Passing The Baton
When Mark and Barb Dean, fresh out of Bible School, accepted the position as youth pastors under Pastor Clarence and Vicky St. John up in Hibbing, MN, little did they know the ways God would knit their families together in life and ministry. They have been working together ever since.
Mark was born in Fergus Falls, MN and his family later moved to the Duluth area where he grew up in a pastor’s home. While attending college at North Central Bible College (now North Central University), he felt a distinct call to ministry during a Sunday night service at Summit Avenue Assemblies of God in Saint Paul. It was also at North Central that he met his wife, Barb Shields, a Michigan native and the first of her family to come to Christ. In 1979 they graduated, got married, and jumped into full-time ministry as youth pastors with the St. Johns on the Iron Range.
After ten years of ministry together at First AG in Hibbing, Clarence was elected as Superintendent and asked Mark to continue the journey with him as the District Youth Director. Mark and Barb have led Minnesota Student Ministries faithfully since 1989. During that time they oversaw consistent increase in attendance at events like Youth Convention and
Youth Camps. They developed a strong leadership team that helped take Youth Alive, Chi Alpha, and AIM into new levels of influence both locally and nationally. They championed missions and guided Minnesota to become the first District to break the $1 million mark in Speed the Light Giving. But more than anything, they inspired generations of students to follow Christ and pursue His calling on their lives.
The Minnesota District has been blessed by the pioneering leadership of Pastor Clarence and Vicky St. John. The scope of their ministry influence may never be fully realized on this side of eternity. Now, twenty-eight years later, they have passed the baton on to their friends of 38 years. On April 27, 2017 Mark Dean was voted in as the seventh Superintendent of the Minnesota District Council of the Assemblies of God.
Much like his predecessor, Mark is known as a man of prayer, integrity, and steadfast character. He leads through example and empowers those around him. The Minnesota District is grateful for Pastor St. John’s visionary leadership over the years. We look forward to what’s in store for the quality Christian leaders and healthy faith communities of Minnesota.