Pastors and missionaries who have gone on to glory
View RSS Feed


  • May24Wed

    BOLENDER, Rev. Mark

    May 24, 2023

    BOLENDER, Rev. Mark (Ordained Minister)

    January 21, 1949 – May 19, 2023

    After a courageous twelve-year journey with Parkinson's Disease, Gordon Mark Bolender victoriously entered the presence of Jesus on Friday, May 19, 2023. He leaves to cherish his memory his high-school sweetheart and loving wife Karen to whom he was married for 51 years, and his beloved son Jesse Mark Bolender of Medicine Hat, of whom he was very proud. Mark is also survived by his brother David Bolender, (Jackie) of Lasalle, Ontario, his sister Merla Bolender, (Gregory Nigh) of Calgary, Alberta, his brother-in-law Ron Filsinger, (Maggie Heeney) of Kitchener, Ontario, as well as loving nieces and nephews and their families. He was predeceased by his parents, Gordon and Doris Bolender who were missionaries in Nigeria, where Mark was born, and spent the first ten years of his life. 

    Upon returning from Nigeria, the Bolender family settled in Kitchener, Ontario. As a young man, he began to sense the call of God on his life to become a pastor, and he attended Emmanuel Bible College in Kitchener Ontario, graduating in 1972. Mark and Karen will always be grateful for the privilege of growing up in a loving church family at Bethany Evangelical Missionary Church in Kitchener, Ontario, and for the privilege of pastoring Lincoln Heights EMC with Dr. Thomas E. Dow in Waterloo Ontario, Banfield Memorial EMC with Dr. Alfred Reese in Willowdale Ontario, Country Hills EMC in Kitchener, Ontario and the Hillcrest EMC in Medicine Hat, Alberta. The prayer support and the friendships from these congregations have lasted until today. Mark served in various denominational roles and committees and was elected President of the Evangelical Missionary Church of Canada in 1997, and he served until 2002. His travels took him to visit churches in Mexico, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Quebec, Spain, Portugal and Nigeria. After 42 years, he retired from full-time ministry in 2014, and was honored to be named "Pastor Emeritus" of Hillcrest Church. 

    Mark has been placed in the capable care of the Pattison Funeral Home and Crematorium, to be returned to ashes with dignity, and then subsequently, his ashes will be interred at Hillside Cemetery, Medicine Hat, Alberta. Arrangements are underway for a service that will remember the faithfulness of God throughout his life, and celebrate his life in the presence of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. For service details see as they are posted.

    In lieu of flowers, donations in Mark's memory may be directed to the Evangelical Missionary Church of Canada through or a charity of your choice. 

    The EMCC family express our thanks to God for Pastor Mark’s ministry and legacy to so many. Well done, good and faithful servant.