Mark Upton, Pastor

Mark was born and raised in Clinton, Mississippi; attended high school in Dunwoody, Georgia; and went to college at Wake Forest University. After graduating from college, he stayed in North Carolina. He has lived in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and Charlotte.  In 1994 he met and married Holly Love Hillsman. In 1997, Laurel Love joined their family, and in 1999 Charles “Davis” was born.

After spending eight years as a youth minister and Young Life volunteer, the Uptons moved to Charlotte in 1998 to complete Mark’s seminary training. In 2000, Mark was ordained as a Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church in America. He served as Pastor of Missions and Evangelism at Uptown Christ Covenant from 2000-2002. In 2002, Uptown called him to daughter Hope.

Spiritually, Mark has been all over the map—moving from Southern Baptist legalism to Sonship Self-righteousness to Therapeutic Christianity with occasional bouts of atheism. But now he’s got it all figured out (yeah, right!). Actually, he would say he feels like he has a maturing relationship with Christ and is growing in his love for Him and dependence on the Spirit He has filled Mark with.

The biggest influences on Mark’s spiritual development and ministry philosophy have been Tim Keller, Rick Downs, Jack Miller, Dan Allender, Larry Crabb, John Piper, Brennan Manning, Henri Nouwen, Frederick Buechner, and Young Life. When he has some time to himself, he loves to do Crossfit at Iron Tribe, watch Davis and Laurel play lacrosse, watch PBS shows with Holly, eat out, fly fish, mountain bike, play video games, watch football, play Texas Hold ‘Em, watch movies, and read classic literature.