Our Senior Pastor is Rev. Mark Mrini (‘Pastor Mark’). Our Associate Pastors are Rev. Abi Foerster (‘Pastor Abi’) who serves as the Associate Pastor for Children’s Ministry and Connect with New People; and Rev. Drew VanDyke Colby (‘Pastor Drew’) who serves as the Associate Pastor for Youth and Outreach.
Rev. Mark Mrini, Senior Pastor
Pastor Mark was born and raised in the northernmost neighborhood of New York City. His childhood pastimes included playing in the woods (yes, there are woods there), basketball, stickball, and touch football on a dead-end street. He graduated from Binghamton University (Binghamton, N.Y.) in 1994 with a B.A. in Philosophy and Psychology, Columbia University (New York, N.Y.) in 1996 with an M.A. in Education, and Wesley Theological Seminary (Washington, D.C.) in 2003 with a Master of Divinity degree.
During his seminary years, Mark served as the Youth Minister for Trinity United Methodist in McLean and as the Seminarian for Cherrydale United Methodist in Arlington. From 2003-2007, he was appointed as the Associate Pastor of Washington Street United Methodist in Alexandria. In 2007, he was appointed as the Pastor of Del Ray United Methodist in Alexandria, where he served until coming to St. Stephen’s in 2015. Mark believes that we really start living when we really start living with God, and he has devoted his ministry to helping people (including himself) make this life-changing connection.
Mark and Audra have been married since 1996 and have two sons as well as two cats. Audra is a pastoral counselor with the Center for Pastoral Counseling of Virginia. Mark’s hobbies include reading, walking, and yes, he still plays basketball. A few ‘fun facts” about Pastor Mark:
Phone: 703-978-8724 Ext: 104
Hometown: New York, NY
First Job: Usher for Symphony Space, a NYC theater.
Favorite Scripture: I Corinthians 13
Favorite Vacation Spot: Carolina Beach, NC
Favorite Food: Thai
Favorite Team: Binghamton Bearcats
Favorite Music: 70’s singer/songwriter
Favorite Movie/TV: A Beautiful Mind
Rev. Abi Foerster, Associate Pastor for Children’s Ministry and Connect with New People
Pastor Abi was raised in a Christian home in Arlington, attending an Episcopal Church as she grew up. She graduated in 1990 with a B.A. in history from the University of Virginia. In 1993, she felt called to become an ordained minister through the United Methodist Church. She served Christ United Methodist Church in Fairfax Station during its early years while she attended Wesley Seminary, graduating with her Master of Divinity degree in 1998, at which point she became the full-time associate pastor for Christ UMC. In July 2000, she was appointed to serve as the Alexandria District Program Coordinator, where she served until July 2003. From 2003 until 2010, she served as the senior pastor of Arlington UMC, a multi-staff, multi-ethnic congregation. In 2010, she was granted family leave of absence to care for her husband and daughter who were then both facing medical challenges. She has also served part-time as the Minister for Children during the launch phase of the new church plant The Vine UMC in Dunn Loring. In July 2013, she reentered full-time itinerant ministry with her appointment to St. Stephen’s. She brings a wealth of experience across a range of fields, including crisis counselor, church planter, co-founder of the Jeremiah Project and Phoenix Rising, program developer and children’s minister. In May of 2015, she completed a Master’s of Education at George Mason in early childhood education, curriculum and instruction for diverse young learners.
Phone: 703-978-8724 Ext: 103
Hometown: Arlington, VA
First Job: Candy Striper at Arlington Hospital (non paid), Snack Bar Attendant at Chesterbrook Swim Club
Favorite Scripture: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. –Jeremiah 29:11
Favorite Vacation Spot: New England
Favorite Foods: Sushi, Guacamole and Chips
Favorite Team: George Mason, UVA
Favorite Music: Gospel
Favorite Movie/TV: Breakfast at Tiffany’s / Mad Men
Rev. Drew VanDyke Colby, Associate Pastor for Youth and Outreach
Pastor Drew is enjoying his second year as a full time pastor. At St. Stephen’s he works with the youth ministry, young adult ministry, and the outreach ministries. He has a passion for preaching, teaching, music, and the practical implications for life as a disciple of Christ. Drew collects two things: vinyl records and musical instruments. He and his wife went to William and Mary together and have been married since May of 2012. They became parents to their beautiful daughter, Hannah, in July 2014. Drew earned a Masters degree in vocal performance before earning a Masters of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC.
Phone: 703-978-8724 Ext: 105
Hometown: Richmond, VA
First Job: Food Service: BBQ Slinger
Favorite Scripture: Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself. – Phillipians 2:5-7a
Favorite Vacation Spot: On a mountain with my wife in Autumn
Favorite Food: Sandwiches… all of them.
Favorite Team: Richmond Flying Squirrels
Favorite Music: Bela Fleck and the Flecktones
Favorite Movie/TV: Braveheart, Mrs. Doubtfire, The Mission