The Rev. David Marshall began his post on March 5. His first service will be on Sunday, March 10.
The Rev. David Marshall might be the new priest at All Angels by the Sea Episcopal Church, but he looks at his role more widely.
While he said he looks forward to working with the population of the church, he also sees himself as a minister to all of Longboat Key.
“I also believe a church has walls, but a church isn’t held by walls,” he said. “A church can go outside its own walls.”
While in the seminary, Marshall worked with military veterans and retirees, which led him to working with people of various faiths. Because of that background, he wants all Longboat residents to know he’s a person they can talk to.
Marshall’s first official day with the church was March 5. He will preach his first service on March 10.
Marshall received his Bachelor of Arts in political science from St. Martin’s University in Lacey, Wash., and his master’s of divinity from The Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, Calif. He was ordained as a deacon in 2007 and as a priest in 2008.
He has been published in two daily devotional books and plans to write a weekly column for the church. He is currently working on a book about a pastoral response to global ecological change.
Most recently, Marshall was serving in St. John’s Episcopal Church in Chula Vista, Calif. Chula Vista, he said, holds the largest international crossing in the world as it’s close to Tijuana, Mexico. He said at least one member of the governance team was on the border patrol, which made for an interesting mix of congregants.
Marshall was originally called to St. Johns to try to turn the preschool to eighth grade school around. After five years, it was decided that the best option was to close the school. The facility is now used as an outreach center for those living below the federal poverty level.
Shortly after that transition, Marshall said he felt God calling him elsewhere, he just didn’t know that would lead him to Longboat Key.
“God has me doing a different type of ministry, and we believe in a God who makes all things new, and he is definitely making something new with this,” he said.
His first goal is to get to know everyone and hear their stories. Marshall said he is looking forward to helping the church with its outreach initiatives and updating some of the technologies that the church uses, including its website and sound system.
So far, he said the church’s congregants have been welcoming of him and his family. Marshall moved here with his wife, Christi and two of his children, Elijah and Ethan.
Because the Marshall family arrived in Florida before their belongings, members of the church stocked their home with air mattresses, sheets, towels, silverware and a table.
This warmth parallels the outreach that Marshall sees All Angels already doing.
“Churches naturally build community and support one another …” he said.