Trinity Lutheran issued a call to Pastor Girardin in mid-2006, after being without a Senior Pastor for over a year. He and his family moved to Centralia in August of that year, arriving in time for the community’s annual Balloon Fest.
Pastor Girardin’s Installation Service, in early September, was held before a packed sanctuary of worshippers, eager to see and hear the man God had sent to lead them during the coming years. His biography is printed below.
Pastor Mark Girardin was born on November 6, 1951, to Sidney E. and Arlene (Mundt) Girardin of Detroit, Michigan. He became a part of the Body of Christ through Holy Baptism at Our Savior Lutheran Church, then East Detroit. He attended elementary school and was confirmed at Peace Lutheran Church, Detroit, Michigan. From there he attended Brownell Junior High School for 9th Grade in Grosse Pointe Farms, and graduated from Grosse Pointe South High School in 1969.
After high school Pastor Mark entered The Citadel (the Military College of South Carolina) in Charleston, South Carolina. he graduated from The Citadel in 1973, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, specializing in Colonial American History. Upon graduation he was commissioned an Ensign in the United States Navy and was assigned to the Naval Air Training Command located in Pensacola, Florida. He was released from active duty to attend Concordia Theological Seminary, Springfield, Illinois.
While at the seminary Pastor Girardin met his wife, Janie (McPherson), and they were married in 1975. In 1976 he went on a delayed vicarage to St. Paul Lutheran Church, Madison, Wisconsin. Upon completion of his vicarage, He returned to the seminary, now in in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to complete his studies. He graduated in July, 1977, with a Master of Divinity degree (specialty in Historical Theology).
Pastor Girardin was ordained into the ministry of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod in July, 1977, and received his first call to Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Greenville, Illinois. He served that parish from 1977-1979, when he received a call by the Armed Forces Commission of the LCMS to become a Navy Chaplain on active duty.
His initial training was at the Basic Chaplain’s School, Naval Education and Training Command, Newport, Rhode Island. Upon completion of that course he was given orders to the Second Force Service Support Group, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. While with 2nd FSSG he was assigned as the Battalion Chaplain to the 2nd Landing Support Battalion, 2nd Force Recon Company, 2nd Combat Intelligence Company; 2nd Radio Battalion and the Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Warfare School.
In 1982, Chaplain Girardin received orders to the Second Marine Division, also stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. While there he served as the Battalion Chaplain to the Second Battalion, Eighth Marine Regiment. During that two year period of duty, Pastor Mark was deployed with his unit and was the first chaplain to land in Beirut, Lebanon with his Marine unit – BLT 2/8. Upon completion of that tour of duty he was sent to Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois, where he was assigned as a Battalion Chaplain to the Recruit Training Command. He also served as the Chaplain to the Apprentice Training Division of RTC, Great Lakes.
While stationed at Great Lakes, Illinois; Pastor Mark received a call from Redeemer Lutheran Church, Waukegan, Illinois to become their pastor. He served that parish along with other parishes – Risen Savior Lutheran Church, Indian Creek, Illinois; Immanuel Lutheran Church and School (Honey Creek), Jefferson City, Missouri, and Zion Lutheran Church and School, Harbor Beach, Michigan. While in Michigan he received a call to be the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church, School and Pre-school/Daycare, Centralia, Illinois. He has served in that capacity since August, 2006.
In the capacity of Senior Pastor, he is responsible for the overall administrative running of the congregation’s ministries along with regular preaching, teaching, adult and youth confirmation classes, counseling, and visitations.
Pastor Mark has also served the Church as a member of the Southern Illinois District Stewardship Committee, Circuit Counselor (Northern Illinois District), Christian Education Committee (Missouri District), and now serves on the Southern Illinois District Africa Mission Task Force (LCMS).
He and his wife Janie have been blessed with two sons – Philip and Patrick.