About Mark


Mark’s Story

Mark Parker is a lifelong Baltimorean, originally from South Baltimore, who has been raising his family and serving as a public leader in Highlandtown since 2009. He serves as pastor of Breath of God Lutheran Church, in which capacity he has helped to transform the congregation and the community.

Through Mark’s leadership, the congregation developed The Highlandtown Preschool, a high-quality early childhood education program serving up to fifty-six students, with a particular emphasis on serving low-income and non-English-speaking families.

Following an arson fire in 2020, Mark led efforts to support the recovery and re-housing of the impacted families, while then forming the Clinton Street Community Center to acquire and renovate the fire-damaged and vacant properties to expand the preschool and providing housing for refugee families.

Over the course of the pandemic, Mark built partnerships with city and state agencies, accessed public and private sector resources, and mobilized hundreds of volunteers to feed children and families across East and Southeast Baltimore (along with vaccinations, testing, cash assistance, and referrals to eviction prevention programs).

Mark has worked in close partnership with our city and state elected officials, nonprofit organizations, business owners, community associations, schools, and government agencies to address local challenges and opportunities, and to make sustainable progress toward community transformation. He has been particularly engaged on matters pertaining to family success and opportunity, including housing, early childhood education, public schools, immigration, refugee resettlement, public transportation, youth employment, community development, and recreation.

Mark has served on several boards and commissions, including the Southeast Community Development Corporation, the Hispanic Commission for the City of Baltimore, the Exchange Club of Highlandtown & Canton, and the Highlandtown Community Association.

He has advocated for our community with the General Assembly, City Council, the Planning Commission, the Board of Municipal Zoning & Appeals, and the Liquor Board. He has worked in close partnership with our local schools, Friends of Patterson Park, Banner Neighborhoods, the Creative Alliance, CASA de Maryland, Comité Latino, the Julie Community Center, and the Esperanza Center. He participated in the Patterson Park Master Plan process, and the Baltimore Highlands Master Plan process.

To further strengthen his capacity to lead effectively within our community, Mark recently completed a Master of Nonprofit Management through the University of Baltimore. During those studies, Mark was able to learn from effective organizations such as Blue Water Baltimore and the Parks & People Foundation, and to dive deep into policy matters such as the 21st Century Schools program and our wastewater/stormwater/treated water consent decree.

Mark is a dedicated and responsive public servant, with a breadth of experience across the district and a record of substantive accomplishments that demonstrate his capacity to organize people, partners, and resources to support the well-being and development of our families and communities.