My Story

My name is Mark van Straaten and here is a little more about me

My story is a story of privilege.

Christine and I have been married for 40 years and are still very much in love.
Jessica, my oldest daughter is married to Tom. Their children, Will and Luke, live 5 minutes from us. (With their parents of course!)
My middle daughter, Shani, is married to Big Will. They live in Cape Town.
While Nicola, my youngest, is finishing off her Master’s degree in Berlin, Germany.

This explains my privilege.

 My parents have passed away, and they loved my brother and I all their lives.

So, this will further explain the source of my privilege.

 My privilege goes further as I discovered faith in Jesus as a boy and felt a call to the ministry. 

Serving with a youth team for three years laid a foundation to my Christian service.
After Bible College, Christine and I started a church in the beautiful town of Empangeni, South Africa.
After living there for 10 years, we started Grace Family Church in Durban, South Africa where we served for the past 27 years.

 Today I am fulfilling a new overseeing role at Grace Family Church. This new role gives me a further privilege; encouraging us all in becoming more human.


More info about me

This is Christine, my lovely wife

The Whole Family

The whole family

Career Overview

Studied at Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas, Texas.

Founded and led the Empangeni Christian Centre from 1982-1992.

Founded and Currently Co-Senior Pastor of Grace Family Church from 1992 to the present.

Other Stuff about me

I surf as much as I can.

I ride a BMW1200 GSA adventure motor bike. Christine often rides with me as the pillion passenger. She loves riding.

I am not crazy about movies, but I love stand-up comedy.

I follow most sports, especially Sharks Rugby, Proteas Cricket and Stoke City Football. I keep an eye on the Dallas Cowboys.