What is likely Fultondale’s oldest church has a new pastor, whose name is familiar to many in north Jefferson County.
Mika Marcum’s first Sunday as pastor of Fultondale First Baptist Church was Sept. 9.
Marcum is no stranger to the pulpit. He was most recently pastor of a church in Cullman, and prior to that was pastor of Skyline Church in Warrior.
Marcum said he had no specific plans when he stepped down from the Cullman church in May.
“God led me to look for the needs that are out there,” he said. He and his wife, Kandy, visited several churches. But Marcum said something about Fultondale kept tugging at him.
It was no coincidence that Fultondale First Baptist has been in search of a pastor for more than a year.
When Marcum first visited the church, he did not know for sure that it was in need of a pastor.
But Diane Hill, who was on the church’s pastor search committee, approached Marcum after the service and wasted no words.
“I walked up to him and asked him, ‘Are you a pastor?’” Hill said. “I have no idea why I asked him that.”
Hill said that in hindsight, she was led by God to ask Marcum the question. She encouraged him to turn in a resume. After hearing him preach and talking with him, the committee agreed that Marcum was the man for the job.
“We’ve been looking for somebody that would just love all types of people,” Hill said. “Mika loves everybody. He is very caring, he is humble and he is such a people person.”
Hill is hoping that under Marcum’s leadership, the seats at Fultondale First Baptist will start filling up again. She said the average attendance is 90-100 people in the worship service every Sunday. The church seats 5-600.
“It used to be full,” Hill said. “I just really have faith we’re going to get back to that.”
Fultondale First Baptist is 122 years old, according to Marcum, and has earned a good reputation through the years.
“It’s been around so long,” he said. “A lot of people trust it. I just want to help lead it.”
Marcum said God has given him a three-part mission for the church: Reach, teach and preach.
“We have to reach people first,” he said, adding that he wants to reach all groups in Fultondale’s diverse community, including Hispanic, African American and white residents.
“It’s not about growing Fultondale First Baptist, it’s about reaching people for the kingdom of God,” he said. “Reaching people is the goal.”
Then, Marcum said, he can begin teaching and preaching.
Some of his goals at Fultondale First Baptist are to bring a “teaching style” to the pulpit, to grow the church spiritually as well as numerically, and to make the church about “representation” as opposed to “presentation.”
He said the church already does much outreach in the community, including hosting a food bank and a “business blast,” where church members do “random acts of kindness” for businesses in the area.
“Mission work shouldn’t be an episode, it should be a lifestyle,” Marcum said.