Mark Upton

South End Site Pastor

Mark Upton, South End Site 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. They have two adult children Laurel and Davis.

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 Church from 2000-2002. In 2002, Uptown called him to daughter Hope.

Mark grew up Southern Baptist, came to Christ through a Methodist youth group, was discipled in a Church of Christ, and trained in ministry by Young Life. But he would say he really didn’t understand the Gospel until he was counseled by an elder at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Winston-Salem who had been discipled by Jack Miller and trained under Larry Crabb and Dan Allender. 

The biggest influences on Mark’s spiritual development and ministry philosophy have been Tim Keller, Jack Miller, Dan Allender, Larry Crabb, John Piper, Brennan Manning, Henri Nouwen, Frederick Buechner, Lesslie Newbigin, and Young Life. When he has some time to himself, he loves to work out at Iron Tribe, watch Alaska shows with Holly, eat out, fly fish, watch football, travel, enjoy craft beer and wine, tell stories, and read science fiction.