My name is Marc Swenson and I graduated from The Master’s School (TMS) in 1994. In many ways, the school was a second home for me. My folks, Marilyn and Greg Swenson, taught there for over 30 years, and as a result I attended from pre-k through high school. But it wasn’t just a second home because of my parent’s profession. My classmates were like family and many of my teachers became mentors and friends.
It is always amazing to look back over one’s life to see the way God connects the dots. I gave my heart to the Lord at age 14 at New England Keswick (now Hume New England). Returning to TMS that fall, my classmate Todd Miltimore and I held each other accountable to read through the Bible during high school, instilling in me a growing love for Jesus. I served on the Student Life Counsel at TMS, was chaplain of our soccer team, and though far from perfect, always had a desire for my classmates and friends to know the hope that I had found in Christ.
After graduating from The Master’s School, I attended Houghton College from 1994-1998, where I met my future wife, Ruth. Both of us were biology majors. We dated during our junior and senior year and married in 1999. Ruth continued using her biology degree to teach at TMS (1999-2004), homeschool our children, and work as a Registered Nurse since 2011; she will be finishing Nurse Practitioner school in May of this year.
While Ruth continued in her degree field, God took my life in a different direction. After graduating from college and before getting married, I had the opportunity to serve in Kenya for five months on a mission trip. It was there that God called me into vocational ministry. I was preparing to share one of my first sermons at a Kenyan church and heard God’s still small voice say, “This is what I’ve made you for”. To some extent, that reset the trajectory of my life. But on further reflection, God had been shaping the whole of my life for ministry since those early days at The Master’s School.
It has been 24 years since I heard God’s quiet calling. Since then, He led me to serve as a youth pastor at Valley Community Baptist Church in Avon, CT (2000-2004), be involved in church planting in rural West Virginia (2005-2006), assume a Mentoring Director role with a faith-based organization called Life Bridge in Wolfeboro, NH (2006-2010) and serve as a pastor at the First Congregational Church of Ossipee, NH (2010-present). I was also able to fit in a Master’s of Transformational Leadership degree at Bethel Seminary in the early 2000s.
Ministry is a large part of my life, second only to our family. Ruth and I have four children, Hannah (18), Noah (17), Willow (12), and Asher (9). They are a joy to us. We love spending time together playing games, skiing, swimming in the local lakes, watching the kid’s games, traveling, and serving our community. Currently we are in the process of launching our first off to college, a whole new experience for us.
All of the twists and turns of life were not necessarily my plan. Winters are long and cold in NH. Starbucks is 45 minutes away. The spiritual climate up here is rocky at best. And ministry is not always easy…truth be told, it rarely is. But we wouldn’t trade it for the world. We trust that we are in the center of God’s will, being used by Him to influence others in the same way that I was influenced all those years ago at TMS by the love, wisdom, compassion and grace of my teachers and coaches.
My life verse is 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old is gone. The new is here.” The greatest joy that I have in life is seeing a person become new in Christ. This passion was instilled in me from my parents, grandparents, church, and The Master’s School, whose motto (when I was there) was education from the inside out. What a great foundation to build from!