The Importance of Fatherhood Series: Episode Three with Representative Mark Willis

Today we conclude our fatherhood series with representative Mark Willis from Fountain Inn. Mark and I have known each other since high school and I’ve always been impressed with his heart for others and love for his family. In this episode, he shares his fears about becoming a father and how now his favorite thing he gets to do is be a daddy to his three adult children and now a son and daughter-in-law. He also talks about what made him get into politics and why his family is so involved in the process. And he shares a fun fact about how he and his wife, Tracy, have purchased a small farm in Fountain Inn and how that has helped his family grow even closer. Mark has always been involved in his children’s lives, and was even the PTA president during their elementary, middle and high school years. But, he’s quick to give credit to Tracy for being a great teammate on their parenting journey with God as their coach. He also shares about how he and Tracy made a huge sacrifice after they had their first child in order for her to be a stay-at-home mom. I know you’ll love getting to know Mark and learning more about him and his family. My prayer is that this episode will help you build a stronger relationship with your own kids.

Quotes From Mark

“Being a daddy is my most favorite thing I get to do. I’m so thankful God blessed us with the children that we have. And, being a dad, it takes two. You know, Tracy and I together make a really good team for our children and the Lord has been a wonderful coach.”

“One thing that Tracy has taught me is that as you’re raising children, even adult children, you have to have intentional time.”

“The mission filed should begin around your own kitchen table.” – Mark referring to this often-used quote

“If we don’t instill in this next generation the appreciation and love for those freedoms [we enjoy as Americans], we’re only gonna keep a downward turn.”

“There’s no greater joy than to see your child dedicate their life to the Lord.”

In reference to his family’s involvement in politics, he says, ” If we don’t do it, who’s gonna do it? …we all need to be a part of it. Not just our family, but everybody needs to have an active role and be aware of the climate that our political world is in right now.”

“Tracy said being the first to find out how their day was and being the first to see what their expression was when they got in the car was able to help the communication. And, as with all aspects of life, communication in one of the most important things.”

He always told his children when they were little, “Just tell me. Just tell me what it is and we’ll get through it together. But if you don’t tell me we can’t fix it.. We cannot work through it.”

Here are some fun pictures of the Willis family doing a few of their infamous jump!

Willis Family
The Willis Family Jump
Mark’s son-in-law’s city council win
Mark and his wife Tracy jumping at their daughter’s wedding

Resources and Scripture

Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires. – Psalm 37:4 (CSB)

Mark’s daughter, Mary Langston Willis Don, has formed a non-profit called The Miriam Foundation. This organization helps teach life skills and ways to be able to grow in a community and rely on each other and support one another and also to hold one another accountable. You can check out her foundation at this link The Miriam Foundation.

Listen to The Importance of Fatherhood Series: Episode Three with Representative Mark Willis