Greatness of Our God
Mark D. Hyskell - wrote the lyrics for the CD "The Greatness Of Our God" Mark was born in Kansas City, Missouri on September, 15, 1954 to parents Joseph and Dixie Hyskell. Though his very early years in life were lived without a spiritual focus, God had a master plan. Through the touch of God in a Billy Graham Crusade in the late 1950's, Mark's father was saved and called to serve the Lord in ministry. There was a radical change in the family's focus and now Christ became the center. Mark was now in church every Sunday and heard the preaching of the gospel of Christ consistently. He went forward as a boy of 6 as he heard the passionate plea to pray and receive Christ. He prayed the sinner's prayer with the pastor and was later baptized. He then tried to live the way he believed that Christians should live through those early years and on into High School at Penney High in Hamilton, Missouri. After moving with his family to Fort Collins, Colorado after high school graduation, he met Gretchen Fink at the Baptist Student Union at Colorado State University. They began to date and go on tour with the BSU touring choir and fell in love and were married on July 13, 1973. Now as a young adult searching for his real meaning in life, he began to be troubled spiritually and was searching to find a solution. Finally, though he had prayed the sinner's prayer at the age of 6, he realized at the age of 19 that he had never been changed on the inside and made a new creation in Christ. He had tried to live as he thought a Christian should live, but it was all external. At the age of 19 the Holy Spirit of God revealed this convicting truth and he surrendered his life completely to Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. He was gloriously changed on the inside and God began the long process of conforming him into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. Having been involved in church all his life as the son of a pastor, God had been preparing him in the crucible of real ministry. By the time he was 20, God had given him a passionate desire to be in ministry. It became the sole desire of his life to be all that God wanted him to be as a minister. It was a burning desire within his soul and he realized that any other direction in life would be pathetic by comparison. It was at that time, March 2, 1975 that Mark was licensed to preach at Bellevue Baptist Church in Bellevue, Colorado where his Father was pastor. Mark and his wife Gretchen were blessed with the birth of their daughter Mary in 1977 and the birth of their son David in 1979. Mark began doing Music and Youth Ministry in those following years as he began his career in ministry. He was on staff at numerous churches through the years as Music and Youth Minister, Interim Pastor, Youth Minister, Associate Pastor and then Senior Pastor beginning in 1991. He was ordained during his ministry as Associate Pastor at First Baptist Church of Callahan, Florida with his friend and Pastor Lynn Hyatt. Through those early years in ministry Mark earned a B. A. degree in Biblical Studies in 1984 from Luther Rice Bible College, a M. A. degree in Ministry in 1986 from Luther Rice Seminary, and has done most of the work on his M. Div. At Criswell College in Dallas, Texas and also Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas, Texas. Mark has pastored 4 Southern Baptist Churches in Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri. During the recent years in Oklahoma Mark and Gretchen have rejoiced in the marriage of their son David to April Organ in 2007 and the marriage of their daughter Mary to Todd Bauer in 2008. All 4 of their kids are some of the greatest blessings in their lives. God called Mark to his current ministry assignment as Senior Pastor of Sharon Baptist Church in Chickasha, Oklahoma in April of 2006. There he met Craig Stuke; Sharon's outstanding Music Minister and began a great ministry together. They began to realize after a short period of time that God had given both of them a passion to work on writing and recording songs together. Mark began to diligently spend time writing lyrics as God burdened his heart through the emotional heartbreaks in people's lives and the incredible touch of God in healing and restoration. They joined their hearts together in the studio each week to create the music that would express that message and then Craig would spend untold hours refining and polishing the songs to their final completion. They are now continuing that ministry with their first full CD of original songs, "The Greatness Of Our God". Their prayer is that these songs will be a great encouragement through the heartbreak and storms in your life and draw you ever closer to the wonderful love of God. To Bring honor and Glory to "The Greatness Of Our God" Pastor Mark D. Hyskell Craig Stuke - wrote and performed the music for the CD 'The Greatness of Our God'. Craig Stuke is a singer/songwriter 'worship leader' from Oklahoma. He is currently the music minister / worship leader at Sharon Baptist Church in Chickasha, Oklahoma. On his journey as a Christian, he has been a youth pastor, choir director, pastored two Churches and spent three years in full time evangelism with his wife Sue. Presently a worship leader and evangelist, Craig is not only involved in leading music in worship, but uses music as a ministry tool in the lives of other musicians, giving them a place to use their talents and gifts, and helps them develop further in whatever instrument they play. Craig played 'by ear' for years, but at the age of twenty seven, moved his wife and two children three hundred miles from their home in Minneapolis, to Maranatha Baptist Bible College, near Madison Wisconsin. For the next five years he studyed music and Bible. He graduated in 1983. Now, with a greater understanding of the language of music, he is able to write music and do things he always wanted to do in music, but did not know how to do. He now helps others to continue to grow in their understanding and performance of music. Music, on so many levels is a hard thing. It is obvious to those that know Craig that he is following the path God has laid before him. He is doing what God made him to do. Having found that 'purpose' in his life, he is able to put up with all the dificulties in music - the dedication and discipline it takes to practice - the embarrassment of failure - the criticism and discouragement we many times get from others - the character to continue on - the humbleness to see that in our service to God, it's not about me, but all about Jesus Christ and Him being glorified in our lives. God could surely get along without Craig, but Craig knows that Jesus wants to use his life to bring glory to Himself and reveal the mighty power and love of God to others. That is what the songs in this project are about - the greatness of our God. It was a great year writing with his Pastor, Mark Hyskell. They had a tremendous time together creating, and laboring over the lyrics and music. They give God the glory for these songs, and are grateful for His presence in the studio as they met together for that year.