Rev. Dr. Mark Lansberry

Senior Pastor

While I was born in Idaho in 1950, my family moved to Tempe when I was two years old so Arizona is really the place that I call home. I grew up in Tempe, graduated from Tempe High School in 1968 and Arizona State University in 1982. As you can see from the dates, my journey through the university was not typical. I took a four-year break from 1970-74 to serve Uncle Sam in the United States Navy where I was blessed to be stationed in Rota, Spain and Washington, D.C.

Following military service I returned to school at ASU where I studied music for three years and earned my living teaching guitar and 5-string banjo and playing in night clubs around the Phoenix area. I took another three-year break and learned the typesetting/printing trade (the proverbial “something to fall back on”) before returning to ASU in 1980 to pursue a degree in Computer Information Systems through the college of business which I completed in 1982.

In 1985 I moved to Prescott and started my own business as a computer consultant. I met Candace while singing in the church choir and despite the somewhat intimidating fact that she has three children from a previous marriage we began dating and were married in August of 1986. Our children are all grown now so we are empty nesters. Rebecca is an attorney with the Arizona Attorney General’s office. Melissa is the associate pastor at First United Methodist Church in Phoenix. She is married to Rob and they have two boys, Colby and Zachary. Katie is a clinical psychologist serving in the Navy. She is stationed at the same base I was stationed in Rota, Spain. She is married to Robbie and they have two girls, Keira and Amy.

Following our marriage, I took a job at Del Webb, Inc. in Sun City West as a programmer/analyst and we moved back to Phoenix in 1987. About this same time, God began calling both Candace and me to the ordained ministry. We struggled with this call for some time because we were buying a home and raising a family. Then, in 1989, God began to nudge a little harder and we found ourselves pulling up stakes and moving to Claremont, California where we both enrolled in the Claremont School of Theology Master of Divinity program.

During our seminary years I served as the Minister of Membership for First Congregational Church of Los Angeles and Candace served as Director of Christian Education and Youth Ministries at the Claremont United Methodist Church. I completed seminary in 1993 and was appointed to continue at First Congregational Church while Candace finished her seminary courses.

When Candace graduated in 1995 we were both appointed to the Verde Valley where I served as pastor of Camp Verde UMC and Candace served as pastor of Haven UMC in Jerome. Candace also served as the Verde Valley Youth Coordinator, overseeing the youth ministry for all three Verde Valley United Methodist churches — Camp Verde, Cottonwood and Jerome. Candace has planted two United Methodist churches and has served for the last seven years as the North District Superintendent.

In 1999 I was appointed to The Fountains UMC in Fountain Hills, Arizona where I led them through a successful property search/acquisition process and building project for their new sanctuary building. In 2004 I wrote and published the book What Jesus Really Taught and Why We Don’t Believe it. The book may be purchased through In July of 2006 I was appointed as Senior Pastor of Trinity UMC in Las Vegas, Nevada. At the same time Candace and I began the studying for the Doctor of Ministry degree through the Drew University Theological School. We completed our doctoral degrees in 2009.

I am very excited to begin serving with you at Christ Church on July 1 and look forward to a long and fruitful ministry together.