Pastor Mark & Lori Gittens
Mark and Lori Gittens planted Higher Hope after seeing a great disconnect between the church and the lost. Mark's parents, and a woman named Eleanor Parish, were major inspirations in the development of his spiritual life. Mark confesses that he had very little idea of the life changing adventure that planting Higher Hope would create. He was raised in the Plymouth Brethren, where the Word of God was taught with great depth. To this day, he thanks God for the spiritual discipleship he received there. He loves wearing his jeans every Sunday and he loves when people say that he doesn’t act like a “Pastor”. Mark has no man-made Bible degrees to boast of, but when he opens the Word of God, you can tell that God has placed a supernatural gift on his life. His messages reach to the soul of each hearer. Mark is all about empowering the saints to be what God says they are.
Lori was also raised in the Plymouth Brethren and accepted the Lord at an early age. An only child who was born and raised in a small, rural town in Pennsylvania, at age thirteen, her family moved to a suburb of Pittsburgh. This was a pivot time in her life, leading her on a path of searching for acceptance throughout her teen years. At the age of eighteen, through a mutual friend, she met Mark. The next five years were the beginning of their story, and they married in September 1995. In June 1998, they planted Higher Hope. It was during the early years of ministry that she encountered God's love and presence in a very real and powerful way. It has inspired her, despite some hard times, to never give up and to never stop loving, sharing, and smiling.
Mark and Lori have been happily married for 25 years and have 7 children, 2 granddaughters, and more god kids than they can count. They continue to be humbled daily by God's grace, and the work of the gospel in their own lives. Lookin back at all God has done, they would not change a thing. Moving forward, they continue to trust in an unchanging and faithful God.
Tatyana has attended h2church since she was five years old. She always felt a call to ministry. After high school, God found her broken and reminded her of the vision He gave her for her life when she was a child. He led her back home, placing a mission to aid in his revival of the City of Sunbury through, not only higher hope, but a ministry for women called Women of Virtue, where the mission is “to inspire, and aid women to walk in their divine God-given purpose. Tatyana says she is trusting in God full-heartedly in this new life He has granted her. She is truly excited to see God move in this city.
Pastor Reuben is currently serving and sharing the good news of the gospel in Kenya.
Elder Carlos Vasquez and his wife Miriam