Learn Our History

The history, essentials, principles, values, and commitments of the Tar Heel Leadership.

Tar Heel History & Background

Tar Heel Leadership was founded in 1997 by Dr. Mark Corts after years of informally training pastors in the state. Tar Heel has now trained over 600 pastors in North Carolina.

The original purpose of THL remains to the present.  That is to train, encourage, and equip NC pastors for greater effectiveness in life and in leadership in the local church.

We create monthly opportunities for pastoral growth in an informal “lecture/lab” setting with on-the-spot discussion and personalized pastoral coaching through the year via on-site visits.

Meet the Founder

C. Mark Corts

Our founder was C. Mark Corts, a pastor who made an impact in missions, on young pastors, and on the theological direction of the Southern Baptist Convention during his forty year pastorate at Calvary Baptist Church of Winston-Salem, NC.

He was born in Ohio and was one of six brothers, five of whom have been in the ministry. Dr. Mark Corts passed away in 2006.

During his years of ministry, he served as president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina from 1977-79; trustee chairman of the SBC’s then-Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) from 1988-90.  He also served the Southern Baptist Convention as chairman of it’s Resolutions Committee and chairman of it’s Committee on Committees.

He has been honored with the establishment of a preaching award in his name, to be presented yearly to a graduate of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary gifted in biblical preaching.

Dr. Corts wrote The Truth about Spiritual Warfare, a book published by the B&H Publishing Group of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

During his years as pastor at Calvary, the church grew from 125 members to 6,000 and to a budget of more than $12 million, with 25 percent of the total devoted to missions. During that time, he also founded Calvary Day School.

He left a legacy of expository preaching, church growth and leadership, training in personal evangelism, and pastoral training .

In 1997, Dr. Mark Corts launched Tar Heel Leadership to mentor pastors in leadership, administration, preaching, evangelism, and church growth.  This ministry, now led by his son Dr. Steve Corts, has seen over 500 North Carolina pastors go through the 10 month program as of 2021.

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