Mark Rusinko

Living in Niagara Falls, New York while I was growing up, I attended a Russian Orthodox church where my father was the choir director and reader, and I was an altar boy for many years. I grew up believing that I had to be good and obedient to what the church told me so that hopefully I might earn my way into heaven. Even though I spent many hours each week at church, I never heard the Gospel because it was never preached. 

I met my late wife, Paula, as a freshman at Penn State and she was the first person to talk to me about a personal relationship with Jesus. While I resisted this idea at first, the more we talked about it, the more interested I became. I eventually accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior the summer before my sophomore year at a revival service that I went to with one of my good friends back home. I shared this news with Paula when I returned to school and our relationship grew in the Lord through the remainder of college and grad school. We were married in a PCA church in Butler, PA and then had our only child, Leah. While there, I studied about reformed theology and was eventually ordained as a Deacon at Westminster Presbyterian church in Butler. 

We moved to Delaware in 1988 for a new job opportunity and because we wanted Leah to go to a Christian school (Wilmington Christian School). We became members of Evangelical Presbyterian Church and attended there until we started coming to Cornerstone back in the late 1990’s. Paula and I were married for over 38 years until she went home to be with the Lord after a nearly 20-year battle with breast cancer. Her loss was very difficult for me, but I was always encouraged by my faith, knowing that she is now in the presence of her Lord in Heaven.

After her passing, I was encouraged to start attending a men’s bible study in which I am still active. I also enjoyed having the time to become more involved with activities at Cornerstone. Miraculously, later that year, I felt an unmistakable leading from God to begin a relationship with Jan Keen, a friend at Cornerstone and a member of our small group. God brought us together and we united in marriage in front of Cornerstone’s congregation in June of 2019.  

The rest of my story is too long for this bio, but throughout my life, God has been working in mighty ways to shape me into the man I am now. It took many trials, hard times and deep losses, but God was always there to take care of me and my family. Looking back, I can now see how God had a plan for me, even before I had come to know Him. Whenever I think about how my life has unfolded, I am always amazed at just how great our Lord is.