Mark Harris is known for his vision, optimism, organizational, and fundraising skills. His personal and professional discipline, networking abilities, and passion for people set him apart. He has lived his life in service to others.
He has extensive leadership experience in management, administrative planning and budgeting, as well as construction planning and budgeting.
In 2011 Mark Harris first entered the realm of political activities. He was a founding member of “Vote for Marriage NC” and in this capacity organized, raised funds, and campaigned for the passage of the North Carolina Marriage Protection Amendment, which passed by an overwhelming vote of 61% of North Carolina’s voters in 2012.
In April of 2013 Harris was approached by a group of NC conservative voters and asked if he would consider running for the US Senate. This group ultimately organized the “Draft Mark Harris” committee and developed a base of nearly 25,000 NC voters who participated in encouraging Harris to run for the Senate. A grass-roots effort to draft a candidate for the US Senate is almost unprecedented in modern American history. Harris participated in a NC Listening Tour from May through September of 2013 and on October 2, officially announced his decision to seek the Republican nomination for the US Senate.
Mark Harris is a native of Winston-Salem, NC, and graduated from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC in 1987 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. He graduated from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC with both his Master’s of Divinity degree and his Doctor of Ministry degree in Christian Leadership.
Harris has served in youth ministry and as the Senior Pastor at Center Grove Baptist Church in Clemmons, NC, Curtis Baptist Church in Augusta, GA and most recently as the Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Charlotte.
In every phase of his life, Harris has served in leadership roles. In addition to the leadership position he held in “Vote for Marriage NC,” he has held positions of leadership in the North Carolina Baptist State Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention. He has served as Second Vice President of the Baptist State convention for one year, First Vice President for two years, and for the past two years has served as the organization’s President. He has also been actively involved with the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, serving on various committees as well as Chairman of the Board.
Harris was married to Elizabeth (Beth) Bates Harris on June 20, 1987. Beth was a Middle School Education major at ASU and taught school for 15 years. They have three children and one daughter-in–law. Their daughter Laura is a kindergarten teacher who is engaged to be married in 2014; their son John is a law student at UNC Chapel Hill School of Law. John’s wife, Kerry Anne, is a writer and is working on her master’s degree. Their youngest son Matthew is currently a senior at Wake Forest University.
Harris is a strong social and fiscal conservative. He is running for the U.S. Senate to bring common sense back to our government and restore people’s faith in both the electoral process and the U.S. government.