We had the good fortune of connecting with Pastor Mark Farley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Pastor Mark, what matters most to you?
Encouragement is a principle that matters most to me. I anchor my principle of encouragement on the values of Understanding, Love, and Kindness. What that looks like for me is that I seek to understand others first. When I am able to understand others, I can then see how best I can serve or help them. Using a combination of brotherly love and kindness, I seek to earn the trust of the person I am helping. This process has worked very well for me over the years and allowed me to not only help others, but also be of service to those looking to learn how to serve and help.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I get the privilege of wearing several hats. I am a Manager in Corporate America, Ordained Minister, VP of a nonprofit, founder of a 12 Step organization, and an author. I work in Corporate America as a Manager for a large international company (my day job!) I am an Ordained Minister with my own Nationally registered and recognized Outreach Church called Faith Through Works Fellowship. www.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We – my lovely and brilliant wife Miss Tami Jackson- and I do this often with friends and family visiting Arizona. We would spend the first day here in the Queen Creek area where we live. We would visit the local shops, especially My Sisters Attic (all 3 locations) and dine at Morenos. The next day we would head to Cave Creek. We would enjoy the shops and food. Miss Tami is a “Pro Junker” meaning she knows vintage goods and has an eye for decorating. We love to hit all antique and vintage stores. The third day we would head to the Prescott Area after a stop at the Rock Springs Cafe. We would hit our favorite shops in Prescott and Prescott Valley. We would end the week worshiping at our home church on Saturday night at Sun Valley Church in Queen Creek.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I must give credit to my success to God, my family, The Salvation Army, and Alcoholics Anonymous. Twenty-eight years ago, I was a broken man; hopelessly alcoholic and addicted to methamphetamine. In jail — again — for my tenth DUI, I was to be sent to prison. I was 30 years old and had estranged everyone from me in my life. As I stared into the piece of tin that serves as a jail house mirror, I suddenly realized that I no longer knew this person staring back at me. I got on my knees and said the only prayer I could at the time: “God, help me.” Almost immediately, things began to change. My cellmate had kept inviting me to the AA meetings, and until that day I never wanted to attend. The H&I sponsored AA meeting started with a noticeably short man, who was not in jail, jumping up on a table and shouting, “If you guys keep on doing what you are doing, you will keep getting what you are getting!” It was the shortest AA meeting I have ever attended because that was all I heard. He offered a Big Book to those of us “man enough to ask”, so I asked. I began reading the AA Big Book and attending the meetings. After a few weeks, I went for my prison sentencing, but my Public Defender did not show up. Two weeks later, I went again to be sentenced and the prosecutor didn’t show up. It would be six more weeks in the jail before I would be sentenced to prison. I stayed active in AA and in the Christian fellowship Overcomer’s Outreach. My heart began to change. I finally owned my alcoholism; took responsibility for the wreckage it had caused myself and others and became willing to accept the consequences of the prison time I had coming. When I finally went to court to be sentenced, there was a different judge on the bench and he shared a letter that was written on my behalf by an anonymous member of AA telling him that I was changing and asking him to give me a chance at a rehab program instead of prison. The judge stopped the sentencing and asked me if, instead of prison, I would like to spend six months at the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center in Sacramento. God saved me from alcoholism and addiction and taught me how to be free through serving others. I believe in, and truly try, to live what the Bible promises: that it is through giving to others that we receive. God has given me more than I ever deserved. The Big Book has taught me that Faith without works is dead. The least I can do is to try daily to pay Him back through serving others. Because of Salvation Army and AA, today I am a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a family member, and a friend to many. I have a home, a job, a ministry, and I am a founding partner of a nonprofit that helps others. AA taught me to be of humble service to others. Now, I have become an ordained Pastor, a published author, and a college graduate with an MBA. Thank God for the Salvation Army, SCAA, and Alcoholics Anonymous!