Peter Marshall (preacher)
Peter Marshall (May 27, 1902 – January 26, 1949) was a Scots-American preacher, pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC and twice appointed as Chaplain of the United States Senate.
He is remembered popularly from the success of A Man Called Peter (1951), a biography of him written by his widow, Catherine Marshall, and the 1955 film adaptation of the same name, which was nominated for an Academy Award.
Early life and education
Born in Coatbridge (North Lanarkshire), Scotland, Marshall heard a strong calling to the ministry at a young age. Despite having no money, he emigrated to New York in 1927 when he was 24. He graduated from Columbia Theological Seminary in 1931.
He was called as the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, a small, rural church in Covington, Georgia. After a brief pastorate, Marshall accepted a call to Atlanta's Westminster Presbyterian Church in 1933.
Marriage and family
Peter J. Marshall followed his father into the Presbyterian clergy and ran a national ministry, Peter Marshall Ministries, from Orleans, Massachusetts. He wrote many books on the Christian faith in the United States.
In 1937 Marshall became pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C.. In 1946 he was appointed as U.S. Senate Chaplain, serving from January 4, 1947 until his sudden death of a heart attack just over two years later. He was 46 years old.[page needed]
- Dr. Peter Marshall School in Anaheim, California is named for him.
- Catherine Marshall wrote a biography of her husband, A Man Called Peter (1951), which was a popular success.
- It was adapted as a film of the same title, released in 1955, which was nominated for an Oscar. Directed by Henry Koster, it featured Richard Todd as Peter Marshall, and Jean Peters as Catherine Marshall. Todd studied tape recordings of several Marshall sermons from 1947–48; some of these historic recordings were later released to the public by Caedmon Records.
- The biography was also adapted as a stage play by the same name, produced in 1955.
Catherine Marshall developed a career as a writer, publishing more than 220 books. These included many editions of her late husband's sermons, several of her own inspirational books, and the best-selling novel Christy, inspired by her mother's accounts of her early teaching years in Appalachia.
Catherine died on March 18, 1983, and was buried at her request next to her first husband Peter Marshall.
The Presbyterian Historical Society in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has an undated carbon copy transcript of Catherine Marshall’s biography, A Man Called Peter. The undated transcript includes penciled annotations. The Society also holds a collection of Marshall’s sermons from his years as a pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church and New York Avenue Presbyterian Church.
The McCain Library at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia holds a large collection of papers donated by the estate of Catherine Marshall. Some of these papers included correspondence from Peter Marshall, photographs and recordings of him.
- Peter Marshall (MS Word .doc), UK: Peniel Ministries.
- Marshall 2002.
- "Historical Roots - Dr. Peter Marshall". Retrieved December 17, 2012.
- UPI. "Mrs. Catherine Marshall marries religious editor," The Dallas Morning News, November 15, 1959.
- Marshall, Catherine (2002-01-01) , A Man Called Peter: The Story of Peter Marshall (biography), Grand Rapids, MI, USA: Chosen, ISBN 0-8007-9311-0.
- A Man Called Peter (1955) at the Internet Movie Database, 1955 film based on the book, on the International Movie Database
- Peter Marshall Ministries (founded by the son of Peter Marshall, also called Peter Marshall).
- Our History, Covington, Georgia: First Presbyterian Church.