Our Pastor

Rev. Mark Marcos

I am Leandro J. Marcos, Jr., often called Pastor Mark or Rev. Mark. I am an ordained clergy elder still actively
serving the California-Pacific Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church for 25 years, not counting my
pastoral experience while in the Philippines or a total of 31 years to date. My wife Emelita but prefers to be
called Emelie is a retired Registered Nurse and my great partner in pastoral ministry. Often, I would tell her,
“You provide me more supervision than my District Superintendent and my Bishop”. Emelie and I are blessed
with a daughter Melean Christie, a son-in-law Marlon and a 12 year old granddaughter named Jayna Chriselle
who all live in Illinois.

I took my seminary education at Union theological Seminary and was conferred Master of Divinity Degree.
After serving local United Methodist churches in the Philippines, I decided to pursue graduate studies at
Claremont School of Theology. While at Claremont, the then late Bishop Jack Tuell appointed me as an
Associate Pastor of Moreno Valley United Methodist Church, specifically in-charge of a Start-Up Ministry for
Filipino Americans residing in the Inland empire area. After three years of ministering to Filipino American
families, such Start-Up Ministry was chartered as a local United Methodist Church under the California-Pacific
Annual Conference. After six years of serving as the Lead Pastor of now known as Trinity United Methodist
Church of the Inland Empire, the then Bishop Roy Sano appointed me as the Lead Pastor of the Church of the
Foothills (A United Methodist Church in the City of Duarte)- a predominantly Anglo in membership. It was a
good six year term being in that church until the then Bishop Mary Ann Swenson appointed me as the Lead
Pastor of Rosewood United Methodist Church in Los Angeles. Six years after, Bishop Swenson appointed me
to be the Lead Pastor of South Pasadena United Methodist Church. Upon retirement of Bishop Swenson, her
successor Bishop Minerva Carcano, our current Bishop appointed me to Hesperia United Methodist Church and
First United Methodist Church of Barstow. Now completing my three years with Hesperia UMC, two years of
which included First UMC of Barstow, Bishop Carcano and the cabinet are appointing me to be the Lead
Pastor our church- The Christ UMC here in Santa Maria.

What gifts am I bringing to this new church? What kind of pastoral leadership do I offer? Firstly, I believe in
my heart that God has every good reason for any new appointment that I am into and to newly appointed
Pastors for that matter. Pastors as Shepherds of the flock must never lose the zeal of bringing to a greener
pasture the people they are called to serve. This means, the flock and the shepherd must grow together in loving
God, knowing God, worshipping Him and giving Him the honor, praise and glory through intentional witness,
outreach and nurture. We as a church must be an active participant in bringing about significant change in
people’s lives. The shepherds must gear the flock to live in and out Christ’s compassion to the lost, the last and
the least. Foremost in the exercise of God’s call is to make known the Christ who offers new life- life that can
make a difference in this world we live in; life that is true to being salt of the earth; life that serves as bearer of
the Light so that darkness will not prosper.

Secondly, the proclamation of the Gospel must be done in a way people can apply the Good
News in their quest for peace, strong family values, and clearer vision of brighter days
ahead. But proclamation must be entrenched with concrete deeds of solidarity with the people
in the neighborhood and even beyond our locus of service. Like John Wesley, we see the world
as our parish and as a recipient of our help to address the problem of poverty, of promoting peace
and order, of advocating healthy living, and fostering a great sense of neighborliness.

Thirdly, I see discipleship as key to growth of the church. When all believers fully understand
a deep need of Christ- the Christ Who calls us to serve as agents of change; the Christ Who
offers us gifts so we can be effective stewards, teachers, preachers, leaders, missionaries,
community builders, gap-fillers, and witnesses, then walking with Jesus Christ becomes
productive and contagious.

Fourthly, we must be relevant as a church in a community God has planted us to bloom.
We are not in the business of maintenance. We are innovators. We are pacesetters. We offer
ourselves as partners with public and private sectors in bringing about peace and order, growing
economy, and a cooperative spirit that secures all people from all alarms and fears.

Lastly but not the least, all our ministries and missions must aim at giving Christ the
honor, praise and glory and must be done in complete reliance to the leadership and
direction of the Holy Spirit. The church is not into a popularity contest. We must be one in the
spirit of John the Baptist when he said, “Let Christ name increase and I decrease”. Nothing is
more gratifying and fulfilling than knowing that people around us come to know Christ and even
surrender their lives to Christ’s lordship because they see, they hear, they experience, and they
grow in Christ through our living Christ out of our simple, humble and dedicated life.

Rev. Leandro J. Marcos, Jr. (Pastor Mark or Rev. Mark)