The Clarks to Michigan

Hey there faith family! Tristan here...

God has done so much in us as individuals and as a family over the last seven years. He has grown our family in our numbers, He has grown us in our faith, and He has grown us in our potential to impact this world for the glory of Christ!

One opportunity God has provided us with is the opportunity to embark in church planting work. About three years ago, as part of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Revive This Nation Program, I was afforded the opportunity to preach revival services in the little town of Gwinn, MI. While there, I was approached about the possibility of planting a church in Marquette, the “big city” about 30 minutes outside of Gwinn.

Located right off the coast of Lake Superior, Marquette is the largest city in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Marquette is a bustling city of more than 22,000 permanent residents, and over 9,000 college students.

Its Winters are long and hard.

Though there are tens of thousands of people in Marquette, there is relatively little in the way of authentic, Gospel centered community in the area, and little, faithful preaching of God’s Word. Like so much of America, secularism holds sway over the majority of the culture.

To our knowledge, no SBC churches exist in Marquette proper. At one point in time, there was a Southern Baptist Church plant in Marquette, but unfortunately that church died. Still, a faithful remnant remained, gathering for Bible study and prayer, and beseeching God to send a church planter or family to the area to begin a fresh work. We believe that God is sending us in answer to those prayers.

For the Last three years, we have wrestled with God in prayer about our family’s future. We have long wanted to serve Him and those around us, and we knew that we were called to missionary work. Since, first being introduced to the faithful few in Marquette, and since first seeing the great need that exists there for faithful preaching and Christian service, I’ve carried a burden for the city. Over the last few years God has continued to grow me into the man He has called me to be, and, just this year, he gave my sweet wife Jodi the same peace and excitement that He had given me that our family’s immediate future is in Marquette.

So we are leaving Ft. Worth, TX. We are leaving people and places that we have come to know and love, and we are stepping out in faith into the great unknown, trusting that God will prove Himself faithful to care for us and to bless the preaching of His Word.

This GoFundMe page exists in part to tell you our story, and it exists to provide those of you who believe in God’s call on our family and our mission an opportunity to partner with us in this great work. We need your prayers, and we welcome your support. In the event you do wish to donate financially to this cause, please know: You are buying us time. 

A man’s primary responsibility is to care for his family. As we seek to make disciples, we will be taking all the opportunities we can to meet people. This includes mommy-groups, home-school networks, Brazilian Ju-Jutsu, an on campus presence, and bi-vocational work for the man of the family. I intend to work, at least part time, in order to alleviate the financial burdens the new church will face, as well as to engage the community; however, I will work as much as needed to make sure we have food on the table and a roof over our heads. That could mean 20 hours a week or 40. That being the case, the degree to which we are supported by fellow believers will directly impact the amount of time/freedom we have to spend on intentional discipleship and evangelism. So, when you give to our cause, you are not buying us things. You are purchasing time for us to engage people with the gospel.

At the end of the day, we trust God to provide, but we remain convinced that one of the ways He blesses Christians is through the loving acts of fellow believers.

Please know we are thankful for you regardless of whether you can give financially towards our cause.

Please pray for us.

We are going!

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Tristan Andrew Clark 
Marquette, MI
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