Mark & Debbie Christopher has been church-planting in South Africa for almost eight years and is currently heading up the Church Ministries Institute in Cape Town as well as pastoring a newly formed church.

Christopher pic 2024

Mark has been church-planting in South Africa since 1995 and is currently in Cape Town where he is heading up the Berean Bible Institute (BBI) as well as assisting with leadership at Everglen Church.  Mark continues to work toward his PhD as part of the process to gain full accreditation for BBI.  BBI has up to 20 students currently, 6 taking courses for credit and the remainder auditing courses to better prepare themselves for serving in the church.  At Everglen church, Mark is responsible for leadership development, mentoring young men in preparation for becoming deacons and elders.  One of these young men, Cameron, recently preached his first sermon and did a good job.  Mark will begin a new leadership training series with 5 young men at Everglen early in 2023.  In addition, Mark periodically provides pulpit supply at Everglen and 4 other churches near Cape Town, and speaks at conferences like the "Biblical World View" conference in Johannesburg which took place in October.  Mark has been invited back to speak at next year's conference which will focus on Creation.

God introduced Himself to Mark through the U.S. Air Force. Mark enlisted at the age of 18, searching for personal satisfaction.

The Air Force didn’t provide that, but one day while waiting for a flight to a new assignment, Mark began a conversation with someone reading a Bible, asking him if he believed what he read.

Like Philip with the Ethiopian on the road to Gaza in Acts 8, this new friend explained the truth of God’s Word, the content of the gospel, and the impact that it could have on Mark.

Confronted with owning his sinfulness, Mark embraced God’s grace and was saved. The new friend discipled Mark and brought him to church where Mark grew under the ministry of the pastor. When he completed his service in the Air Force, Mark enrolled in Spurgeon Baptist Bible College in Florida to pursue full-time ministry.

Debbie was born in Rhodesia, which is now Zimbabwe. During a class in religious instruction at a public elementary school, Debbie heard a presentation of the gospel. The teacher challenged the class with the fact of sin and encouraged each to surrender his or her life to Christ. Debbie invited Christ into her life.

Two years later, due to the threat of civil war, Debbie’s family moved to South Africa. There they found a good church, and Debbie grew in the Lord during her teen years.

Spurgeon Baptist Bible College in Florida was also Debbie’s choice for college. God drew Mark and Debbie together as a couple and began to lead them towards full-time ministry. They were married in 1987 at Debbie’s home church in Newcastle, South Africa, and Mark was invited to be an associate pastor there. There God solidified the call to South Africa in their hearts.

In 1995, Mark and Debbie began their church planting ministry in Cape Town, assisting a veteran missionary couple. Working together, their church grew from 70 to 120 members, and church leadership was developed. 

In 2001, Mark and Debbie started Living Hope Bible Church in Cape Town. What began with five people and a weekly Bible study has developed into a church of over 70 people and is pastored by Denver Solomon, a local South African.