The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.
~ William James
Legacy of Leadership
Love Akron was established in 1995 by Pastor Mark Ford, Pastor Knute Larson & Rev. Dr. Ron Fowler. The first event was a prayer meeting, hoping it would grow into a city-wide prayer movement, and has since been successful. With the retirement of its founding leader in April 2019, Love Akron hired Executive Director Kemp Boyd, who is committed to empowering others to make Greater Akron thrive. This means that we want to listen together and learn together so that we can lead together as a city and not as separate organizations.
With the help of our new Executive Director, Love Akron will continue to thrive and build collaborative relationships in the Greater Akron area while calling the city to transition from being a Noun to a Verb.
Rev. Mark Ford
Faithful Leader 1994 to 2019
When Pastor Mark Ford first visited Akron, he thought it was the “armpit of the state.”
That perspective changed, however, after Ford moved to Akron and lived in the area for more than two decades. He helped form the Love Akron organization, which aims to bring together pastors and support the city. Along the way, he became, by many accounts, Akron’s biggest cheerleader.
“I really love this city,” Ford said in a recent interview, getting teary. “I planned to die here. I wanted my tombstone to read, ‘Mark loved Jesus — and loved Akron.’ ”