Spiritual Fathers

Tagged by Mark on a Who’s Ya Daddy? meme. I’m going to name another Mark. Charles Mark Corts. Certainly not as well known as Barth and Peterson, but tops still.

This is what I wrote about Mark when he died.

I got an email late afternoon that Mark Corts had gone to the hospital again. yet again. Another email came about 7:45 letting me know that he was no longer bound to his frail body.


C. Mark Corts has been my pastor for a very long time. I have such fond memories of him in the pulpit. He always talked about food. Ron and I would decide where to go eat during his sermon. More often than not, it was fried chicken just like good Baptists should be eating after church on Sundays. More than food, he always spoke the truth. He taught the Bible clearly, simply, and pointedly. He referred to us as his class and indeed we were exactly that — sitting at the feet of a teacher who prodded and stretched us to learn more and serve intensely.


My oldest son used to sit front and center. Occassionally Mark would ask Brandon a question during the sermon. I always cringed as Brandon has always walked to his own drum beat, but regardless of what Brandon said, Mark always took it in stride. One Sunday, he threw a frozen cheese and pepper sandwich to Brandon during the sermon. I don’t remember the point, but I do remember Mark telling Brandon he had to give it back and Brandon telling Mark that he might not get it.


Mark knew absolutely everybody’s name. Ron and I went to his house after church one Sunday night right after we joined Calvary and he called us by name every time he saw us. We did have one embarrassing moment over names once though. Joe, my youngest, was working the desk at the media center. Mark came up and said, “Bitsy, tell me who this fine young volunteer is.” I thought he was kidding and laughed. He wasn’t. We were all embarrassed at that moment.


We used to have open house for the visitors in the Media Center after church and I got to watch Mark’s love for people. I was also so pleased to watch his work with young pastors, work that Calvary still continues.

Mark had been writing a book about his last 15 years of declining health. It has been published and he brought an autographed copy up to the church for all the pastors on Tuesday to hand deliver them. When he got home, he had to go to the hospital. I know that this last visit has to have meant so much to these men.


I had a rocky history with my dad. This sweet pastor stood in that dad’s place in my heart in many ways. I’ll miss him terribly, but praise God!  He’s home tonight.

These are all personal. I could list the many accomplishments of Mark for the community, the SBC, the International and Home Mission Boards, but what I’ll remember is the above.

Now, since this is a meme, I’m ready to tag: Nick, Jeff, Nathan, Bill, Rodney. To quote the meme originator, “So I wondered, who’s your daddy, or, church father?”


10 thoughts on “Spiritual Fathers

  1. I find it upsetting that none of you sorry lot tagged me for this. True, I haven’t posted in three months, and true, I have a reputation for ignoring memes, but what does that matter? 😉

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