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Marshall, Bert W. '97 M.Div.


Rev. Bert Marshall is a native of Weeping Water, Nebraska, located between Omaha and Lincoln at the western edge of the dry-land corn belt, just south of the Platte River. He has played professionally in a regionally-popular rock ‘n roll band based in Lincoln, NE. The band opened for groups such as The Who, Herman’s Hermits, The Grassroots, and the Detroit Wheels (without Mitch Ryder). In 1997 he and his band-mates (known as The Chancellors) were inducted into the Nebraska Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame, at which time they played a reunion gig at a sold-out rock ‘n roll club outside of Lincoln.

Rev. Marshall also spent ten years driving tractor-trailers for a New England health food distributor. Prior to that he apprenticed on a couple of Vermont dairy farms, co-managed with his wife a small farm and country inn in northern Vermont, and worked with troubled teenagers from New York City at a residential setting in Pleasantville, NY. The latter work was his alternative service as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, and was the reason for his move East from Nebraska.

He is a graduate of Yale University Divinity School, where upon graduation he was awarded the top prizes in “religion and the arts” and in “the public recitation of scripture”. Among his more important and highly-favored studies were two years of Biblical Hebrew and courses in the art of storytelling, narrative preaching, and the performance of Biblical texts. The musical setting for the Syro-Phoenician Woman story in the Gospel of Mark was conceived and written while he was a student at the Divinity School.

Bert was pastor of the First Congregational Church UCC in Lee, MA, from Sept 1997 - Oct 2006, and is now Regional Director / Northern New England for Church World Service, the international disaster relief and economic development agency. A life-long singer/songwriter, he still writes songs and creates music for worship and other venues. He committed the Gospel of Mark to memory while on a three-month sabbatical in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 2003. He and his wife of 32 years raised two children who are now young adults.

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