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Christian Union

Ithaca, New York

Marcus Buckley

Ministry Director

Beginning his career in ministry as a church pianist while in college, Marcus took a position as lead pastor the year after his graduation from Stetson University. For nearly 30 years he has pastored churches in Florida and South Carolina while also serving as a police chaplain. During this time, Marcus completed his Master of Divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and earned his Doctor of Ministry from North Greenville University. In addition to pastoring and preaching in a broad variety of contexts, he has also hosted Christian talk radio programs, taught college classes, contributed numerous articles to a variety of publications, and has authored two novels with a third forthcoming.
Marcus began as Ministry Director in February 2023, along with his wife, Lea Ann, who serves as the CU Vita Administration/Ministry Associate. They have three children, Emma, Victoria, and Brandon, and four dogs. In his free time, Marcus enjoys tinkering with anything and everything related to automobiles.

Liz Thomforde

Ministry Fellow

Liz19Liz earned her BA in Geology from The College of Wooster, where she was an All-American diver, and she earned a Masters degree in Secondary Science Education from The University of Virginia.  She worked as a middle school science teacher for six years before taking time off to be at home with her children.  

Liz is married to Jim. They have two children, JT and Ella.  In her free time, Liz enjoys the outdoors, hiking, cooking, dance, music, reading, and watching JT and Ella play golf and lacrosse.  Liz has always been active with the ministry at Cornell, and in 2016 she joined the Christian Union staff.

Lea Ann Buckley

Administration / Ministry Associate

Growing up in a pastor's home, Lea Ann was involved in ministry from an early age. She spent 20 years in the banking and medical professions before joining her husband, Marcus, on staff at Oasis Church, in Ormond Beach, Florida as the Administrator and Ministry Coordinator for nearly 7 years.
Lea Ann joined Christian Union in February 2023. She and Marcus, who is the Ministry Director for CU Vita, have three children--Emma, Victoria, and Brandon--and four dogs. In her spare time, Lea Ann enjoys gardening, exercise, outdoor activities, and is an HGTV aficionado.