After serving my country in the U.S. Army as an Aerial Recognizance specialist for four and a half years up in Alaska during the Vietnam Era, I found myself in Philadelphia for the purposes of job placement. That is where I met my wife Annette and that is also where the Lord had a brilliant surprise for me as my ministry began. As a member of Wissinoming United Methodist Church in Philadelphia I signed up for a General Bible Study Course at Liberty Bible Institute in 1989-90 and graduated. My Pastor at the time Rev. Joe Dipaolo, encouraged me to pursue the United Methodist Lay Speaker training offered by the conference soon after that, which I did. As a Conference Lay Speaker I thoroughly enjoyed traveling all over the area speaking of the Love of the Lord whenever called upon. At that time I also had a passion for learning all I could about the Bible, so I then enrolled in a course with Moody Bible Institute for an Adult Bible Studies Certificate in 1991. That was the beginning of my studying of the inerrant Word of God and my passion for spreading that Good News to all.
It was soon after that that I felt the call to pastoral ministry. I enrolled in the Local Pastor’s Licensing School at Drew University in New Jersey and continued lay speaking around our district and fulfilling the duties of Lay Leader at my local church. We began a lay visitation group and a vibrant men’s ministry. After completing the local pastor’s licensing program of study, our prayers were answered and rather quicker than expected, when about a year after attending the Licensing School I was appointed as a part-time local pastor for Tacony United Methodist Church in Philadelphia. At that time I also began the required studies for local pastors at the Course of Study School at Wesley Seminary in Washington D.C. I have since graduated from the Local Pastors Course of Study School and also have received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Christian Bible College, a Master of Ministry Degree from Andersonville Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Andersonville Baptist Seminary as well. I am currently working on my Master of Divinity at Andersonville Baptist Seminary.
After serving Tacony UMC for 3 years the district superintendent called and asked me if I would like to serve as a part-time local pastor at Wissinoming United Methodist Church, our home church. Of course we were thrilled to return to our home church to serve which we did until July 2002. There were several years during our ministry in which I was appointed two churches at the same time from 2000 through 2004. The churches we have had the privilege to serve over the years have been Phila: Tacony, Phila: Wissinoming and Bethesda and Bethesda and Trevose UMC in Bucks County PA. We moved to Lancaster County in 2006 and have since served Zion UMC in Schaefferstown and Ebenezer in Lebanon. And of course now we are excited and feel very blessed to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ at Emmanuel today.
Prior to enlisting in the Army I had several jobs in the photography and picture industry, which led to a side Photography business for a time to take advantage of my love of taking pictures. My secular employer during the early years of our ministry was Crown Cork and Seal, a can manufacturing company in Philadelphia. After Crown closed the plant in Philadelphia I elected to take advantage of a program they put in place to allow displaced workers free schooling and enrolled in Data Processing Trainers Business School for the Associates Degree of Business Computer Applications. I graduated from the school the following year and was hired by Cendant Mortgage Services as a government mortgage loan specialist. After that I worked for a variety of secular companies until I was appointed to full time Ministry in 2006.
Pastor Mark Dricker
July 2012 - current