A photo of Mark S Cerullo

Mark S Cerullo 1957 - 1993

Mark Stephen Cerullo was born on January 1, 1957 in Newburgh, Orange County, New York 12550, United States, and died at age 36 years old on September 16, 1993 in San Diego, San Diego County, California United States. Mark Cerullo was buried at El Camino Memorial Park in San Diego, San Diego County, California 92121, United States.
Mark Stephen Cerullo
Mark Steven Cerullo
January 1, 1957
Newburgh, Orange County, New York, 12550, United States
September 16, 1993
San Diego, San Diego County, California, United States
Looking for someone else
This page exists for YOU
and everyone who remembers Mark.
Share what you know,
even ask what you wish you knew.
Invite others to do the same,
but don't worry if you can't...
Someone, somewhere will find this page,
and we'll notify you when they do.

Mark Stephen Cerullo's History: 1957 - 1993

Uncover new discoveries and connections today by sharing about people & moments from yesterday.
  • Introduction

    Mark Stephen Cerullo was born on January 1st, 1957, in Newburgh, New York, to Morris Cerullo (1931 - 2020) and Theresa LePari (1931 - 2022). Morris was a well-known televangelist, originally from New Jersey, while Theresa was born in New York. Mark had two older siblings: a sister named Susan and a brother named David. For more information about Mark's father, Morris, see Morris' obituary at Morris Cerullo — 1931-2020. On January 22, 1977, Mark Cerullo married Dena M Sutera in San Diego, California. They had two daughters and one son together. In 1990, Mark made headlines when he faced charges of attempting to shoplift an air-conditioning unit from a Home Depot store in San Diego, California. He had previously faced a burglary conviction for taking merchandise from a Nordstrom's store. For further information about Mark's legal cases, see Trial Set for Son of Evangelist Cerullo and PTL owner's son pleads guilty to grand theft. It seems as though Mark had a drug addiction problem since the judge in the Home Depot case said that Mark could satisfy part of his jail time by entering in a court-approved drug rehabilitation program. He later died at the age of 36 years old in San Diego, California.
  • 01/1


    January 1, 1957
    Newburgh, Orange County, New York 12550, United States
  • Ethnicity & Family History

    Mark was Caucasian, of German and Italian heritage on his paternal line. His great-grandfather, Joseph Cerullo, was born in Naples, Italy and his paternal grandmother, Bertha, was born in Germany. He was also of Italian heritage on his maternal line. His maternal grandfather, Salvatore LePari, was born in Corleone, Italy and his maternal great-grandfather, Anthony Gianciola, was also born in Italy.
  • Nationality & Locations

    Born in Newburgh, New York, Mark later lived in Southern California, where he married. He died in San Diego, California at the young age of 36 and is buried in El Camino Memorial Park in San Diego, San Diego County, California.
  • Early Life & Education

    Mark attended La Jolla High School in La Jolla, California.
  • Personal Life & Family

    Born to second generation Italian-Americans Morris and Theresa Cerullo, Mark Stephen Cerullo was born in Newburgh, New York. His father, Morris, was a well-known televangelist and his mother, Theresa, worked alongside his father. Mark had two older siblings, Susan and David, who as adults, worked for their father. Mark Cerullo married Dena M. Sutera on January 22, 1977 in San Diego, California. They had three children: two daughters and one son. Mark had been arrested twice for burglary/shoplifting, once at a Nordstrom's department store and once at a Home Depot in Southern California. He was convicted on both counts and was sentenced to drug rehabilitation as a part of his detention.
  • 09/16


    September 16, 1993
    Death date
    Cause of death
    San Diego, San Diego County, California United States
    Death location
  • Gravesite & Burial

    Funeral date
    El Camino Memorial Park in San Diego, San Diego County, California 92121, United States
    Burial location
  • share

4 Memories, Stories & Photos about Mark

PTL owner's son pleads guilty to grand theft
SAN DIEGO - The son of new PTL retreat owner Morris Cerullo pleaded guilty Wednesday to grand theft for trying to take an air conditioner from a home improvement store. Mark Stephnen Cerullo, 33, of San Diego, entered the plea at a hearing that had been scheduled to set a date for his retrial. A jury acquitted him December 10 of a burglary charge stemming from the same incident. The panel deadlocked 9 - 3 for acquittal on the grand theft charge.

