Pastor Mark Tatum is thrilled to be ministering at the Anaheim SDA church and in the Orange County community. His greatest desire is for people to fall in love with the magnificence of Christ, and enjoy His community on earth, the church.
He grew up in the La Sierra community of Riverside, California, going through the Adventist Christian school system there. He graduated from La Sierra University in 2004 with a Bachelor’s degree Religious Education. From 2005-2008, he taught Bible and Spanish classes at Mesa Grande Academy in Calimesa, CA. He married his wife, Jimena, who hails from Argentina, in the summer of 2006. From 2008 to 2011, Mark and Jimena went to Andrews University in Michigan, where they worked on Masters Degrees in Divinity and Social Work, respectively. Mark graduated with his “MDiv” degree in 2011. In August of that year they returned to California, where Mark served as a Pastor at the El Centro SDA church, as well as taught Bible classes at Calexico Mission School. They welcomed son Josiah into their family in 2013, followed by daughter Jocelyn in 2015. In late 2016, the family came to live in Orange County and serve in the Anaheim SDA church. District Senior Pastoring at the Orange church, along with associate Pastor Nathaniel Sevilla, began in March 2020. The kids now attend Orangewood Academy, and are in Preschool and Kindergarten, respectively. Pastor Mark is also board chair of the school.
Pastor Mark loves reading a variety of genres, discussing fascinating topics, getting out into nature, and making music on his guitar. He loves the Lord supremely, and has no other goal than helping others find the same fascination and beauty in God: through His creation, His will as revealed in the scriptures, and His self-sacrificial love as exemplified in the life of Jesus Christ, His son.
I feel so privileged to be a pastor and doing this work for God in the Anaheim Church and Community. I would be lying if I said I always knew I would be a pastor. For as long as I could remember I wanted to a professional basketball player. Growing up I would spend every waking hour either playing or preparing my body for performance. Unfortunately, when I entered senior year of high school, I had multiple serious injuries and felt God was closing this door. Though I received basketball scholarships from a number of universities I felt this was not the path for me. I began to search. The path of ministry began in 2005 after I graduated high school and attended a 10-week colportuering (selling Christian books door-to-door) summer program. Towards the end of the program I believe God called out to me to surrender my life to Him and when I did He called me to be a pastor.
After the program, I attended La Sierra University in Riverside, California and completed a Bachelors of Arts in Religious Studies/Pre-Seminary with a minor in Biblical Languages in 2009. Upon graduation, I was hired by the Southeastern California Conference and was sent to Andrews University Theological Seminary in Berrien Springs, Michigan, where I completed the Masters in Divinity Program with an Emphasis in New Testament Studies and Youth Ministry in 2012. While in Michigan I was an assistant pastor at South Bend Indiana SDA Church (Fall 2010-Summer 2012). Since then I have pastored at Riverside Community Church and Celebration Center for 4 months, Victorville SDA Church (September 2012-July 2016) as the Associate Pastor for Youth, Laguna Niguel SDA Church (July 2016-March 2020) as the Associate Pastor for Young Adults and Young Families, and now here at Orange SDA Church as the Associate Pastor.
If I had to choose one bible verse that encapsulates God’s call in my life it is found in Psalm 40:2, “He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.” Life is very uncertain but God calls us to experience His abundant life here on earth today. I invite you to join us on this journey here at Orange Church where we truly believe God is in the business of transforming lives to make us better reflections of His love, grace, and truth. Come check us out!
When I’m not working, I will always love playing basketball and recently badminton, running, and swimming, eating Thai food and Netflix with my wife, and going to the park with my two handsome mini-me boys; Joash and Jalon.