Learning to overcome adversity with the power of community

Upon first meeting Greg Clarke, you might assume he is just one of those people to whom life comes easily, based on his easy laugh and encouraging attitude. But, there’s a hard-fought victory behind that positivity. After an early life scarred by death, alcoholism, and more, what is it that makes Greg a person who is now so clearly characterized by joy?

From his earliest memories, Greg’s life was steeped in struggle. After losing his mom to cancer at two years old, and then shortly after losing his older brother, his father turned to alcohol to cope. Greg wound up taking care of himself most of the time, creating an intense independent streak.

He first found an escape to the challenges in life in sports with lots of baseball, running, and cycling. It carried him through the death of his father, into his marriage and up to expecting his first child. When the pregnancy became difficult and his daughter’s life seemed to be in jeopardy, Greg knew he needed something more.

“I would come to church and I made a deal with God. ‘If you allow this child to come into this world, I promise to raise her up to know you.’”


Greg’s daughter was born healthy and he held to his word, going to church with her each week. After a while, things started to crumble again upon learning his wife wanted a divorce.

He found his normal coping strategies weren’t enough and he needed the support of others to make it through. He joined a divorce recovery group, met mentors who studied the Bible and knew God well, and started serving and following Jesus with others who encouraged him and his daughter. He eventually met Liz who became his wife three years later.

In 2014, when Greg suddenly lost his high level government job, he found a new calling with Up and Running Again. This non-profit ministry works with homeless residents of Rescue Missions around the country to train them to run a half marathon and equip them with tools for lifelong success.

Today, Greg is the Executive Director of Up and Running Again, using his past pain to help others and invite them to experience the power of Jesus’ love together in community.

“Jesus has shown me over and over that I can lean on Him… He will provide in times when I think I’m the one who has to make it happen.”


To learn more about Up and Running Again, and stories of the difference the program is making, visit