Rev. Mark Jensen Bio Feb 2017
Greetings to members of St. John’s Lutheran in Hamburg! I look forward to getting to know each of you. I hope this bio will give you a brief overview of me, of my family, and my passions. I grew up southeast Iowa as the middle child of three boys. My dad was a teacher and guidance counselor. He also served several terms as the president of the church council. My mom was a wonderful daycare provider with a beautiful soprano singing voice, which she offered through the church choir.
I knew by 3rd or 4th grade that I’d like to become a pastor. My older brother attended seminary 3 ½ years before me. Ironically, my father would later follow a year behind me in seminary, as he became a second career pastor. My younger brother is an actor/acting teacher.
I attended Dana College near Omaha, Nebraska from 1981-1985, graduating with a BA Degree in Speech/Theatre. In college, I enjoyed choir, working at the campus radio station, campus ministry and visiting my grandfather who lived only an hour away. I attended Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, IA from 1985-1989 and obtained a Master of Divinity Degree. I completed my clinical training in Lincoln NE and internship in Greensboro, North Carolina. I married Karla R. Jensen in 1988. We shared the same last name (yes- Jensen was her maiden name) although we were not related, just both of
*Grace Lutheran Lincoln, NE 1989-1991 Associate Pastor
*2-point parishes Zion and Trinity Benedict and Polk, NE 1991-1996 Solo Pastor
*Lutheran Church of Dell Rapids Dell Rapids, SD 1996-2001 Associate Pastor
*First Lutheran Beaver Dam, WI 2001-2017 Associate then moved to Lead Pastor
Work related experiences: Chaplain for the area police and fire departments, volunteer hospital Chaplain, served on Church Health
Services (for the poor and uninsured) board for ten years, Optimists Club Member, Toastmaster, former Clergy Presenting couple for
Lutheran Engaged Encounter, Marriage Group leader. Passion for Grief/Bereavement ministry. Playwright/published many dramas with wife Karla for church occasions, including annual Lenten dramas and live nativities.
Passions and personal enjoyment: Music (especially love Billy Joel, The Proclaimers, Phil Keaggy, Beatles, The Monkees and more), travel, biking, exercising, writing, reading, and shopping. I’m a Chicago Bears football fan, Pittsburgh Pirates fan, Star Trek and Star Wars, Dr. Who fan. I enjoy live concerts, movies, and live theatre. I have fun doing impressions of Jimmy Stewart, Charlton Heston, James Bond, John Wayne, Scooby Doo, and others. I love puns and have a dry sense of humor.
Karla, my wife, attended the same college as I and enjoyed choir, radio and campus ministry. She majored in Speech/Theatre and Communications/ Broadcasting. She’s worked in television, radio, and magazine publishing and owned her own advertising agency. In Wisconsin, she obtained her real estate license, served as the Exec. Director for the area arts center and currently works at an international preparatory high school as their Outreach and Auxiliary Programs Director. She is a writer, has led and started writers groups, and published her first book in 2016.
Our Three Children:
Micah (24), Graduated from Wartburg College in Waverly, IA in 2015. BS Degree in Communication Arts, lives in Castle Rock, CO. He enjoys video editing, gardening, landscaping, writing, biking, hiking, movies.
Isaac (21) Junior at Belmont University in Nashville. Majoring in Audio Engineering. Talented Drummer. Minnesota Vikings fan. Works at Opry Mills Mall at a shoe store.
Kamilla (19) Sophomore at Wittenberg University in Springfield, OH. Majoring in Speech Theatre/Women’s Studies. Enjoys theatre, singing, reading, baking and cooking. Works on campus at Info desk and in theatre costume department.
Dog – Peppermint, our friendly 3-year old white Schnauzer.
Parents: My mom passed away in November 2015. Dad is retired and living in Castle Rock, CO while our son Micah lives with him to find good jobs/establish residency there.
Things I avoid: Heights, mayonnaise, salad dressing, handyman work.
Things I love: Coffee, sugar cookies, Nestles Crunch Candy bars.