Lead Pastor Mark Leenerts

Mark grew up between Illinois farmers and Missouri tourists. He spent his childhood working alongside the family either at the resort in Rockaway Beach Missouri, outside Branson, or the corn and soybean farms in Illinois. Mark was raised in the Catholic Church and attended Kanakuk Kamps in Southwest Missouri where he came to a saving knowledge of the Lord in the summer of 1986. Mark was involved in the ministry of Young Life through out High School and attended Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar Missouri where he first served in ministry with a community based student ministry, Chi Alpha. It was during these times that Mark's life was forever shaped as people in his life took an active role in helping him to understand what it means to journey with Christ. Mark has been blessed to serve in church and para-church ministry for over 20 years, with the last 18 years being in Topeka Kansas where he currently serves as the Lead Pastor of Journey Church and is one of its founding pastors. In addition to spending time with his wife Wendy and their eight energetic children; Caleb, Jacob, Noah, Samuel, Grace, Elijah, J.J & Hannah; Mark also enjoys being with friends, playing sports, running, water skiing, racquetball, swimming and being outside. Whether wrestling in the yard, doing yard work, going for a run or taking a walk to the park, Mark's desire is to stay young, or at least young at heart. Mark says Wendy often has a very tough job, raising six kids and a husband who acts like one! Mark holds his Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology, Sociology and Counseling from Southwest Baptist University (1993); Masters of Arts in Christian Education and Youth Ministry (M.A.C.E.) from Dallas Theological Seminary (1995); and Doctor of Ministry (D.Min) in Biblical Counseling from Trinity Theological Seminary (2003).