Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Marshall Smith is the son and grandson of Baptist ministers. He was brought up in the way of community service and dedication to the church. As a child, Marshall dreamed of being an astronaut. The heavens have always interested him and he has devoted study to these provinces in a variety of mystical ways.

After graduation from Baylor with a degree in English, Marshall had a chance reconnection with Mary Jane Jackson (a former high school flame) that ignited a spark. He remembers telling his dad about this new revelation following his brother’s wedding. As we were pushing the brooms I stopped and said, “Dad, do you remember Mary Jane Jackson?” Thirty years later, the couple has just returned from a bucket list trip to Sweden where one of the highlights was sleeping in the Ice Hotel.

When Marshall was eleven, his brother along with his young bride and their baby, were in a terrible car accident. It left his brother gravely injured and in need of nursing care. Young Marshall watched as his brother slowly faded for months, finally passing away after nearly two years. This tragic scene deeply impacted Marshall’s perceptions of life and God. At eighteen, he left the small, Texas town of Gonzales for Baylor University.

In his junior year, Marshall was an exchange student to Fukuoka, Japan. Being so far away from home and mixing with another culture added layers to Marshall’s already broadened view of himself and the world.

After college, he and Mary Jane lived in Houston where he worked in banking. When her job brought them to Austin, Marshall decided it was time for a change. Over chicken fried steak at Threadgill’s one day, Marshall learned that the First Austin business administrator was about to retire. The rest is history.

He has served as the Business Administrator at the First Baptist Church of Austin for the last fourteen years. Marshall feels blessed to be part of a church where we ask questions and sometimes disagree, but we keep loving each other. Thanks be to Marshall, for he keeps the lights on and our programs running with an intricate balance of peace, love, God and money. 


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