The installation service was held Wednesday, Oct. 30.
Father David Marshall was installed as the Rector of All Angels By the Sea Episcopal Church on Longboat Key on Wednesday, Oct. 30. Marshall moves from the position of Priest-in-Charge to become Rector of the church.
Marshall has been part of All Angels since February, when he and his family moved from San Diego on the word of a friend that Marshall should apply for the job. When speaking to the congregation after the afternoon’s service, Marshall thanked his wife, Christi, for the encouragement to “just go for it.”
“I believe in love at first sight,” Marshall said. “That spark happened here. I knew it was right, so why wait?”
Leaders of nearby congregations, including Bishop Dabney Smith of the Dioceses of Southwest Florida, Rabbi Stephen Sniderman of Temple Beth Israel and Reverend Kevin Warner from Sun City Center, came and spoke during the service about Marshall’s talent as a priest and willingness to push the boundaries of what the church does and challenge routines.
“They are lucky to have you in this parish,” Warner said. “Now turn — you’re lucky too. You are very lucky to be part of this diocese.”
Despite Marshall’s time as priest-in-charge, it’s clear how the congregants took to the young priest.
He made the congregation chuckle during the service multiple times, always showing grace, and as everyone filed out to begin celebrating, there was no shortage of glowing compliments about Marshall and his leadership.
“What I love about All Angels is you make me want to step out of my comfort zone,” Marshall said.
On the day of his installation, that step outside the comfort zone took the form of singing during the service with his son, to the delight of the congregants.
“One of the most striking things in his first interview was that the first thing he said was, ‘Can we start with a prayer?’” said BJ Bishop, chair of the search committee that brought in Marshall. “He was the only candidate who did that.”
Normally, said Bishop, a priest-in-charge holds that title for a year or two before being installed as rector, so Marshall’s timeline was accelerated.
“God sent us David Marshall and it became so clear in our prayers,” said Bishop. “Everybody loves him.”