Mark grew up poor in Greensboro, North Carolina as the ninth of ten children in a green shingled house with a red roof. His father was an abusive alcoholic. Their house had no heat, no AC, and didn’t even have a shower for them to wash in.
As a child, Mark ended up in the foster care system. Him and two of his brothers went to the same home where they were fortunate to end up with a caring family. Some of his siblings were not so lucky, and ended up in abusive situations.Mark and his siblings were able to move back in with their mother eventually, who was a devout woman of faith, and he credits his mother as being the reason that he is the man he is today. She taught him about the Bible, and always told her children that they could be whatever they put their minds to.
Towards the end of high school, Mark joined the Army reserves where he served as a medical specialist for three years. After High school he went to NC A&T and while there, worked at a factory. Mark planned on staying at this factory and working his way up, and possibly even retiring with the company, but it wasn’t to be.
While he was working there, NAFTA was implemented, and his job like so many others had wages cut. They were cut so badly in fact, that he ended up having to leave. After that, he worked at a restaurant as a shift worker before becoming the General Manager there, and served in that role for five years. During that time, his wife Yolonda started a day care center which grew rapidly, requiring them to get a new building.
Eventually, Mark left his job to work at the center where he taught children and took care of them. After eight years, they decided to sell the business, and Mark went back to work at a furniture factory. While there he attended UNCG, studying history. However, this factory job would also cease to exist when the owners decided to move the plant to Mexico, leaving Mark and dozens of others without jobs.He eventually got a new job at a different furniture factory, and had plans to pursue a full time teaching career, getting his masters and then PHD so that he could become a professor, but it was not to be.
On April 3rd of 2018, Mark’s life changed when he stood up against the Greensboro city council in a speech that has now been seen over 60,000,000 times. Since that speech he has served on the NRA National Outreach Board, has appeared on Fox and Friends, has been interviewed by Lara Trump, and has traveled the state and nation spreading the conservative message.
Mark resides in Greensboro and is happily married to his wife Yolonda, and has two kids, and a grandchild.