Mark Starner

Founder & CEO, Operations

Growing up, my family didn’t have much. My dad was a police officer and my mom stayed home with four kids. Becoming a pro football player was my dream as a young boy, and I think our struggles as a family were part of my inspiration … I could become rich and famous at the same time. In high school, I became a star quarterback and thought I was on my way to making that dream come true. Soon after graduating though, my interest turned to making money, chasing women, and doing drugs. At 28 my lifestyle finally took its toll; I was broke, drug addicted, and living on the floor of a construction office with my clothes in trash bags. There were times I would shower only once a week.

Mark Starner

Founder & CEO, Operations

Growing up, my family didn’t have much. My dad was a police officer and my mom stayed home with four kids. Becoming a pro football player was my dream as a young boy, and I think our struggles as a family were part of my inspiration … I could become rich and famous at the same time. In high school, I became a star quarterback and thought I was on my way to making that dream come true. Soon after graduating though, my interest turned to making money, chasing women, and doing drugs. At 28 my lifestyle finally took its toll; I was broke, drug addicted, and living on the floor of a construction office with my clothes in trash bags. There were times I would shower only once a week.

In July of 1994 this lost man, walked into a bookstore in Bethesda, Maryland in search of a Bible. Not knowing what Bible to choose, I began to spin around the carousel of Bibles on display. After a couple turns one Particular Bible caught my attention. It said, Words of Christ in Red Letters. I said out loud to my fianceé that day, “That’s what I need, I need to know when Jesus is talking.” Growing up Catholic, I knew who Jesus was but I didn’t know I could have a personal relationship with him through his word. That’s what I needed so desperately in my life, but never knew it was available to me. That is certainly my passion today; to make Jesus known. The words of Jesus are everything to me and from the moment I read the book of Matthew, God began to perform spiritual surgery on my heart and mind. Jesus’ words transformed my life and delivered me from so much sin in my life. In 1996 I married my fianceé, and God has blessed us with five beautiful children.

From the moment I bought that Bible in 1994, I felt this calling from God to be out in the streets for him. I believed God wanted me to advertise for him, but I didn’t know what that really meant or how to go about doing it. So I began passing out cards for free bibles, and the gospel of John tracks at Metro stops all over Washington DC. Between 1995-2000, I got off at different stations every morning before work to hand out thousands of them from the top of escalators. I loved the action of the big city where I had many encounters over the years; those were some of the best times of my life! In 2010, after reading the encounter of the Samaritan woman for the hundredth time, I came across John 4:14 where Jesus says, Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life. “That’s it!” I said. “I have been drinking his words all these years and that’s what I have been trying to communicate to others… that the words of Jesus can take away our thirst for the world and satisfy our thirst with him.” The marketplace ministry DRINK414 was born. I remember designing the logo to fit perfectly on a billboard so someone could remember it driving past at 70 mph. DRINK414 is a parable, an earthly saying with a spiritual meaning. We will be Guerrilla marketing in various ways all over the USA. Will you join us?

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