Published January 22, 2019
LOUISVILLE—William W. (Bill) Marshall, retired executive secretary-treasurer of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, died Jan. 22, following a major stroke last week. He was 86.
Marshall retired in February 1997, after completing 14 years at the KBC helm. During his tenure, the convention made numerous advances, the most notable being extensive statewide participation in partnership missions ventures with Baptists in Kenya, Brazil, and Russia, and Ohio, Utah-Idaho and New England.
His No. 1 objective, Marshall told the Western Recorder in a 1997 interview, was to "increase awareness of and involvement by Kentucky Baptists in the total world mission of God." Kentucky Baptists, he said, had exceeded his hopes in accomplishing that objective. "No one thing gives me more satisfaction," he added.
Among other KBC highlights during Marshall's tenure were helping Kentucky Baptists start 600 new churches, missions and ministry points; providing financial resources for Kentucky Baptist participation in Southern Baptists' national "Here's Hope" evangelistic campaigns; and leading Kentucky Baptists to make better provisions for the retirement benefits of ministers.
He also worked to create the KBC's former family ministry and minister/church support departments, shepherded a process of adopting covenant agreements with each KBC agency and institution; and enabled construction of the old Kentucky Baptist Building West on Shelbyville Road in Middletown that housed the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, Woman's Missionary Union and Western Recorder.
In retirement, Marshall and his wife, Alice, served as the first coordinators of the Marshall Center for Christian Ministry at Georgetown College. The center, which was named for them, has formed with a five-fold mission related to theology, academics, family, missions and leadership. Both were Georgetown alumni.
A Frankfort native, Marshall returned to Kentucky to assume the executive director position in 1983. He moved from the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) where he had been a vice president.
Earlier, the Marshalls had been FMB career missionaries serving in the Middle East, living in Nicosia, Cyprus; Beirut, Lebanon; and Munich, West Germany.
In 1956, he was the founding pastor of Highlands Baptist Church in Lexington. He also had served as pastor of Kern's Grove Baptist Church in Owensboro while attending Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, graduating in 1961.
From 1964-69, Marshall was associate secretary of the Department for Missionary Personnel at the Foreign Mission Board, prior to being appointed as a career missionary. In 1976, he return to the FMB as director of furlough ministries, before being appointed vice president of its Office of Human Resources in 1980.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, Feb. 16 at 11 a.m., at Broadway Baptist Church in Louisville. (WR)
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