Reverend Marks with his favorite book.
Rev. Carl Marks of Arnoldsburg will celebrate 55 years
as a preacher on Wednesday, Mar. 11.
He was born in Braxton County, the son of James Curt and
Lucy Marks, and had 11 siblings.
When he was six, the family moved to Upper Nicut in
Calhoun. He went to Frozen Run School until the seventh grade. At 16, he
stayed with his aunt and uncle, Rev. Doy and Madeline King, and helped
them on their farm.
During a revival at Fairview Methodist Church, Lower
Nicut, Marks was saved. He felt in his heart that his calling was to
become a preacher, even though he was afraid to tell anyone.
When he attended a revival at Gip Community Church, the
preacher, Roy Hardway, told the congregation that “something” is
blocking this revival. Carl prayed and thought about what Hardway had
said all night.
He knew he was the reason for the unsuccessful revival,
since he had never told anyone what his true calling was. The next
evening, he stood up and told the church that he was called to preach.
The “church broke loose” and through the next week, 13 people were
On Mar. 11, 1954, now 17, he preached his first sermon
at the Gip church. He prayed, “Why would God want an old country boy
like me?” He remembers reading scripture, but doesn’t remember a word he
said after that, since he was so nervous.
Marks recalls that his uncle Rev. Doy King, Rev. Kenneth
Cruickshanks and Pastor Billy Schoolcraft were inspirations. Rev.
Glendon McKee was supportive of Carl when he returned to high school and
during Carl’s ministries.
Marks became an ordained minister in 1972 in the same
church he preaches at to this day, Walnut Grove Community Church, Barnes
Carl and his wife Barbara have been married for 27 years
and have 10 children combined. Along with other family members, he sings
in the Marks Family gospel group.
Barbara and Carl Marks