Baptist minister, the Reverend Doctor Mark Tronson, after illness and health complications, passed away on July 4, 2022.
The much-loved husband to Delma (“Pop” to his family), father of 4 children, Grandfather to 6.
He was a man of faith, devoting his life to Christian ministry.
Highlights of his life and ministry are awe inspiring.
He pioneered the Sports and Leisure Ministry in 1982. During his 18-year tenure there, he appointed 150 chaplains to Australia’s professional sports. In 1984 he became Australian Cricket team Chaplain- a post he held for 17 years. He continued with a role after his retirement assisting ex-players in establishing “Life After Cricket.” Also in 1984, Kevan Gosper (IOC member since 1977) endorsed the foundation of Olympic Games ministry. In 2000, Tronson was invited to the IOC Lausanne, Switzerland, to assist in the development of an Olympic Villages Religious Services protocol.
In 2000 due to ill health, the Heads of Churches released Tronson from the Sports and Leisure Ministry, establishing a new venture - ‘Well-Being Australia’. He continued to network with athletes, especially Australian cricketers and developed respite facilities for athletes and those in ministry: Basil Sellers Moruya, Basil Sellers Tweed and Basil Sellers Laguna Quays (Whitsundays).
In 2005, Tronson was voted as one of Australia’s 25 most influential Evangelicals by the national evangelical newspaper “New Life”.
Olympian of the Century Carl Lewis presented Mark Tronson and his wife Delma, ‘Gold Medals’ in February 2009 in Dallas, Texas, for their 27 years of sports and Olympic Ministry.
Press Service International as an entity was established by Mark in 2005 when the founder and sole operator of Australia's Religious Media (which distributed Christian news) Ramon Williams retired.
In 2008 “Christian Today Australia” approached Mark to become a daily columnist, and he became their “Theological Adviser”, because of his recognised reputation in Christian media. Mark often commented on the quality of this relationship and partnership with Christian Today
Press Service International then established the Young Writers’ Program in 2008 aiming to provide Christian young adults with a unique opportunity to develop and express their views through comment writing.
In late 2009 young Sport writers and in 2010, young Comment writers were incorporated, and at the suggestion of Mark’s mentor Mr Basil Sellers, this developed into a more formal approach, with an annual conference and award ceremony.
With the support of Mr Basil Sellers and under the leadership of Mark, the program flourished to include writers from Australia, New Zealand and all over the world. There are some 80-100 people now involved in this incredible ministry of writing. Today the program is led by a team of writers overseeing the weekly publication of articles, the development of the program, and annual conferences.
In 2019, Press Service International was awarded the Australasian Religious Press Associations premier award – “The Gutenberg.”
It is clear to see Mark’s distinct fingerprint and heartbeat over so many programs and ministries over his time here with us. It reflects his heart and passion, his attention to detail, his love for relationship and desire for Jesus to be spread to the world.
Mark had vision, big ideas, a big heart and big personality. He was passionate and determined. His passing is a deep and immeasurable loss to all who had the privilege of knowing him.
Russell Modlin is in his 30th year as a Secondary English and Physical Education Teacher. He has taught in Mackay, Brisbane, Alice Springs and currently on the Sunshine Coast. He is married to Belinda (26 years) and they have three sons- 2 have finished High School, 1 to go!
Russell Modlin’s archive of previous article can be found atwww.pressserviceinternational.org/russell-modlin.html