Weekly Feature



2018-03-08 / Front Page

Rev. Marshall accepts post at St. Mark’s

by CHRIS GRAHAM
Editor


Rev. Marshall Rev. Marshall Since the middle of January, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church has had a new leader, as the Rev. John Marshall has taken over the reins as rector.

Ordained for 37 years, Rev. Marshall has spent time in the Roman Catholic Diocese in Buffalo and served as a health care chaplain in Philadelphia in 1993, when he became an Episcopalian. While in Pennsylvania he served various parishes.

Moving back to Buffalo in 1999, he served as pastor at Christ Episcopal Church in Lockport for 10 years.

Before arriving at St. Mark’s, Rev. Marshall had been the director of spiritual care at Niagara Hospice since 2009.

The administrative experience as director of spiritual care prepared him for what St. Mark’s was seeking: a rector who would be involved in several different areas within the community.

“This parish has designs and plans that go far beyond the church buildings,” Rev. Marshall said. “They’re looking to do things within the community and help address the opioid addiction.”

Due to his administrative past, Rev. Marshall became the clear choice for St. Mark’s future, a future that involves teaming up with the town, village and community.

“We’ll work with anybody who’s doing good things,” he said.

In his visits prior to coming on board, Rev. Marshall noticed how frequently the church was being used as a location for such organizations as Meals on Wheels, Scouts and support groups.

He is also looking to assist the funeral homes in the area and provide bereavement services at the church.

“They’re telling us that there’s a lot of people who come and want to have a funeral, but they don’t have a church or a connection,” said Rev. Marshall about the hope to provide the service.

Making the move to St. Mark’s, Rev. Marshall said he deeply wanted to become the leader of the parish. He had contemplated becoming the pastor when the church was looking for a new leader several years ago, but he said now was the time when the situation was the right fit.

“I did a lot of homework,” Rev. Marshall joked. “I really wanted to be here. ... It didn’t take me a heartbeat to say yes when they offered it.”

After his years of administrative responsibilities, Rev. Marshall said there was a longing to get back to serving a congregation full time.

“This is what I do best,” he said.

Rev. Marshall and his wife, Mary, live in Williamsville but are planning a move to Orchard Park in the spring. They have four adult children.

The pastor will say three Masses a week, one on Wednesday and two on Sunday.

For more information on Rev. Marshall, visit www.stmarksop.org.

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