Faith, not finance
Davina Henry, Staff Reporter
While many gospel artistes seek to get the word of God out primarily through their music, Ryan Mark is one of those taking it a step further by becoming a pastor.
Ryan Mark told The Sunday Gleaner that he had been approached to be ordained as a pastor some years ago and has finally accepted the challenge after God placed the calling on his life.
He will head Pure In Heart Ministries International, a new church he has established, which will be based at 8 Haining Road, New Kingston.
"I could have been ordained as a pastor in an already established church, but I've been among the youths, and I think we need something new where church is concerned. I wanted to have a fresh start," Mark said.
"New Kingston is a tough area, so I know we will have some challenges ahead. I didn't chose this location, God chose it. He told me New Kingston, and this is the property I got. With God, all things are possible."
Having already received the blessing on the ministry from his pastors, Pure In Heart Ministries International will open its doors for the first time next Sunday, September 7.
"Persons can come with the expectation to be blessed by God. It's not a Ryan Mark ministry. It's the Ministry of God. I want to get the youths actively involved in service for God. For now, we'll only be having one church service, on Sundays, and as the ministry grows, we'll look at another night," he said.
As to whether there may be issues in his being both a pastor and music performer, Mark said he is confident that God would equip him to handle all challenges. "The pastor's walk is not easy, but whatever comes up, God will equip me. God can use this ministry to impact Jamaica in a positive way. I'm not saying that we can transform the country just like that, but we can save some souls and save some lives. We can help to address certain issues so that the country will be a better place," he said.
Though artistes who transition into being pastors are often criticised that they are trying to make a profit, Mark told The Sunday Gleaner the name of his ministry spoke for itself.
"People will criticise anything you do in life. It has its hardships. It's not a concert where, if you spend money, you have a chance to make it back at the gate. This is a church. I'm doing it from a pure heart, and I know that God will take care of me. Whatever blessings come my way. I will gladly accept," Mark said.
"I'm an artiste who is now stepping into a pastoral role. I'm not doing it for money. I'm doing it because this is the call that God has placed on my heart."