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Ohio Pastor Who Died in Fire Trying to Save Sons Remembered as ‘Incredible’ Preacher, Leader, and Friend

Ohio pastor Mark Robinette and two of his sons died in a fire on January 23 at their home. Robinette reportedly was attempting to save his two sons from the inferno. The 55-year-old father was the founding pastor of Foundation Church in Mount Sterling.

The pastor’s funeral was announced by Porter-Tidd Funeral Home. Below is pastor Mark Robinette’s obituary as made available by the funeral home.

Mark Allen Robinette
October 22, 1968 — January 23, 2024

Mark Allen Robinette, age 55, of Orient, Ohio, died tragically in a house fire along with his two sons, Gideon, and Liam, on Tuesday, January 23, 2024.

Mark is survived by his wife Andrea Robinette (Trapani) of twenty-seven years, his children Nathanael Robinette, Elizabeth Robinette, Benjamin Robinette, Rebekah Robinette, Anna Robinette, and Valiant Robinette, father Walter Robinette, brother Paul Robinett, sister Ann Sturgis (Jason), mother-in-law Hilda Trapani, brother-in law Geoffrey Trapani (Julie), sister-in-law Julia Rose (Hugh), and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his mother Ellen Robinette, father-in-law Robert Trapani, and brothers-in law Nathan Trapani and David Trapani.

He was the founding pastor of Foundation Church, where he was an incredible preacher, caregiver, counselor, leader, and friend.

He had memorized many books of the Bible, and tried to follow all it said. He was a faithful servant of God, and loved his Lord with a zealous passion. It was this desire to please the Lord Jesus that drove him to be the goal-oriented, self-sacrificing, exuberant man that he was. He spent his life striving to live out the “Great Commission,” and the true religion of loving the widows, fatherless, and strangers. He gave to the poor, the hurting, and became like a father to many.

Anyone who knew Mark, knew how much he adored his wife, who was his best friend and co-laborer. They worked joyously together to help the hurting, and spread the Gospel. He adored his children, and often bragged about the people they had become. He was a man that many people loved. He never met a stranger. With his friendly smile, and easy demeanor, he made friends everywhere. He had many talents and accomplishments. He was an AP award-winning writer, and was just about to publish his second book. He, along with his family, began Foundations of Grace Publishing.

He sang beautifully, and enthusiastically. He loved telling stories about the amazing things that had happened in his life, and the lives of others.
He had a deep love for missions work. He began Mission to Myanmar to raise money for those in need in Burma. He became a friend and brother with Pastor Naing Thang, who he wrote his first book about, and who introduced him to the Chin people of Myanmar. He grew to love his Chin brothers, during his many travels there, and later the many Chin refugees in the United States. He began to study their history, which is what he wanted to preserve and share with others, through his books and by starting the Chin Heritage Foundation.

Mark was a bold, brave man, who died as he had lived, by enduring difficult things to try to make a way of escape for others, even if it cost him all he had.

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Faithfully Magazine is a fresh, bold and exciting news and culture publication that covers issues, conversations and events impacting Christian communities of color.


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