About us

Meet our Staff & Leadership

Our Pastor

Rev. Mark Forbes

Born and raised in Gastonia, NC, Mark knows Gaston County well. He is a native of over 50 years and has experienced all the many changes to the county during that time. Mark graduated from Hunter Huss High School in 1990, and Appalachian State University in 1994. After college, Mark married his high school sweetheart, Betsy (Hodges) and they have two children, Wilson, and Katy-Barnes. Wilson is a senior at Gaston Christian. Katy-Barnes is married to David Hunter and they have two children AJ and June.

After graduating from Appalachian, Mark returned home and began his career in the family lumber business and construction industry. With almost 20 years of experience in both residential and commercial building, in 2009 Mark sensed that God was calling him into vocational ministry. In 2012, he began seminary at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in Charlotte where he graduated 6 years later.

Mark has his roots in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. As a childhood member of Pisgah ARP and most recently an elder at First ARP Gastonia, he felt called to serve in the ARP denomination. In 2021, with the support of Outreach North America, First Presbytery and First ARP Gastonia, Mark began exploring opportunities to plant a new church in Gaston County. Mission status was granted in 2022 to Living Hope Church of Belmont. Mark is an ordained minister of the gospel and became the church planter/mission developer, and the first pastor for Living Hope Church of Belmont.

Mark’s passions in ministry are preaching God’s Word and shepherding the congregation along with missions, outreach and evangelism. In his spare time, Mark enjoys spending time with his family, especially where water is involved. Beach and lake vacations in the summer are his favorite. He enjoys fishing, golfing, swimming and just being on a boat.

Mark’s wife Betsy serves as the Ministry Coordinator for LHC.

Our Leadership

Elder (Treasurer)

Matt Adams


Vincent Cherry


Dr. Artie Cooper


Tim Daniels


Bill Sevy