Mark Allio, who will begin his ministry this summer at Jefferson Center in Saxonburg, sends greetings to Beaver-Butler Presbytery. He goes by Mark but claims to having been baptized as Meatball. There’s a sermon illustration in that!
Since Mark grew up in Clarion, Western PA is home, not only to him but to his wife as well. He graduated from Clarion University with a degree in Philosophy. Following graduation, he followed a call into youth ministry by serving as Director of Youth and Families at First Presbyterian Church in Anchorage, Alaska for three years. Mark absolutely loves Alaska and wishes he could get back to visit. “If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend it!” he says.
Mark returned to Pennsylvania to attend Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and graduated in May of 2011 and was ordained in October. He has been serving as Associate Pastor at Mechanicsburg Presbyterian Church where he focuses primarily on Youth and Family ministries.
“Mechanicsburg has provided a great place to grow. I’ve learned a lot and I’m so thankful for all the time I’ve had there,” he explains. When he started, he thought youth ministry was going to be a forever call. However, more responsibilities and opportunities created a burning in his heart to be a solo pastor. Mark further explains, “Jesus has been spending a lot of time guiding me and transforming me in Mechanicsburg and I’m excited for what’s next.”
But youth ministry will always hold a special place for Mark. While he grew up in a Christian home, his family bounced around to a few churches. Though their faith was reformed, his family was drawn to worshipping at newly planted churches. One day at school, Mark was invited to youth group at First Presbyterian Church in Clarion. He wasn’t expecting much, but after that first meeting, he couldn’t wait to go back. He started attending the church on Sunday mornings. Eventually, while still in high school, he led a bible study. What struck him most about the youth group and the church was the sense of belonging that was there. Mark says, “It was that feeling of immediate acceptance that had me returning week after week, year after year.” During college he became the volunteer youth leader and it was then that he felt his call to ministry.
Today you’ll find Mark spending time with his family: wife, Carrie, and sons: Asher (11), Gage (7), Hank (4), and Matthias (1). The family also includes a Newfoundland dog named Kenai, and two cats, Meowgo and Nicey. The family loves being outdoors. The boys dream of being farmers and already have a little experience raising chickens and ducks.
Cooking and brewing are his creative outlets where he plays around with flavors and styles by grilling and smoking. He admits, though, that brewing took a backseat when the third and fourth boys came around. He also enjoys reading and watching movies. Of learning new things and exploring ideas, Mark saying that “God has blessed us with an incredible world and there is so much to take in.”
We welcome Mark and his family to Beaver-Butler Presbytery.
Telephone: (724) 452-7515
FAX: (724) 452-7522
Physical Address: 134-B South Main St, Zelienople, PA 16063