Celebrating the Life of Gloria Marshall

On December 20, 2018, we lost a dear friend and co-laborer with Gloria Marshall's passing.

For many years, Gloria and her husband, John, served as American Baptist missionaries to Congo. They also served as pastor and wife for two American Baptist churches in the Pacific Southwest and as area minister for Arizona. 

Gloria had been a member of the ABCOFLASH board since we reorganized in 2014 and before that served as president of our pre-merger board, ABCOSH. It was not just enjoyable serving on the board and many committees alongside Gloria, but also instructive. By observing her quiet, dignified, and often humorous demeanor, she taught me more than a thing or two about leadership.

I will miss her for a selfish reason as well. She was an encourager. Many of you know how important it is to have partners in ministry who have a warm smile and encouraging words. As the news of her passing reached those within our Region and beyond, many expressions of remembrance, grief and love came to our office. I share some of them below, with the knowledge that I don't have to ask you to be in prayer for her family, especially John. While saddened, we are also grateful, to know that she is face to face with her Savior and Friend, Jesus.

Her service will be at Parkside Church of Bakersfield on Saturday, January 12, at 2 o’clock.

Andy Quient
Acting Executive Minister,

Throughout my life God has sent many Angels to guide my path. Yet, I cannot recall any that have been as caring, compassionate and loving as Gloria was to me. In the years that I was privileged to serve with Gloria on the Board of Directors she always personified the image of an American Baptist - independence coupled with strong desire to promote the fellowship of Christ among believers. Gloria willingly accepted my request that she Chair the succession committee and served that role well - in addition to mentoring me in American Baptist tradition. While Gloria has now gone Home to be with our Lord and Savior, she remains with us as a guide and spirit of Christ's caring presence and our role in the ABCOFLASH Region.

Steve Simons

She was such an amazing lady. I will be praying for her husband and family.

Jose Menendez
Region Resource Minister

Gloria has been a constant influence on my life and ministry in ABC since the 80’s. She was a mover and a shaker in our ABCPSW Voluntarism Mission Ministry. She was a constant support as pastor’s wife and Area Minister’s wife in Arizona. The next phase of her ministry put the two of us together to work with the transition of our ABC family in 2006. On MANY occasions I needed to call the Marshall home to speak with Gloria. John, who served as her “receptionist,” would chat a bit with me and then say, “let me get the ‘Glorious One’ for you.” I can still hear her say, “Hey Deb. How are things going? What’s up?” I will miss my colleague, my confidant, and one who I am proud to have known and called friend.

Debbie Gentry
Regional Coordinator

We’ll be praying for them, especially for John. May God give His comfort to all the family.

Miguel Albañez
Member, Board of Directors

Gloria is now in Glory and what a great testimony this is to share that we should not be sad, but rejoicing as she had done so much for Jesus’ ways.

Melanie MarChow
Chair, Ordination Committee

I have known John and Gloria since 1977. I have worked alongside John when he was the Arizona Area Minister. They both served as ABC Missionaries in Congo during the turbulent times in the life of the country. Upon returning Gloria was active in many areas of ABC life, she served on National Commissions, Boards and Committees.

She was very active in her local churches. She was also very active on the Board of ABHOW (American Baptist Homes of the West), and most recently on the Board of HumanGood, which is a merged name for ABC and Presbyterian homes. I had the pleasure of serving on the Board with Gloria.
When in 2006, the ABCPSW left the Covenant of Relations, Gloria and I met with three other pastors to form an Association of ABC Congregations of South-West. Since then, I have requested her presence on our current Board, and had been a gracious help for me since 2006.

Gloria was a quiet and un-sung blessing among us. With grace, wit, wisdom, and tenacity she served the American Baptist National and International Ministries. I shall miss her very much.

Samuel Chetti
Executive Minister Emeritus

It is rare when we have a person who has touched our lives throughout the decades. Gloria is that person for me. As a young girl in the 1960’s, I attended a Guild Girls Conference in Bakersfield, California. Yes, the keynote speaker was Gloria Marshall. As she spoke of her work as a missionary in the Congo, my heart was touched. Then, in my professional life, I met Gloria again in the 1980’s while working for ABHOW. Her commitment to Rosewood Retirement Community in Bakersfield led her to work for many years on the ABHOW Board of Directors. Now in retirement, as she served as Chair of the Succession Committee for bringing forward a candidate for ABCOFLASH, I was privileged to work with her once more. In all of these efforts, she was committed, effective, faithful and wise. Her grace, wisdom and humor will be greatly missed. She was a faithful servant.

Kay Kallander
Senior Vice President for ABHOW (retired)

December 28th, 2018