Pastor Mark Schabert
I was born and raised in in Minnesota and was the oldest of four children. Since I was raised in a strong Roman Catholic family, I went to a Catholic school, was an altar boy, sang in the choir and never missed church. I grew up thinking I knew God, but I really had an incorrect understanding of who He was and how someone was saved. I went to a state college and received a degree in Accounting. By the time I graduated, my so-called faith was something close to agnostic. I was very worldly and on my way to Hell.
Through mutual friends, I met Erika, the woman who would eventually be my wife. Erika was saved and began to ask me questions about my beliefs in God. My response was that I believed in a higher power… Thankfully Erika did not give up on me as we had many difficult conversations about how one is saved. I was very confused as I was trying to apply Catholic definitions to Biblical words like, “grace”, “justification” and “faith”. After several times of explaining to me and showing me what the Bible says about salvation, I was able to understand the Biblical definitions for these words. I recognized my lost state, repented of my sins and believed upon the Lord Jesus Christ (see Gospel explained here). I was saved in February 2001. Erika and I were married in October 2001.
Since Erika had a New Evangelical background, we started to attend these types of churches. I also became involved in an ecumenical Bible study at work. Both of these things opened my eyes to the vast amount of confusion in Christendom. I went to the internet searching for answers. After providentially coming across a Baptist on-line ministry, I began to learn the Biblical importance of properly discerning and applying doctrine, which included the need to be in a Bible-believing church. Shortly thereafter we began attending an independent, Bible-believing, Baptist church in Minnesota and became members. During our faithful membership there, I began to become convicted of my need to become better grounded in the Scriptures and began seeking the LORD’s will for me to become a member of a church with formal Bible training.
Shortly thereafter, the LORD opened many doors for us to move to Connecticut so I could attend a seminary under the exclusive authority of a Baptist church in 2007. In 2009, the LORD led my family and five other families out of that church to plant another church. Here, I continued as a church member and seminary student while serving faithfully with my family. In 2014, I began to have the desire to be a pastor. After seeking the LORD’s will, spending much time in prayer and discerning various open doors, it became clear that that a new work was needed in the area. In 2015, the LORD sent me and my family out to form Victory Baptist Church.
The LORD has blessed me with a godly wife and 7 wonderful children. My prayer is that the LORD would continue to use me and my family to serve Him and to reach those in our area for Him. To God be the glory!