After 4HIM, Mobile native finds ministry in local church
By Theresa Shadrix
The Alabama Baptist
February 28, 2008
Mark Harris is a normal guy with an anything-but-ordinary music ministry.
The Mobile native is a former member of and songwriter for 4HIM, a solo artist and the head of worship ministries at Bay Community Church in Daphne.
His musical journey began as a singer in the contemporary Christian group Truth. In 1989, when Harris, along with Andy Chrisman, Marty Magehee and Kirk Sullivan, left Truth and formed 4HIM, it proved to be a successful move.
The harmonies and pop-gospel sound of 4HIM earned eight Dove Awards, 24 No. 1 singles (22 were written by Harris), a certified gold record, a Grammy award nomination, induction into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame and the Alabama Governor Achievement Award.
But, in 2004, after 15 years together, the four men found themselves at a musical crossroads and the group disbanded as each decided to explore solo projects and new ministry opportunities.
Harris said he was still a member of 4HIM and working on his first solo project when he discovered the least possible ministry opportunity in his home church.
“I was talking to the pastor one day, and he said he needed help finding the right person in the worship area,” Harris said. “For about a month, I looked around and at the same time, the pastor and I both said maybe it was me.”
A change of heart
Harris said that while on the road with 4HIM, he often met with worship leaders but he couldn’t really understand their needs. But that is no longer true. “I really feel like now God sends me out to minister to the staff, not just the people,” Harris said. “I have a real heart for people who serve the church.”
Amazingly, he said all four of the members of 4HIM are now serving in either full-time or part-time worship ministry at their local church. Although Harris admits life is busy, he still keeps in close contact with each of them and said the ending of the group was God’s plan.
“We didn’t stop because we were tired of being around each other,” Harris said, adding there is a lot of love between the four. “We are like brothers.”
He also said the doors are not closed to 4HIM performing together again at some point in the future.
For now, he has enough on his plate to fill anyone hungering for worshipful music. Harris’ first solo project in 2005, “The Line Between the Two,” featured the popular hymn of fatherhood “Find Your Wings.”
In September 2007, he released his second solo project, “Windows and Walls.”
‘Windows and Walls’
Though a devoted husband and father himself, the theme of fatherhood in Harris’ solo songs is a nod to his own parents. And passing on the legacy of a Christ-filled home is important to him as reflected in songs like the second CD’s title track, “Windows and Walls.”
“I really feel like this album has a strong message for everybody to hear,” he said.
For more information, visit www.markharrisonline.com.
Copyright 2008. The Alabama Baptist.