George Washington tells no lies
By Michael Brooks
On Sunday, July 3 at 6 p.m., George Washington will speak at the Vanderbilt Baptist Church. Yes, that George Washington.
Yorktown resident Mark Collins is George Washington. Well, not literally, but about as close to literal as anyone can be.
A news article about Collins stated “With his snowy white hair and 6’ 4’’ frame, Mark Collins bears a remarkable resemblance to our founding father, George Washington. Having the same build and general appearance as the famous statesman has proven to be fortunate for Collins, he has been asked to portray Washington both on TV and in movies. Mark’s skill, however, is not limited to this. He has portrayed Washington, sans script, in a number of speaking engagements and for a diverse set of audiences including the military, schools, churches, and parades. Whether on the movie or TV screen, or from the stage or pulpit, Collins’ talent for captivating an audience through his powerful speech translates across all audiences. The historical precision of his presentation combined with his moving performance transports his listeners across time, to an era on the verge of great revolution.”
Collins has led an interesting life. As George Washington, Collins has had numerous film and television roles. He was Washington in a History Channel mini-series called The Revolution. He also appeared in a Discovery Channel movie, and a Spike T.V. documentary, and others. Perhaps his most viewed appearance was in the motion picture National Treasure II starring Nicolas Cage.
He has been a guest speaker at events such as Governor Rick Perry’s Prayer Breakfast, Gov. Greg Abbot’s Prayer Breakfast, a Republican State Conventions and a Republican National Convention as well as several other high profile speaking appearances. Collins will now be speaking at the Vanderbilt Baptist Church as Washington.
Collins is the Pastor of First Baptist of Yorktown and, for 16 years, he was the Associate Pastor of Sutherland Springs, Texas before that.
According to Mountvernon.org, Washington was a member of the Anglican Church. He became a vestryman in Truro Parish, overseeing the affairs at Pohick Church. He served as a churchwarden for three terms, helping to care for the poor. Washington's church attendance varied throughout his life, with his attendance becoming sporadic for periods of time and then picking up again during his presidency.
This allows Collins to talk about Washington while also tying in a sermon. At the Vanderbilt church, Collins will deliver a prayer and inform people about Washington’s life, as well as taking questions from kids. With it being Independence Day weekend, Washington fits perfectly as a speaker.
“With six children of his own, his first love remains the teaching of children in the classroom,” Vanderbilt Baptist Church Pastor Jack Hudson said. “If you could ask George Washington a question, what would it be? He especially loves to field questions from children as part of the presentation.”
Perhaps most importantly, Collins talks about how instrumental Washington was in America’s independence.
“He is here to remind a forgetful Nation of the legacy of faith and freedom that has been left to you,” Hudson added. “We have forgotten that we are the most blessed nation on earth.”