Robin Mark lives in Belfast, with his wife Jacqueline and three children, Catherine, David and James. A successful businessman in his own right, heading his own company F.R. Mark and Associates and also a lecturer in Acoustics in Belfast’s Queens University, Robin has another gifting in life – that of worship leader and songwriter.
He has led worship in his local church, Christian Fellowship Church in Belfast, for over ten years now, recently appointed as Director of Worship. With the help and support of his church leadership, members and the many talented musicians in the body, he has matured not only as a worship leader but also as a truly gifted songwriter.
A first Church based cassette way back in 1992, “Captive Heart”, although it showed its lack of financial input, spawned several songs that are still being used in worship not only in his home church but throughout Northern Ireland and the world. It was the first time that “All for Jesus” was recorded.
“Not by Might” came next and over a three year period sold nearly 4,000 units in Ireland alone with little publicity. To put this in its proper perspective, given the population of Ireland, this would be equivalent to U.S. sales of around 350,000! News of Robin’s songs was spreading fast by word of mouth alone. At a small worship conference in 1995 Robin unleashed on an unsuspecting audience of 50 a song that was to change his life – Days of Elijah.
Further albums followed including the “Mandate” conference series with a unique blend of old and new songs presented in the context of the largest men’s conference in the U.K. held in Belfast’s Waterfront Hall. Further songs also followed including the anthem “Revival”, the poetic “Take us to the River”, and many other psalms, hymns and spiritual songs used throughout the world by congregations seeking to praise the King and Lord of all.
Not that Robin regards himself as a “songwriter” per se. In the Worship Together, Toronto worship conference in 2000 he stated, “…I write only when I feel I have something to say. I cannot sit down and write automatically or prolifically, God hasn’t given me that gift.
This, I suppose, is a bit scary because there’s always the possibility that I’ll never write another song! However, and what is the most important thing of all, I know I will always want to praise Him and worship Him with all my heart. If I do that in words and melodies that I, in some way, express, then that’s great! If not, then that’s great too. As long as I am praising Him, that’s all that matters.”
Perhaps it was this “heart” attitude that prompted Integrity Music (U.S.) to pursue the project which became known as “Revival in Belfast” in 1999. After a year or so of discussion the combination of a local church expression with an international recording company, along with a little additional help from some other musicians, was graced by God to become one of the most compelling worship albums of the year.
Two years later the follow up “Come Heal this Land” continues where “Revival” left off, introducing new songs of praise and worship with the Celtic flavour inherent in Robin’s work. And what of the future?
Well, doors have opened and pathways illuminated that have taken Robin and his musicians almost all around the world. He ministers in Europe, America, Canada, Australia and the Far East, and invitations come into his home base almost day and daily.