2017-02-16 / Front Page

A day in the life of a preacher

By Becky Holland

Mark Fulks has been the pastor of Chandler’s First Assembly of God for six years. (Becky Holland/Statesman Photo) Mark Fulks has been the pastor of Chandler’s First Assembly of God for six years. (Becky Holland/Statesman Photo) Mark Fulks’ day begins like most folks’. He gets out of bed, eats and gets his day started by heading to his office. He is married, a father of two teenagers, likes to hunt, shoot guns and work out with his wife.

Sounds pretty-typical, right?

Ask Mark Fulks what he does for a living.

He is the pastor of Chandler’s First Assembly of God where the average attendance at services could be 200 to 300 people. The Sunday before last the sanctuary was full. If you haven’t seen the inside of the sanctuary at Chandler’s First Assembly, you should.

If it was full, it was full.

Described as a ‘pretty-out there kind of guy,’ Mark Fulks became the pastor of Chandler’s First Assembly of God in 2011. He came from Noble, Oklahoma.

Fulks had started going to church several years before. He had not grown up in church. In 1994, Fulks said he became saved, and asked Jesus into his life.

“I was working with the youth, became a deacon in the church, and had taken the kids to a youth camp in 1998,” he said. “That is where I felt the calling on my life.”

His days revolve around helping others – but then there is also the administrative side of church business that he tends to. “I get up in the morning, and I spend time with the Lord first. Mondays, I come in and arrange events for the week, and then from 2-4pm, we have staff meetings.”

During staff meetings, he meets with the other ministers and the church’s secretary, and they go over the church calendar and different things. On Tuesdays, he meets with the daycare director and custodial staff, and preps for his Wednesday night messages, and Thursdays, he works on his sermons for Sundays. In between all of this, he makes trips to businesses in the communities, hospital and home visits, communicates with other ministers in the community and whatever comes up.

A preacher’s days are like most of ours’ -— never the same. When asked if there is a misconception about ministers that he would like to clear up, Fulks said. “You know, we’re people too… we’re capable of making mistakes too. A lot of times, when a pastor comes into a town – other than his immediate family, wife and kids, he is there by himself. Our families are five to six hours away. Sometimes, it does get a little ‘lonely,’” he said.

As for his favorite scripture, Fulks looked at this writer with a grin. “That is impossible to narrow down.” He picked up his phone, and said, “I have some of my favorites stored here. I do utilize our website and Instagram a lot.” He will post scriptures, encouraging messages or church news.

“I guess, Jeremiah 29:11 is one of my favorite verses… it really depends on what season I am in with my life at the moment,” Fulks said.

He added, “I wish there were no denominations because I think all churches should be just one church as we have one God.”

His church’s theme or mantra has been ‘Connect to the Community.’ “We want people to feel like they have a place here. I preach a sermon that says, ‘Everyone has a place at the table.’”

Chandler First Assembly of God meets on Sundays at 9:30am with Life Groups, 10:30 am for worship and on Wednesdays, children meet at 6:40pm, and adults and youth meet at 7pm.

Reflecting on the original question of what people should know or understand about preachers, Fulks said, “You know, I am me all the time. I am me behind the pulpit. I am me outside these doors.”

When asked what he thought everyone needed to have happiness in their lives, Fulks didn’t have to think. “Faith in God, hope and love.”

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