Dr. Mark Blanford grew up in a missionary family in Thailand. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Rice University and spent 35 years practicing geomechanics research and analysis. Recently he has become pastor of the Thai Baptist Church of Houston and is studying for a Master of Divinity at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also teaches Physical Science for Southwestern as an adjunct professor.
Mark and Charlotte Blanford each grew up as missionary kids overseas: Mark's parents had a pastoral ministry with Chinese people in Thailand while Charlotte's were medical missionaries in Nigeria. The two met in Houston when Charlotte was a nursing student and Mark was pursuing a PhD in engineering, doing ministry together in church and on campus through the Baptist Student Union.
Following graduation they moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico where they continued church ministry together and Mark began his engineering career at Sandia National Laboratories. After eleven years of lay leadership ministry, Mark was ordained as a minister and served fourteen years as a bi-vocational Minister of Music and Education in a small Baptist church. Confirming the call of God in their lives, their church commissioned Mark and Charlotte to move to Thailand and serve the Christian Prison Ministry Foundation as long-term volunteers with the Southern Baptist International Mission Board.
After six years on the mission field, the Lord led Mark and Charlotte back to Houston where their son and daughter-in-law live. The Oil & Gas industry provides Mark with engineering work while Charlotte invests in their five grandchildren and serves as a ministry leader with Bible Study Fellowship. The two also share pastoral ministry at Houston's Thai Baptist Church and a teaching ministry at Jersey Village Baptist Church.