Grace Presbytery welcomes Rev. Dr. Jennifer Marshall
When you come across a job listing for a non-ordained position, but you’re “feeling the call” to apply as an ordained minister, what’s the next step?
For Rev. Dr. Jennifer Marshall, who stumbled upon the First Presbyterian Church of Tyler website and learned of their need for a Director of Student Ministries, you heed the call. And when God’s timing works, it’s a wonderful thing.
“As I expressed my interest and sensed that God might be calling me to Tyler, the search committee was very open to making it a position for an ordained teaching elder,” says Jennifer.
Originally from South Carolina, she received her M.Div. with Christian Education emphasis from Gardner-Webb University School of Divinity, and also holds an M.M. in Organ Performance from Winthrop University and a D.M.A. in Organ Performance from the University of South Carolina.
And with Jennifer, music is a family affair. She is married to Zach, who is the Director of Choral Activities at nearby Kilgore College. They are new parents to 19-month-old daughter, Georgia.
“My family and I are really enjoying Tyler and feel that the people at FPC – and around the town – are welcoming and friendly. I feel great support and love (already!) from my FPC colleagues, the congregation, and especially from the youth and their families.”
Because of the somewhat “impromptu” time-frame for her hiring, Jennifer is officially considered Stated Supply through the end of the year. Her ministry at FPC, Tyler began September 1.
“My greatest hope is to help the youth feel like a family… to know that FPC is a safe and loving place for them and to know that God is real and loves them.”
A healthy identity as the ‘FPC Tyler Youth’ is a good goal, but Jennifer also wants her students to have an outward-reaching purpose to share God’s love and grace with others.
“I hope that their faith and understanding will grow as we delve into the Bible and reflect theologically on life. I want for them to be well-informed about our faith as Presbyterian and Reformed Christians, but to be unafraid to ask questions as well – and to wrestle with any challenging ‘gray’ areas they encounter.”
First Presbyterian Church is located at 230 Rusk Street in Tyler, Texas. Sunday worship is offered at 8:30 a.m. in the chapel and 11:00 a.m. in the sanctuary. Campus-wide Sunday School takes place at 9:45 a.m.