Mark and Caroline Worley
by Dr. Cara Snyder

Mark and Caroline Worley–We miss them so much! For over forty years they have served DCC in any capacity that they’ve been called on to do—and many which they simply did not because they were asked but because it needed to be done, like staying in the office till Dark:30 to help a student figure out a next step in life or to finish submitting some 50-page form that the Texas Education Agency had suddenly dumped on certification programs. (All those snacks that their offices were famous for no doubt served as supper many times.)

This past summer, when they both realized that their future had taken such a drastic turn, Caroline talked a lot about legacy. She and Mark had suddenly become very dependent on their children, a difficult realization but one which they accepted gratefully. In the midst of that shift, Caroline realized the huge importance of one’s legacy: she was so proud of the way Kyle, Zach, and Aimee were assuming their new roles (God bless you, Worley kids).

But even as she said this, we both also thought of the legacy of a lifetime of Christian ministry and teaching. The Worleys’ example should inspire us all.

I met Mark and Caroline in 1972 when we all convened at DCC, they as students and I as novice teacher. I remember them vividly–Mark with his unruly dark hair and somewhat rebellious attitude and Caroline with her long dark hair and beautiful smile. Caroline was secure in her faith, but Mark was wrestling with his and fortunately was so bored in my English class one day that he started reading his Bible, starting with the one-chapter books, and discovered that it was “pretty good.” Praise God! He got himself back in line with the legacy that he had been raised in—not because it was his legacy but because it was now his own faith. He became a student of Scripture and a servant of Christ.

By junior year, Mark and Caroline were married, and that year Mark began directing and writing skits for the school’s drama group. How many skits and plays for SALTeens and choir tours did he end up writing over the years? 30 or more? And he and Caroline both continued to sing in choirs and in various ensembles their whole four years, participating in many weekend trips, including the one that threw Mark into preaching for the first time when a substitute preacher was suddenly needed, opening him up to the joy of preaching the Gospel.

After DCC, Mark and Caroline headed to ministry in Midland, and Caroline proceeded with her education as a teacher and reading specialist. And then they were called back to DCC. 

Most of this is pretty common knowledge among the DCC community. For 41 years they have served both DCC and the greater Dallas area. The presence of World Impact in Dallas goes back to Mark’s vision and efforts in inner-city Dallas. DCC’s mentoring program is another of his efforts, along with so many short-term mission trips that he and Caroline both oversaw and participated in. What Caroline has contributed to get DCC’s education program up and running is inestimable, including the alternative certification ACCESS programs that were held for many summers.


But more important is that, day in and day out, both Mark and Caroline carried out the ministries that God had called them to. As the celebration services at Compass for them so clearly demonstrated, they have both left a legacy of disciples of Jesus who are preaching, teaching, and serving in all kinds of ways. 

Nobody’s perfect, of course (except Jesus), and we can all recall our own stupid mistakes that have hurt or misled someone and that we wish we could delete (thank you, Lord, for Jesus).  But when I look at the lives of Mark and Caroline, I thank God for them and for the pleasure I have had to work with them all these years. They committed their lives wholeheartedly to Jesus and did their best to let Him work through them. 

Their legacy speaks for itself.