Southside Baptist Pastor Mark Phelps and his wife Debbie have been enjoying their time serving in the ministry at the Vandalia church since last October.
Pastor Phelps began his tenure at the church, serving on an interim basis while still a member of Friendship Baptist Church in Mexico, Mo.
He was officially asked to take over a full-time role in June and recently he was ordained as a pastor in the Grand Crossings Association, a Southern Baptist group of churches.
“I felt a call to the pulpit while at Friendship,” he said. “It’s not something I chose but it’s something He wanted me to do. I enjoy teaching and preaching the Word of God more than anything.”
Pastor Phelps said he and his wife have enjoyed being a part of the Vandalia congregation.
“The folks at Southside remind me a lot of the brothers and sisters in Mendota (Ill.); there’s a spirit of unity and excitedness there,” he said. “And it’s like Friendship, the same spirit of the Lord. They’re just supporting us 100% and are really encouraging.”
Pastor Phelps was born in Tuscumbia, Mo. and moved to Illinois in 1969. He was born again on March 15, 1979 after being saved in his parents’ living room.
He eventually served three years as a lay pastor at North Brook Baptist Church.
Pastor Phelps married his wife in Mendota, Ill. and has two sons.
He moved to Mexico, Mo. in 1994 and has served various roles through local churches.
Pastor Phelps is also currently a sergeant for a private security company and has an associates degree.
“We’re pretty excited about serving Southside,” he added. “We pray we can be part of a revival fire and get something started (at Southside).”