Superior Court Judge Jesus Rodriguez scheduled sentencing for January 18 and approved a plea agreement that requires Cerullo to enroll in a court-approved drug rehabilitation program. If he participates in such a program, Rodriguez said he would credit Cerullo with 67 days he spent in custody and place him on probation. Otherwise, he faces up to three years in state prison.

Cerullo, who remains free on $4,000 bond, already was on probation from a February 1989 burglary conviction involving a Nordstrom's store. He was posing as a Home Depot employee when police arrested him July 29 as he was pushing a shopping cart containing a $479 air conditioner out of the warehouse-type store near the San Diego Sports Arena.

- Times-Advocate (Escondido , California) Sunday, December 23, 1990 on page 15.
Leave a comment
The simple act of leaving a comment shows you care.
Morris Cerullo — 1931-2020
Famed Televangelist opened Bible-themed attraction in San Diego

Morris Cerullo, the famed and sometimes controversial televangelist who opened a $200 million Bible-themed attraction in Mission Valley last December, passed away on Friday in a San Diego hospital after a brief bout with pneumonia. He was 88.

In December, the Rancho Santa Fe resident told The San Diego Union-Tribune that he hoped that his massive new Morris Cerullo Legacy International Center would reflect his lifetime of service, both to his faith and to the millions of people he ministered to throughout his life. “I’m 88 years of age, and my time on this Earth may not be very long,” Cerullo said. “I wanted to leave something that would be of value and speak to the principles I’ve upheld for the past 70 years. All I can tell you is that everybody is welcome at the Legacy Center. We can’t draw any lines of demarcation. It’s like saying Jesus didn’t die for the Muslims. He died for the world. Our job is to love everybody and to love them sincerely but not hypocritically.”

Tributes to Cerullo — who ran ministry programs in more than 150 nations on six continents — have poured in from Christian leaders around the world. Israeli televangelist Benny Hinn wrote that he couldn’t imagine his life without the time he spent with Cerullo, whose nickname among friends and followers was “Papa.” “I’ve never met anyone who was more on fire for the cause of Christ,” Hinn wrote. “The intensity of the flames that burned in his heart for the lost was contagious, and I never walked away from spending time with him without my life changed forever.”

On Twitter, founding Bishop Mike Okonkwo of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission in Nigeria wrote that Cerullo was a “good soldier of Christ.” “You fought a good fight, finished your course and kept the faith,” Okonkwo tweeted. “Our consolation is that you lived an impactful life, raising men across the globe for Jesus.”

Cerullo also faced controversy during his long career. His miracle-healing crusades were the subject of negative news coverage and public uproar in the United Kingdom, India and Brazil. He also faced tax-evasion charges for under-representing his income from 1998 to 2000, but the 2007 California case against him was dismissed due to improperly administered jury instructions.

Members of the LGBTQ community also criticized him for anti-gay preaching. In December, Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, immediate past president of the LGBT organization San Diego Democrats for Equality, said the Legacy International Center should not overlook that part of Cerullo’s past. “This is a legacy project to honor Dr. Cerullo’s history, and that history is tainted by the fact that his ministry has promoted gay conversion therapy, which is illegal in California and is dangerous and harmful,” Rodriguez-Kennedy said. “It will be up to the owners and operators of this complex to demonstrate that they are inclusive of the LGBT community, and if they demonstrate that, I’m sure it will be a welcome addition to the community.”

Jim Penner, executive director of the Legacy Center Foundation at Morris Cerullo World Evangalism, said on Monday that it meant the world to Cerullo that he lived long enough to see the Legacy International Center open to the public. “It was definitely a dream fulfilled,” Penner said. “He was extremely excited to see Legacy completed and people enjoying it.”

