Introducing Rev. Mark Phillips

About Mark

The Rev. Mark Phillips was born and raised in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh. He spent his early years as a member of the Hungarian Reformed Church, where he was baptized and confirmed. From a very early age, Mark sensed a call to ministry and was active in church, school, and youth group activities.

Mark began studying organ in junior high school and continued those studies through college. While in high school and college, Mark served several churches in Pittsburgh, northern Virginia, and Washington, D.C. as organist and choir director.

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A Few Thoughts from Mark

I believe that my greatest gifts are in the areas of preaching, worship planning and leadership, and pastoral care. I believe that God is calling me to a church that understands worship to be at the center of its life and where worship leads to the love of neighbor as self. For me, the hour that is spent in worship each week is the most important hour of the week, and I approach my work from this perspective. I treasure the time spent researching and writing sermons, planning worship, etc.  I strive to make worship relevant so that worshipers may take what they hear and experience on Sunday morning and draw upon it during the week or even much later.

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Rev. Mark and Rachel Walsh sat down for a fun interview on Saturday, January 13, 2024. Watch below!

Watch Rev. Mark's Sermon from January 14, 2024
A Call in the Middle of the Night 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: When will Rev. Phillips officially start at First & Franklin?
    A: Rev. Phillips will assume full-time duties, including preaching for Sunday morning services on April 21. This allows him time to prepare his current congregation for their next chapter.


  • Q: Who will be preaching until Rev. Mark starts?
    A: We will continue to have guest preachers, and Rev. Nofel will still be preaching the 2nd Sunday each month (Communion Sundays).


  • Q: What will church leadership look like during this transition?
    A: Much like it does now. Rev. Steve Nofel will continue to moderate Session and assist in the transition over the upcoming weeks. Rev. Phillips will be kept informed of happenings within the church and consulted on items where input is needed. Our goal for this transition is to be smooth, calm, and informed.


  • Q: Will we hear from Rev. Phillips before he formally starts with First & Franklin?
    A: Yes! Rev. Phillips will be leading a mid-week meditation via Zoom, and will also be contributing to our newsletter and weekly emails.


  • Q: How should we refer to Rev. Mark Phillips?
    A: per Mark, "Mark" is fine. If you want to be more formal, "Rev. Mark" / "Rev. Phillips." Or, he's taken a recent liking to the name "Rev. MP."  Just, preferably, not "Pastor" or "Pastor Mark/Phillips" unless that's a habit that hard to break.  🙂


Do you have a question? email and we will get it answered!