The Rev. Mark E. Erson, Pastor
The Rev. Mark E. Erson is the 9th pastor to serve St. John’s since its founding in 1855. He is both a cradle Lutheran and native New Yorker, having been born on Staten Island while his father was serving as pastor of Messiah Lutheran Church.
His road to ordination has been long and filled with a variety of experiences. After graduation from Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN, he worked as Director of National Teams for Lutheran Youth Encounter (now known as Encounter). Next stop was serving as Assistant to the Pastor at St. Luke, Devon PA. While there he earned a Masters of Art in Theatre at Villanova, University and combined his interest in theology and theatre and began writing and producing plays and musicals with the willing and supportive members of St. Luke. After a three year stint of working in the New York theatre scene as an actor, he moved to Los Angeles and began teaching theatre arts at Van Nuys High School for the Performing Arts. From there he moved to The Brentwood School before returning home to New York City.
The wrestling with the Spirit around his call to ordained ministry flared up in new ways until he finally said YES and entered The General Theological Seminary (NYC) in 2005. He did additional studies at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. Upon graduation in 2008, he began serving Redeemer Lutheran Church, Queens Village, New York as a resident intern. He was ordained on April 24, 2009 and served as pastor until July 31, 2011. He immediately began serving St. John’s on August 1, 2011.
He is married to his high school sweetheart Scott Jordan.