September 23, 2020


TALLULAH LEADS to Bank of Walker County

Every human has his own a story, along with every canine, and Mark Wilson, at one time a want-to-be cattle farmer but who is Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of the Bank of Walker County starts his banking story in Parrish, Alabama. When asked how he ended up in Jasper, he promptly gave me a treat and asked me to sit down and listen and take notes....not sure where Mike was at this point.

Mark Wilson showing me how to mask up!

Mark told me that because his father, C.B. Wilson, Executive Vice-President at the Bank of Parrish, was his idol and chief role model, he just assumed he was supposed to be a banker also. While in high school, Mark mopped the bank's floors and did some general custodial work. After college, Mark started at the Bank of Parrish in 1969 where his dad was CEO and a board member; Mark eventually came up through the ranks as Executive Vice-President and also sat on the board of directors at the Bank of Parrish.
Because C.B. and Mark managed the bank for absentee owners, everyone assumed that the Wilson family owned the Bank of Parrish. After all, they were the front line for the customers and provided that personal banking relationship for so many. However, change was around the corner, and no one saw it coming, least of all the Wilsons (at this point, Tony Sparks, President of the BOWC, walked in Mark's office and offered me a treat so I stayed to hear more).
By 2001, Bank of Parrish was sold to an outside entity, and Mark knew that he couldn't continue in his role there, and out of that decision came Bank of Walker County (BOWC). This led him on a journey of deepening faith and trust in a power greater than himself.

Loretta Diffy, Bi-lingual Teller

This was a true local success story born in the upstairs former childhood bedroom of son, Walker Wilson, currently serving as Senior Vice-President at BOWC. By the way, that beautiful home on Sixth Avenue adjacent to Downtown Jasper is the oldest continually lived-in home in Walker County (1854-present). He shares that home with lovely wife Renae Mitchell Wilson, who serves as Vice-President of Jasper Main Street. Renae loves me more than she loves Mike; always offering me a hug and, of course, a treat!

Mark Wilson and Renae Mitchell Wilson, VP Jasper Main Street

After working from the house, Phil Laird of Laird & Robertson provided office space; Phil became a founding member of BOWC. Soon after, they raised the required capital and moved into mobile homes, acquired a board of directors, began to hire employees, and received permission from the State Banking Department and FDIC to proceed with raising capital to satisfy state banking requirements. Established on March 29, 2004, Bank of Walker County was open for business.
From all of this, Mark learned some lessons he'd like for all you humans, especially Mike, to know. We as humans are not, nor can we ever be perfect. Some days we get it right and some days, not so much. We are all sinners saved by grace, and our job is to walk by faith and trust His grace and mercy.

Susan Dobbs, Loan Processor (look at her screensaver)

C.B. Wilson retired from the Bank of Parrish in 1990 after 54 years of service to that community.  Mark recalled what his father told him on the first day of his full-time employment on July 1, 1969: "If you don't have the trust of the don't have anything."

3 Generations of Wilson Family Bankers:
Walker Wilson, C.B. Wilson, Mark Wilson

On this last day of his 54-year career as he was going out the door, C.B. turned to Mark and said "Do you remember the first thing I told you about banking when you started?"

Mark said, "Yes, Sir." 

His dad said, "Tell me."

Mark replied, "If you don't have the trust of the people, you don't have anything."  
C.B. said, "Never lose it."

Today, 51 years later and now well into the third generation of Wilsons in banking in Walker County, we live by those simple words every day. Visit Bank of Walker County at to find out more about this home-grown institution. Aren't we all glad that Mark didn't choose cattle farming! #jaspermainstreet #flourishwithus #tbp #pawtographslaterdahling

Published in the Daily Mountain Eagle 9/23/2020

Everyone can read about Jasper Main Street's accomplishments and future goals in the 2020 Case for Support entitled Continuing to Flourish: Vision 2020. Let me know if you want to stop by and pick one up, or I'll trot one to you or to the post office.

Not getting enough Tallulah?  Follow me on Instagram at tallulahbankheadputman #tbp #pawtographslaterdahling.

Jasper Main Street | | [email protected] |

Board of Directors
President - Jenny Brown Short
Vice-President - Renae Wilson
Treasurer - Lisa Killingsworth
Secretary - Holly Trawick
Past President - Dustin Beaty
Executive Director - Mike Putman
Kathy Chambless
Josh Gates
Terrell Martin
Gina Scruggs
Oliver L. Wright