Dr. Mark Tolbert

What is a Bible verse or passage that has impacted your life?
Philippians 1:6 is my life verse. Early in my Christian life I was discouraged at my feeble attempts to follow Christ.  I wanted to do so but doubted my ability.  This verse assured me that the issue was not my faithfulness to Jesus, but His faithfulness to me.

Name your favorite vacation spot.
The beach! We own a Marriott timeshare in Florida that we try to visit at least every other year.  My wife loves to walk on the beach and I love shrimp and going to the beach makes us both happy!

What are your favorite hobbies or activities?
My wife, Joy and I love to travel.  We especially love to travel with our grandchildren.  Since they live in another state we try to take them on special trips in the summer.  We like to have them all to ourselves for a week of pure unadulterated spoiling! We spoil them, too.

Name an author/book you enjoy or has made an impact in your professional career?
Finishing Strong by Steve Farrar challenged me to be committed to a life of faithfully following Jesus in the second half of life.  Gary McIntosh and Aubrey Malphurs books have influenced me greatly in my ministry and teaching.
In addition to the Bible, what is your favorite devotional reading?
I enjoy Max Lucado and Charles Swindoll for devotional reading and reflection.

What is the greatest concern and highest hope for the church today?
My greatest concern…. is that the church becomes so inward focused and focused on minutia that we lose our focus and our sense of mission.
My highest hope…is that the church is God’s church and that Jesus promised that ultimately the gates of hell would not prevail against His church.
Briefly describe your conversion experience.
I was saved as a junior in high school.  I was on a Friday night date to a local theatre and discovered I had chosen to attend a Billy Graham movie, “For Pete’s Sake.”  I felt deep conviction of sin and my need for Christ.  A public evangelistic invitation was extended.  I responded in faith and trusted Christ as my savior.  My date from that night was saved a few weeks later and is now my wife of over forty years.

Tell us about your family.
Joy and I have been married for forty-one years.  She is the finest Christian I know; I wish I was more like her! We live on the campus of NOBTS.  She travels with me when I make seminary trips and in the churches where I serve as Interim Pastor. She also works as an administrative  assistant for two of our female professors. We have two children and five grandchildren, all of whom live in Arkansas.  I have had the joy of baptizing both of my children and two of my grandchildren (so far). God is good!