Despite Cerullo’s advanced age, Penner said he remained “active every hour of every day” in the ministry, which employs about 100 people at its offices in San Diego, London, Holland and Canada. In the aftermath of his death, Cerullo’s wife of 69 years, Theresa Cerullo, has taken on a leadership role in the ministry, which Penner said was organized many years ago to survive its founder by training ministers worldwide. “So it’s multiple people in multiple nations carrying that mantle forward, not just one person sitting in San Diego,” he said.

Penner said Cerullo behind the scenes was very much the friendly, affectionate man known to television viewers worldwide. “He smiled easily and he loved easily and he absolutely loved people,” Penner said. “It didn’t matter what your station in life or nationality, if he met you, he fell in love with you very quickly.”

Born in Passaic, N.J., Cerullo was orphaned at age 2, and he and his four siblings were placed at the Daughters of Miriam Jewish orphanage in Clifton, N.J. He lived there until age 15 and at some point found his Christian faith. At age 17, he received a scholarship to a Bible college in New York and by 23 he was running his first outreach crusade in Greece.

His profile expanded globally through his television program “Victory Today,” and he wrote more than 200 books and devotionals, according to an obituary published on his website.

Much of Cerullo’s work was spent building schools of ministry around the world. He also was involved in global humanitarian work. According to his ministry, he built multiple orphanages in Mexico and provided aid in Ethiopia. With his wife and partners Tommy and Matthew Barnett he built a floor of the Los Angeles Dream Center for housing up to 200 homeless individuals.

In 2011, Cerullo purchased 18 acres along Interstate 8 in Mission Valley for the Legacy International Center. Financed entirely with donations from the faithful and the sales of ministries overseas, the resort features a two-story headquarters building; a five-story, 126-room hotel and spa; a 4-D motion seat dome theater that plays religious films; biblical-style catacombs; art galleries; illuminated fountains; a re-creation of the Western Wall in Jerusalem; an interactive globe structure; and a marketplace of international shops.

Cerullo is survived by his wife, Theresa, their son, David, and daughter-in-law, Barbara; and daughter, Susan Peterson; seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Penner said memorial services have not been announced and would likely be impacted by social-distancing orders.

- The San Diego Union - Tribune, July 13, 2020
Leave a comment
The simple act of leaving a comment shows you care.
Trial Set for Son of Evangelist Cerullo
The son of San Diego evangelist Morris Cerullo will go on trial Oct. 12 on charges that he tried to steal an air-conditioning unit from a store. Mark Stephen Cerullo, 33, the minister’s youngest son, pleaded not guilty to burglary and attempted grand theft charges Tuesday in San Diego Superior Court.

Cerullo almost had a warrant issued for his arrest Tuesday, as he didn’t appear on time at his scheduled arraignment. A prosecutor asked Judge David Gill to issue a warrant, but the minister’s son arrived about 45 minutes later. Gill told Cerullo to appear in court on time next time.

Cerullo, who is free on $4,000 bail, declined to say who bailed him out of jail after his July 29 arrest or to comment about the case to reporters. The Rev. Morris Cerullo, who is planning to buy the PTL ministry left by Jim and Tammy Bakker, said earlier this month that he was not going to post bail for his son. Neither parent appeared at the arraignment.

Cerullo is accused of posing as a Home Depot employee at the Sports Arena store and trying to leave with an air-conditioning unit without paying for it.

- Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California) August 29 1990
Leave a comment
The simple act of leaving a comment shows you care.
Mark S Cerullo
Mark S Cerullo
1957 school yearbook photo of Mark at La Jolla High School, La Jolla, California.
Date & Place: at La Jolla in San Diego, San Diego County, California United States
Leave a comment
The simple act of leaving a comment shows you care. moment please loading spinner
Be the 1st to share and we'll let you know when others do the same.

Mark Cerullo's Family Tree & Friends

Mark Cerullo's Family Tree


Mark's Friends

Friends of Mark Friends can be as close as family. Add Mark's family friends, and his friends from childhood through adulthood.
3 Followers & Sources
Loading records
Back to Top