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Mark Bouffard

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I began ministering at The Central Baptist Church of Pawling as a guest preacher in the spring of 1996. That summer I became the interim pastor, and in the fall was made permanent. My family and I moved to Pawling in January of 1997, and we love it here. 

A graduate of Houghton College with a Religion major, I spent nine years as a Jr High/High School Bible teacher at Tabernacle Christian Academy in Pouhgkeepsie and Harmony Christian School in Middletown prior to serving in Pawling. My wife Fran and I have been married for 22 years and we have three teenage sons.

Growing up not far from Pawling in Litchfield County, CT, my earliest spiritual influences began within my own family. My dad is a retired church planter and two of my brothers are pastors. During my 18 years of ministry in Pawling, I have been most strongly influenced by the writings of Larry Crabb on the topic of spiritual formation, Dallas Willard on what it means to follow Jesus Christ (discipleship), and Eugene Peterson regarding pastoral ministry. Books by Philip Yancey and Frederick Buechner also hold a prominent place on my shelves. I consider myself a Christian who happens to pastor a Baptist Church. Recently I have begun to learn more about the Anabaptist tradition and find a strong appeal in this stream of Christianity.

I am grateful to be part of a church family that is increasingly embracing our identity as an organism (the body of Christ) more than an organization (the institutional church). We are growing in the understanding that the church is not the building, the Sunday morning service, or the roster of ministries. The church is the people of God sharing life in Christ together as a witness to those who have not yet found a relationship with him.

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