Mark was blessed to be raised in a Christian home, the youngest son of Rev. A. Alan Travers, pastor of First Baptist Church in Duxbury, Massachusetts, who also served as a missionary with Trans World Radio. As an eight year old boy, while listening to an evangelist on the car radio, Mark responded to God's grace, knelt to pray on the floor of the back seat of the family auto and was led to Christ by his mother, Phyllis. He grew up with a heart tender toward the things of the Lord and decided to study Christian Education at Wheaton College to seek God's direction for a life of ministry.
While furthering his studies in Educational Ministries at Wheaton Graduate School , Mark met Darby Lucas, who was completing her degree in Intracultural Communications. Within months, Mark and Darby were engaged, and they married in August 1985. They began their life together in Birmingham , Alabama, where Mark taught the Bible at Briarwood Christian School and served as youth minister in a local church. During this time he had many other opportunities to minister as a coach, director of a church day camp ministry, Sunday school teacher, and guest speaker at various events.
After two decades of ministry directed mostly toward young people, recognizing that God works strategically and intentionally through families, Mark began to sense that the Biblical messages God had put on his heart were not just for youth, but for the entire family and specifically for fathers. Feeling compelled by the Lord to redirect his focus toward the restoration and renewal of the family, Mark and Darby stepped out in faith and launched Turning Hearts Ministries in 2004.
The Lord has graciously blessed Mark and Darby with six children: Evan, Graham, Christopher, Michael, Beth Anne, and John Luke.