Guest Speaker, Rev. Mark Valadez speaking on the topic “C.H.O.I.C.E.S.” from Luke 9:23-26.
Mark was born in Upland and lived in Ontario until he was 13 years of age. His family moved to the Arroyo Grande in the Pismo Beach area, where he was part of the Pismo Beach New Life Church of the Nazarene.
He met his wife Becky in high school. Their pastor, Rev. Larry Pitcher, married them in 1981, after which they moved to Colorado Springs to attend the Nazarene Bible College.
Mark and Becky have been youth pastors at Las Cruces, NM and Pismo Beach New Life twice (’85-’88 & ’95-’99) and senior pastors in Ojai. They currently pastor the Nipomo New Beginnings Community Church that they planted in 2002.
Mark and Becky have two children, Joziah “Joey” and Alizabeth “Ali.” Mark also received his doctorate in Biblical Studies through Hebrew University.
Mark’s roots run deep in the Inland Empire. His dad, Raul “Rudy” Valadez was born and raised in Upland and was a football and track star at Chaffey High School, graduating in 1950.
His mother, Freddie graduated from Chaffey as well, in 1954. Mark’s parents were married at the Ontario Church of the Nazarene in 1954. His dad, Rudy was principal at Cucamonga Elementary School from ’67-’73.
The property where St. Joseph’s Catholic Church now sits used to be the Valadez Camp, owned by Mark’s great grandfather Emilio Valadez. “Papa” Emilio donated the land to the Catholic Church in the early 1940’s.
One other interesting fact is that Mark’s grandfather, Jose “Pepe” Valadez, was the first Mexican-American police officer on the Upland police force and he later owned La Paloma Market on Archibald Ave.