Mark Carlsson loves to be outdoors fishing, hiking, or picking mushrooms in the forest. He also enjoys reading, traveling, drumming, skiing, and sampling ethnic foods. Plus he’s a Blackhawks fan! Mark was born in California, but at age 18 months, he and his family relocated to live in his father’s homeland in Sweden, raised speaking both English and Swedish. At age 14, the family returned to the United States to live in Ohio.
Through high school and college, Mark developed a desire to share the good news of Jesus, and that desire continued to grow. He was extensively involved in outreach, discipleship, leadership, and spiritual formation. He began to consider a vocation in ministry, and this was confirmed through ministry fruitfulness and affirmation from his peers and leaders.
Upon completing his bachelor’s degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, Mark moved to Illinois to work with Cru, a campus ministry at Northwestern University. Mark was then led to complete his Master of Divinity at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. While in seminary, Mark was blessed to meet his future wife Christie at their home church in Evanston.
After they were married, Mark and Christie were commissioned by their church to serve as missionaries at a sister church in Sweden.
Pastor Mark has 25 years of ministry experience, including Senior Pastor of Bethlehem Church in the heart of Stockholm, Sweden. This congregation is part of the Swedish Evangelical Mission, an independent movement within the Church of Sweden, which is equivalent to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
After 16 fruitful years in Sweden, Mark and his wife Christie, and their sons Axel and David, sensed God’s call to return to the Chicagoland area for a new season of ministry. In 2019, Mark was called to Good Shepherd to serve as Senior Pastor.