Pastor Mark Bitter became the pastor of Mt. Olive in February of 2012. Before coming to Mt. Olive Pastor Mark served for 20 years at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in The Woodlands, TX. In 1990 the mission board in Texas called him to explore the possibility of planting a WELS congregation in The Woodlands. The Lord blessed that work with his grace and power and the initial nucleus of people has grown into a thriving, growing congregation.
During those years Pastor Mark also served in various positions in the church on a district and national level. For 16 years he served as a vice president of the South Central District of the WELS, and for 11 years he served as the chairman of the WELS Commission on Worship and on the WELS Board for Parish Services. In his community he served as president of the board of directors of The Woodlands Symphony Orchestra for 7 years.
Prior to that Pastor Mark served the Lord in the following ministries:
From 1985-1990 - as the Dean of Students of Northwestern Preparatory School in Watertown, WI
From 1982-1985 - as pastor of Crown of Life Lutheran Church, New Orleans, LA
From 1980-1982 - as associate pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, South Milwaukee, WI
From 1978-1980 - as assistant to the Dean of Students of Northwestern Preparatory School in Watertown, WI
Pastor Mark graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, WI with a Master of Divinity degree in 1978. His training equipped him to be able to work fluently in New Testament Greek and Old Testament Hebrew. He is the published author of a book and numerous Bible studies, plus a musical composer of Christian worship resources.
In 1980 Mark and his wife, Betsy, were married in Battle Creek, MI. Betsy is the Administrator of Social Services at the Claremore Veterans Center in Claremore, OK. The Lord has blessed them with three children: Kristin of Houston, TX, Sgt. Peter (US Army) and his wife, Lauren, of Rice Lake, WI, and Brooke of Austin, TX. Mark and Betsy have one grandchild, Jason, a 4-year-old who a year ago left the sea turtles on the shores of his birthplace, Hawaii, and traded them in for ice and snow in Rice Lake, WI.