Bishop Mark Joseph Lawrence was consecrated the 14th Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina on January 26, 2008, at the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul in Charleston.
Born in Bakersfield, California, on March 19, 1950, Mark is a fifth generation Californian. He was educated at California State University, Bakersfield (BA, 1976) and Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry (M. Div. 1980). He has also received honorary degrees from Nashotah House (D.D. 2008) and Sewanee (D.D. 2009). He has ministered in a wide variety of parish settings from suburban church plant, rural mission, inner city church, to downtown parish in California and Pennsylvania. These include Holy Family, Fresno, CA; Saint Mark’s, Shafter, California (1981–1984); Saint Stephen’s, McKeesport, Pennsylvania (1984–1997) where he also established the Mon Valley Tri-Church Ministry taking two smaller congregations under a multi-staff network; and Saint Paul’s, Bakersfield, California (1997–2007). Known for being a dedicated pastor-teacher, Mark also served, among many other capacities, Commission on Ministry, the Standing Committee, and the Board of Examining Chaplains, and Rural Dean. He also served as a deputy to the General Conventions of 2003 and 2006. He has published articles on devotional and ecclesial concerns in various periodicals.
Mark has been married to Allison Kathleen Taylor since 1973. They have five children: Chadwick, an Episcopal priest and headmaster at Holy Trinity Classical Christian School in Beaufort, SC, married to Wendy (they have four daughters); eldest daughter, Adelia, married to Stephen Matson (Steve and Adelia own a crepe and coffee shop in Pismo, CA and are parents of three children); middle daughter, Emily, is married to Jacob Jefferis who is a high school vice-principal in Western Pennsylvania (they have two children); Joseph, a candidate for Holy Orders attending Trinity School for Ministry, married to Joette, (they have three children); and Chelsea, married to Jason Hamshaw, a Youth Minister at Prince George Episcopal Parish in Georgetown, SC (they have two sons).
Mark enjoys reading on various subjects–particularly literature, biography, and history–and outdoor activities such as hiking, backpacking, canoeing, fishing, and jogging.