Biography for W. T. Marshall
I was born on September 20, 1952 in Gary, Indiana; grew up in Portage, Indiana. I graduated from Portage High School in 1970.
My parents did all they could to sustain a household of one girl and five boys. they were good parents, but had no commitment to Christ and His church. I attended a local church only because my grandma Marshall required her grandchildren to be there. At the age of fifteen/sixteen, I made the choice not to attend.
After graduation, only because my draft number was 52, I enlisted in the US Army in January 1971. My training was for infantry, and I was to be shipped to the war in Vietnam. Here is when my world made a huge change. Right before my deployment I was contacted by the Red Cross and was told I had to leave for home immediately. My father had become ill, and it was urgent for me to get home. Days later my dad died at the age of 45. At that point, things for me completely turned negative. Little did I know, I would be on a descent into the world of drugs and alcohol. I literally cursed God and blamed Him for all he woes of my life.
Another change was soon to happen in 1974. Home for good, after serving my country, I returned to my old job. A dear co-worker friend of mine made a change in his life and i watched him become “different”. He no longer was involved in the drinking we used to do together. He was no longer foul-mouthed, as the rest of us were. I inquired of it, and he shared that he had given his life to Jesus. Immediately I went on the defensive, and let him know that I wanted no part of it. Time went by and my friend invited me to attend church. I said I would, but only once. I did attend. Before long, the wife of my friend invited me to attend, and I did. In a short time, the pastor and a deacon came to the house. During all this time, I continued abusing drugs and alcohol. My house was the common party house and many of the local abusers would come by. In December of 1973 I planned a new year party at my place. Four days later, after experiencing no sense of fun, I did something that brings me to where I am today – and to the end of my life here on earth. On January 4, 1974, I knelt down in my living room and prayed to the God I had cursed. I asked for forgiveness and a new life. I asked Jesus to come into my life. There were no voices from heaven, no angels singing, and no lightning bolts. It was the beginning of a personal relationship by faith with Jesus. This did not make me better than others, only forgiven.
In 1976 I met a wonderful, Godly woman. We married August 14, 1976. The Lord has given me two beautiful daughters who constantly serve Him. They have provided four wonderful grandchildren. I have been blessed.
Barley finishing high school, the Lord opened the door for me to be accepted into a college. I was on academic probation for my first year. After my first year of college, I knew He was calling me into pastoral ministry. I changed my major and began studying for my new calling. I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in 1979. I was ordained in 1981. I returned to Indiana and a small church asked me to fill their pulpit. They were gathering in an elementary school in St. John. They asked me to return the next Sunday. On May 12, 1991, they asked me to become their pastor. Since then, we have paid off a property note for ten acres – built phase one and phase two. Lord willing, we will soon be about the business of building phase three.