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Obituary: Rev. Cherry Marshall dies Jan. 13

5:22 PM EST, January 17, 2012

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Less than a week after her joyous retirement service and celebration with congregation members, the Rev. Edythe Cherry Marshall died Jan. 13. She was 66.

The Rev. Cherry Marshall had served as pastor of Hope Presbyterian Church in Arbutus for 38 years after becoming the first female pastor in Baltimore and one of the first 100 nationally in the Presbyterian Church.

As the moderator of the Baltimore Presbytery (1988-89), she was the first clergy female moderator in Baltimore.

A longtime Catonsville resident with her husband, the Rev. Ira Marshall, she was born in Philadelphia.

She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in religion from Transylvania College, in Kentucky, in 1967 and graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary, where she majored in the New Testament, in 1970.

She was ordained Sept. 20, 1970 at her childhood church, First Presbyterian Church in Germantown, Pa.

Her career in the ministry began as assistant minister at the Hagerstown Presbyterian Church (1970-73).

She married Ira, also a Presbyterian minister, May 5, 1973.

But instead of joining her husband's church, Hughes Memorial in Sparrows Point, she was named interim pastor at Hope Presbyterian Church on June 1, 1973. She was named pastor at Hope in 1975.

She received her Doctorate of Ministry from McCormick Theological Seminary of Chicago in 1982.

During her time at Hope, Rev. Cherry performed hundreds of weddings, baptisms and funerals.

More importantly, her congregants, and other knew that she would be there for them, during their triumphs and their tragedies, according to her daughter-in-law, Lindy Marshall.

She was a living testament that one person can make a difference, according to Marshall.

In addition to her husband, Rev. Cherry is survived by her sons, Will and Peter (Lindy), granddaughters Katelyn, Luke and Grace and brother, Peter Watson (Deborah). She was predeceased by her brother, Charles Watson.

A memorial service will be held at Hope Presbyterian Church Saturday, Jan. 21, at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial donation can be made to Hope Church, 4748 Shelbourne Road, Baltimore, MD 21227.