Blind date creates family magic

Published 4:11 pm Thursday, November 6, 2008

Perhaps you’ve read Mark Davenport’s articles in this very paper. Maybe you see him at the bank, dry cleaners, neighborhood meetings or Publix. I seem to run into him at Kangaroo Express a lot – like all of us, picking up something forgotten at the big store.

Mark Davenport is the senior pastor at the First Presbyterian Church of Alabaster. When he was 28, he was serving a pastorate in Texas and was told by a friend there was someone she would like for him to meet. Mark had dinner at the friends’ home and met (as prearranged) a lovely 28-year-old widow with three children under six! Three months later they were married.

When I asked him if his parents thought he might possibly be taking on more than he could handle — he responded with a chuckle, “I think my mom was just glad I wasn’t going to be a bachelor.”

He and his wife Tracy eventually added three more children to the mix, making a beautiful family of six. Walta Anne, Bentley, Scarlet, Kaitlyn, Chandler and Landon — meet the Davenport brood.

When they first moved into the Thompson school district a couple of the kids were overwhelmed by the school size. After much family discussion all the kids went to Shelby Academy (except Bentley who was a junior at THS and Walta who was already at Baylor). Mark has served for several years on the Shelby Academy board and is president this year.

He desires for his kids to be passionate about their chosen vocation andbe happy in life. Someday he and Tracy will retire in the Longview, Texas area and rock grandchildren. He hopes that after all the kids have “flown the coop,” he and his soul mate will have time just for them. “I just love her so much – she’s perfect for me,” Davenport said.

Raised by a preacher dad and a business-woman mom, Mark grew up with an older brother and younger twin sisters. Home was Booneville, Ark. and he loves it, although he remarked he has always enjoyed all his pastorates.

Marks favorite hobbies are and reading.