required choosing between my friends and the Lord. He continually helped me to make wise decisions and to mature through these difficulties. I really enjoyed being an RA. It opened my eyes to the reality of Christian ministry more than anything up to that point.

I spent summer of 2008 as the Dean of Teen Service at Camp Good News in New Hampshire. This role was a great blessing to me.  I oversaw the teens through the summer as they volunteered in the kitchen and did various maintenance jobs. We studied the book of I John as a group. The Lord worked through this study, and I was privileged to lead five teens to the Lord throughout the course of the summer.

In August of 2008 I made the second most important decision of my life and married Alicia. We continued our time at NBBI while I complete the fourth year internship program at State Street Baptist Church in Presque Isle, ME. That year was also a very important time in my spiritual journey. In October 2008, I continued in my obedience to the Lord and was baptized by my dad at SSBC.

After my internship, I worked a couple odd-jobs and worked at The Aroostook Medical Center as a janitor for eight months. Our first child, Jodie Marie McKeen was born in August 2009. She has taught Alicia and I many lessons, as you can imagine. She’s a tiny little ball of energy, that’s all I’ll say.

In January 2010, SSBC called me to serve as their assistant pastor. It is a joy and a privilege to serve at this church. SSBC will always be an important part in my own spiritual walk since I was baptized in this church and finished my schooling through NBBI here. I enjoy working with Pastor Mike Shaw and having him as a mentor. He has taught me some invaluable lessons about life and ministry. I look to him as an example of godly leadership and parenting. I need all the help I can get!

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