Along the Journey – Leave a Mark

We had lunch together. I was introduced to him through a couple of friends who work with Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He is a regional director with FCA, a former coach who holds a total of eight state championships in five different sports, a guy who loves high school kids and the people who coach them. He’s a family man – husband of Lee for almost thirty years, a father, and a grandfather. But what defines Mark Tidwell best is his faith.

When the doctor told him about his cancer, it hit him and his family like you would expect. No one wants to hear the “c” word. With a great deal of prayer and thought as well as the encouragement of family and friends, Mark decided to use some “I” words – impact, influence, intentional – instead of dwelling on cancer.

When we met, he didn’t launch into his story. He started telling me about the work FCA was doing, the coaches and athletes they were reaching, the churches with whom they were networking, the lives that were being changed.

My first experience with FCA was in my own home. My older brother was a part of a huddle at North Fulton High School. The huddle met at our house that night and featured a Georgia Tech football player who gave his testimony. Perhaps you’ve heard of him – Bill Curry.


I invited Mark Tidwell to come to Wieuca so you could hear his story. He may refer to his own battle with colon cancer, but I know he’ll ask you to consider what you’re doing with the life God has entrusted to you. You can find out more about Mark and his “Leave a Mark” ministry at He has written a book, not just about his circumstances, but a collection of stories of others who have left or who are leaving a mark through their gifts and passions. He has a plan. He’s going to cherish each day and make the most of it. He’s been told he’s going to die, but he is too busy living: “When I hit the floor in the morning, I praise God for one more day He allows me to be vertical. I challenge you to do the same.”

Welcome to Wieuca, Mark.

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About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

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