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Our Pastor

Reverend Mark I. Salvacion is the Pastor of St. Luke UMC, having been appointed to serve in July 2022.  Previously, Pastor Mark served as Pastor of Historic St. George’s UMC in Old City Philadelphia, one of the oldest Methodist churches in America, where he was under appointment from 2017 to 2022. Prior to entering the ministry in 2016, Pastor Mark was a practicing corporate attorney for over 26 years, representing such clients as The Vanguard Funds, PNC Bank, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, and the Prudential Insurance Company of America.  Pastor Mark is also a certified arbitrator with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), where he helps resolves disputes in the financial services industry.

Pastor Mark has been engaged in advocacy for immigrants, political asylum seekers, and persons in ICE detention for many years.  In 2018, Pastor Mark founded Justice For Our Neighbors of the Delaware Valley (JFON-DV), a non-profit organization committed to providing low-cost and pro bono legal services to immigrants and asylum seekers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. 

Pastor Mark served as the Executive Director and Managing Counsel of JFON-DV from 2018 until June 2022. In this capacity, Pastor Mark filed legal briefs and petitions, argued cases in federal and administrative courts, and challenged governmental policies that deprive citizens and immigrants their constitutional rights.  For his work on behalf of the Greater Philadelphia immigrant community, Pastor Mark was awarded the “Valor in Pursuit of Justice” Award by PRIME Ecumenical Commitment to Refugees in December 2018. Pastor Mark is also the recipient of the following awards:

  • The 2019 Henry L. Lambdin Prize for Excellence in Pastoral Ministry, awarded by Drew Theological School

  • The 2018 Henry G. Appenzeller Award for Excellence in United Methodist history and polity studies, awarded by Drew Theological School

  • A 2016-2019 United Methodist Initiative Scholarship, which is a full-tuition seminary scholarship awarded by the United Methodist Church to those showing promise to be outstanding United Methodist clergypersons

  • The 2017 Delaplaine McDaniel Fellowship, awarded for outstanding academic accomplishment and promise for ministry, awarded by Drew University

  • The 2016 Saatman Memorial Fellowship, awarded for outstanding promise in ministry to United Methodist students located in Philadelphia, awarded by Frankford United Methodist Church
     

Pastor Mark graduated from Drew Theological School in 2021 with a Masters of Divinity degree.  He graduated from Northeastern University School of Law in 1991 with a Juris Doctor degree, and graduated from Bucknell University in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy. Pastor Mark has been a featured speaker on immigration and sanctuary topics at forums sponsored by First United Methodist Church of Germantown, the Seventh Day Adventist Church of Philadelphia, the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, and local bar associations.

Pastor Mark lives in Bryn Mawr, PA with his wife Frances and dog Sydney.  Pastor Mark’s daughter, Maya Ruth Salvacion, graduated from Skidmore College in 2021.  Pastor Mark’s hobbies include playing golf, playing piano, guitar and clarinet, and studying the works of the 20th century philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein.

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