District Superintendent Dr. Mark S. Eckart, 60, of Paoli, Indiana, passed away Sunday, February 27, 2022. He was a beloved church leader, pastor, educator and author.

He was born to Bobby and Ella (Dorton) Eckart on May 4, 1961, in Corydon, Indiana. On September 1, 1984, he married Deborah (Jones) Eckart, his partner in life and ministry.

The Wesleyan Church received the gift of Dr. Eckart’s leadership through pastoral ministry and 19 years of dedicated service as district superintendent for the Indiana South District.

“Mark was a respected leader who faithfully loved God and others. Debbie and Mark had a wonderful Sunday together, including her accompanying Mark as he preached at one of the district churches, and then conversations and prayer times as husband and wife. As a registered nurse, she was involved in assisting him immediately, and she, along with others, provided care during his brief transition to his heavenly home,” shares General Superintendent Wayne Schmidt. “His gentle smile and sensitivity to the Spirit will be deeply missed. I know many of us benefited personally from his prayer partnership and warm fellowship.”

“Dr. Mark Eckart was a godly leader, a trusted friend and a valued colleague. I am grateful to God for the opportunity I had to serve alongside Dr. Eckart here in Indiana for the past seven years. He’s leaving a legacy of faithful and effective ministry,” said Dr. Mark Gorveatte, Crossroads District superintendent.

Dr. Eckart valued Christian education. His educational pursuits centered around ministerial service, earning a bachelor’s degree in Christian education and Bible theology, a master’s in religious education, a Master of Divinity and a doctorate in ministry. Dr. Eckart’s work in higher education led him to invest in others through 30 years of higher education instruction, serving as God’s Bible School’s vice president, and Indiana Wesleyan University board of trustees and committee member for 18 years. He also authored five books to help and inspire spiritual growth in others.

Indiana Wesleyan University President Dr. David Wright states, “Dr. Eckart was the best kind of ambassador for the way of holiness. Mark ministered from a deep love for Christ and a heart of compassion for others. He was steadfast in his commitments to Biblical truth and winsome in how he lived out those commitments. Mark also was a friend to Wesleyan higher education, having served as a faithful and highly engaged trustee and adjunct faculty member at Indiana Wesleyan University for almost two decades.  Dr. Eckart was a constant source of wise counsel and dedicated prayer.”

He is survived by his wife, Deborah; children, Josh (Nichole) Eckart, Krystal (Austin) Dailey and Brooklyn (John) Sonuga; grandson, Maverick Dailey; siblings, Deborah (Dale) Stuart, Rachel (John) Stuart, Keith Eckart, James (Debbie) Eckart and John (Joy) Eckart; aunt, Bonnie Brown; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

The Wesleyan Church is grateful for Dr. Eckart’s influence and faithful service.

Rev. Angela Alvarado is the assistant editor of Communication and Administration of The Wesleyan Church and a graduate of Wesley Seminary, Marion, Indiana.