Mark and Kim Carson have been married for 28 years and have two children, July (19) and Ellie (16). Mark teaches at Lake Norman High School and Kim works as an MRI Technologist at Iredell Memorial Hospital. July is a freshman at Wingate University and Ellie is a sophomore at Lake Norman High School.
For as long as Mark can remember, Western Avenue Baptist Church has been an integral part of his life. His parents, as well as other relatives, were active in the church at the “old” original site of the church on Western Avenue before he was born. His parents were members and also custodians of the church for years. Mark was a nursery baby at the “old” WABC site in the late 1960s. He remembers fondly as a kid “riding” the floor buffing machine that was wielded by his dad, helping his parents clean windows, helping vacuum the massive vintage sanctuary and helping clean the many church bathrooms weekly (at least 22 bathrooms!).
His grandmother, Marie Mahaffey, was the bus director of the WABC church bus ministry on the Southside of Statesville for a time, as well. He remembers riding those WABC church buses to church from time to time and being taken care of by bus volunteers such as Mary Carol Lowry and others, who watched over the kids while the driver made sure the kids made it to church safely.
Once safely at church, he attended Sunday School taught by dedicated and loving teachers. He remembers “Children’s Church”, fall festivals that drew kids from the community, and great Sunday School teachers, too many to name here, and many of whose names he can’t recall, but whose work lives on in his life and the countless lives of others. As he grew older, Mark became a member of troop 360, which met at the original church site and was sponsored by the church. The troop served as an extension of the church because it drew many young boys to the church from the community, and its leaders, like Mark’s dad, were believers and church members.
As a youth, Mark attended a WABC church revival with his family in the summer of 1977 and went to the front of the church and accepted Christ into his heart. He was baptized soon thereafter. He took part in the church youth choir and went on many singing tour mission trips with the youth. When the church moved to its current site on Museum Road in the 1980s, it was natural that Mark’s family would follow to serve. Later, Mark married Kim and they had children who also attended WABC regularly. Kim was raised in a Wesleyan Church tradition. Soon after they were married, she became a member and was baptized. Their children have become believers through the ministry of the church and the fine teachers and volunteers.
Over the years, Mark and Kim served as nursery volunteers and as young children’s Sunday School teachers. Mark has also served as a church van driver for the elderly and as a Young Married Couples Sunday School teacher. Mark and Kim currently attend David Moss’s Sunday School class.
The Carsons appreciate that WABC always strives to stand strictly on the Word of God in all matters. The teaching in Sunday School, the preaching, the missions outreach, all have one goal, to spread the Good News and glorify God. WABC has avoided all the periphery issues that often fragment churches and diminish the ministry of God. Another strength of WABC is that it always attempts to put the spiritual and physical needs of people first. Mark feels that without the dedication of his parents and the influence of WABC, he may not have come to know Christ at all,or may not know Him the way he knows Christ today. The Carsons thank God that WABC still maintains its focus on the Gospel, which is evident in its outreach in the community through Vacation Bible School, missions, church musicals and many other God-centered programs.
As Mark looks to the future, he is excited about new service opportunities. The church offers so many opportunities to serve God and be involved in the ministry that the options are limitless. He is excited about what direction God will lead a new generation of church believers as they guide the church. He is also excited about our current church leadership because they bring new ideas to the service of God that refresh our approach and draws new people to Christ to serve Him.
Saturday, July 20, 2019
Middle and High School Mission Trip to Portland
Sunday, July 21, 2019
Monday, July 22, 2019