"They said it could not be done…Pastor Gerson C. Marshall did it!"
Pastor Marshall was a God-fearing man of Faith, Vision, Wisdom and Passion. He was highly motivated to help people accomplish the impossible.
Gerson Carlisle Marshall was born on March 17, 1941 in St. Joseph, Barbados, West Indies. He was one in a family of 8 boys and 2 girls. He migrated to Brooklyn, New York in 1961, where he met “His Trinidadian Queen,” Joy. They were married in 1963, and this union produced three children, Joy, Timothy and Nadine. His family was the pride and joy of his life.
In December, 1976, the Lord was pleased to answer the prayers of 7 dedicated Christians, and established Ebenezer Missionary Chapel, Inc. located on 387 East 51st Street in Brooklyn. Pastor Marshall was committed to training and delegating authority to the leaders and congregation. It was his burning desire to see people develop their God-given gifts, and function, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, independently of him. Like the Apostle Paul, he wanted to see believers edified and the lost won for Christ. He always emphasized that this work was not a “one man show”, and enforced the fact that he would not always be around.
After establishing Ebenezer Missionary Chapel, Inc., the Lord gave Pastor Marshall a vision to address the need for a Christian educational institution. In 1980, he was led to the abandoned, dilapidated Ingersoll Nursing Home, and prayerfully purchased the property at 5464 Kings Highway, our present location. Pastor Marshall faced endless ridicule and criticism for this act of faith, yet he persevered against the odds. After months of extensive renovations and aggressive fundraising, Ebenezer Preparatory School opened with 5 students in September, 1981. Pastor Marshall, along with his very supportive wife, Joy J. Marshall, and other dedicated family and friends, worked tirelessly to ensure the proper establishment of this educational ministry. The labor of these faithful servants paid off. After 2 years, the school expanded to accommodate Early Childhood classes from Nursery to Kindergarten, and educated students in all of the major subjects including Spanish and Computer Education in Grades 1-8. The Lord enabled us to give our students an excellent academic and spiritual education despite our economic and financial challenges.
On April 7, 1994, at the age of 53, the Lord called Pastor Gerson C. Marshall home to glory. The church and school have continued because of God’s grace and faithful provision. Ebenezer Missionary Chapel, Inc. and Ebenezer Preparatory School have upheld Pastor Marshall’s vision and commitment of keeping JESUS CHRIST as their foundation, “walking by faith and not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7.
Today, Pastor Marshall’s wife, children, relatives, church members and friends work diligently in the school, and our students are thriving academically, spiritually, personally, and socially. We are grateful for the dedicated staff, parents, alumni, and extended family that have helped to carry the torch lit by our dearly departed founder. We continue to reflect on the legacy of the late Pastor Gerson C. Marshall who is fondly remembered for his love of Christian fellowship, family, friends, fun and food. We thank God for this faithful, tireless, humble worker who gave freely of his bear hugs, his time, his wallet and his heart. Let us endeavor to move forward pressing toward the prize while standing firm upon God’s promises written in Mark 11:24, “…what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”
Hallelujah! "We’ve come this far by faith, leaning on the Lord!"