Bishop Lawrence was born in Bakersfield, California, on March 19, 1950. A fifth generation Californian he was educated at California State University, Bakersfield (BA, 1976) and Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry (M. Div. 1980). He has also received honorary degrees from Nashotah House (D.D. 2008) and Sewanee (D.D. 2009). He has ministered in a wide variety of parish settings from suburban church plant, rural mission, inner city church, to downtown parish in California and Pennsylvania. These include Holy Family, Fresno, CA; Saint Mark’s, Shafter, California (1981-1984); Saint Stephen’s, McKeesport, Pennsylvania (1984-1997) where he also established on Mon Valley Tri-Church Ministry taking two smaller congregations under a multi-staff network; and Saint Paul’s, Bakersfield, California (1997-2007). Known for being a dedicated pastor-teacher, Mark also served, among many other capacities, Commission on Ministry, the Standing Committee, and the Board of Examining Chaplains, and Rural Dean. He also served as a deputy to the TEC General Conventions of 2003 and 2006. He has published articles on devotional and ecclesial concerns in various periodicals. Bishop Lawrence has also been an invited participant to GAFCON 2008-Jerusalem and GAFCON 2013-Nairobi. In addition, he has been an invited observer at all of the most recent Global South gatherings internationally.
Mark has been married to Allison Kathleen Taylor since 1973. They have five children: Chad, an Anglican priest and headmaster in Beaufort, SC, married to Wendy, they have four children; eldest daughter Adelia, married to Stephen Matson who is planting an Anglican congregation in Southern California and parents of three children; middle daughter, Emily, married to Jacob Jefferis, parents of three children and expecting their fourth, live in Grove City, PA; Joseph, ordained priest, serving at Trinity Anglican Church, Bakersfield, CA, married to Joette, they have three children; and Chelsea, married to Jason Hamshaw, a Priest Associate at Old St. Andrew’s,Charleston, SC. They have three boys.
Mark enjoys reading on various subjects, particularly literature, biography, and history; out-of- door activities such as hiking, backpacking, canoeing, fishing, and jogging.