Mark Wingfield honored for 16 years on staff
This Sunday, June 28, Wilshire will express gratitude to Mark Wingfield as he departs the church staff after 16 years as associate pastor. The online worship service will feature a time of recognition and presentation of gifts, and a drive-by reception will take place at the Wingfield home from 5 to 7 p.m.
In a return to his roots in denominational journalism, Mark will become executive director of Baptist News Global, a news agency supported by Wilshire. He and his wife, Alison, will remain at Wilshire as members.
In an April 19 note to the congregation announcing his departure, Mark wrote, “The joy that has come over the last decade and a half exceeds my ability to express. There are no words. For you to trust me with substantial leadership of our congregation, to allow me into your lives in times of joy and crisis, to support me and my family, to help raise our boys … I could go on and on. I have been changed for good by your generosity toward me.”
Senior Pastor George Mason said, “Having a partner like Mark as associate pastor has made me a better senior pastor. We complemented one another by focusing on our own strengths, which made the pastoral office stronger than either of us could have accomplished alone.”
Mark and Alison, along with their twin sons Luke and Garrett, joined Wilshire in 1999 when they moved to Dallas for Mark to become managing editor of the Baptist Standard. In the fall of 2003, Wilshire called Mark to join its ministerial staff as associate pastor. He started in January, 2004. Mark told the Standard at the time, “I am passionate about our church and its vision, mission and ministry. To be able to invest my full attention on advancing the work of the church is invigorating and challenging.”
Though his specific responsibilities included communications, strategic planning and oversight of staff and committees, Mark was involved with virtually every aspect of church life at Wilshire, from planning worship to officiating at weddings and funerals. Mark says he is grateful for “building meaningful relationships with so many in the congregation, especially through Adventurers, committee work, deacons, and going as a chaperone on Youth Choir tour and youth camp.” He cited several highlights of his tenure, including large-scale renovations done in lieu of adding on to the building; the creation of Resident Row housing for pastoral residents; participating in the work of the Inclusion and Diversity Study Group; and creation of the Unified Budget.
Most of all, Mark says he is grateful for “the opportunity to bring overall cohesion to our identity as a church and our function as a congregation.”
George Mason puts it this way: “Community and communication come from the same root. Mark has formed our sense of belonging to one another by keeping us informed about one another. The phrase ‘The Wilshire Way’ describes the pattern of life we share as a church that features values like excellence and engagement, diversity and inclusion, respect and love. Mark has helped to embed these values in our organizational life.”