Faith and family are the heart of Mark Hensley, Executive Pastor of Bethel Baptist Church. Mark and his wife have been happily married for nearly 47 years and have been blessed with two sons, a daughter-in-law, and two grandsons, who make him laugh. “I pray everyone that knows me knows how much ‘I Love My Family!’”
Mark began his ministry at Bethel in September of 1998. Each day he dedicates his time to assist Pastor Matt Brown in leading the support staff and coordinating the administration of the church, including personnel, stewardship, building projects, and property. His goal is to improve each of these areas to glorify God and to grow the ministries.
God has led him through many jobs preparing him for the ministry. Having served as a Mental Health Counselor in the Air Force and completing a tour of duty in Vietnam, he also has worked as a Child Abuse Counselor for the State of Missouri.
As young as six years old, Mark felt God had something special for him to do. At the age of 14, he was saved through his pastor at an evangelical Methodist Church in Mobile, Alabama. However, it wasn’t until high school that he saw God’s specific call on his life. He attended and graduated from high school in Mobile, Alabama.
After he was married, Mark and his wife believed it was best that they attend church together and raise their family in the same church. His wife was Southern Baptist so he began studying what Baptists believed. He found that he totally agreed with the faith and was baptized in the Baptist church as a young adult.
Mark graduated from college at the University of South Alabama with a degree in Psychology and completed post graduate work in psychological testing. He also received his seminary degree, Masters, Religious Education from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri. A little older than the average seminary student when he attended seminary, Mark and his wife had two small children, a house payment, and very little income. Though times were tough, God revealed to them His faithfulness and financially took care of them through those challenging years.
Mark’s favorite books include anything by Chuck Swindoll, especially his book, Laugh Again, and the book, Forrest Gump, by Winston Groom, III. Interestingly enough, Mark grew up with the author in Mobile and Mr. Groom’s mother was his senior year English and Literature teacher!
Mark’s goal is avail himself to all God wants him to do and do it all unto the glory of God. When asked what one sentence would change someone’s life for the better, Mark shared, “Jesus loves you and me this I know for the Bible tells me so...yes, Jesus loves you and me!”
Mark’s favorite Bible verse that speaks of God’s love and purpose for him: Psalm 37:4, “Delight thyself in the Lord, and He will grant unto you the desires of your heart.” Meaning: If you delight in the Lord, your desires will be His desires!