08 Jun Mark Rodriguez
Mark is the Executive Pastor at Calvary Fellowship. Prior to serving at the Church, Mark owned and operated a successful advertising company. He was also the lead singer of a Christian band for six years, with whom he recorded three albums and played with some of the top Christian bands in the nation.
In 2002, Mark took a leap of faith and walked away from his business and band to follow God’s plan for his life and joined Calvary. According to him, this was one of the hardest things he’s ever done; however, he’s never been happier. Mark is married to his beautiful high school sweetheart, Leilani (who he met in Hialeah), and is the proud father of three amazing kids: Kaleb, Joshua and Stella.
Hialeah native, Lucy Lopez from Power 96, says this about Mark Rodriguez: “My immediate thought when I first met Pastor Mark was, ‘Wow, this guy makes scripture cool and his vibe is chill” You can’t fake the funk.’” #Fact
That’s So Hialeah
What is your favorite Hialeah memory?
As a kid I couldn’t wait for the Hialeah Spring Festival every year at Hialeah Park or, like our parents called it, “El Hipodromo.”
Also, since my father was a hair stylist and a makeup artist, I got to hang out with Willy Chirino, Oscar De Leon, and all the other 80’s freestyle artist that would perform at the fair.
What is your favorite place to order cafecito or restaurant in Hialeah?
EL Batidito on 29th Street. My dad would take me there when I was kid after T-Ball. Now, I love going back there with my kids.
I remember the first time I went there with my daughter Stella and she asked me, “Papi what’s wrong with that man?” She was referring to the owner, Andres, who yells out the orders in his super deep scratchy voice (i.e. “¡Dame un batido de papya!”).
What’s the first thing you do when you visit Hialeah?
I used to love driving home from school and begging my dad to buy me Mani Caliente. “Mani… Mani… que rica las mariquitas!” on West 4th and West 49th street.
What’s your favorite Hialeah saying?
¡Le zumba el mango!
What do you love most about Hialeah?
I love that I have a childhood memory at every corner. It’s where I met my wife, where I went to school, where I got my first Star Wars toy: Play world.
I remember chasing El Viandero cause my abuelo would say “Marquito, necesito un Aji Verde y Frijoles.”
I also have fond memories at: Chicos, Morro Castle, Mango Hill, JFK Library, The Immaculate Fair, Milander Park, Carvel.