EAST Kilbrides newest minister is a former jailbird and heroin addict.
The Reverend Mark Lowey makes no bones about it.
But the 40-year-old father-of-two is now proud to admit finding Jesus transformed his life.
Last week, Ayrshire-born Mark was ordained and inducted as minister of East Kilbrides South Parish Church at a special service led by the moderator of Hamilton Presbytery.
This was followed by a social evening where he got the chance to meet his new congregation.
And on Sunday he was preached in to his first charge.
He told the News he is looking forward to the challenge of leading a congregation and hopes his background will help him show that, with Gods help and the support of good friends anything is possible.
For from a misspent youth where Mark frankly admitted I didnt fall in with a bad crowd I was the bad crowd through the rock bottom of heroin addiction and prison, he climbed his way back to self respect.
He gained a post which saw him helping others escape from a similar life of despair and crime, picked up an education along the way and in 2010 gained his Bachelor of Divinity degree from Edinburgh University with honours.
For the 16 months prior to coming to East Kilbride he served as an assistant at Palmerston Place Church in Edinburgh.
Among the many attending the special services last Tuesday and on Sunday were former jailbirds and drug addicts good friends Mark met along his way to salvation.
Turn to page ? for the full story of how he got there