FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–Bill Marshall, for whom Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s extension center in San Antonio is named, died Oct. 23 from complications from pneumonia. He was 79.
Marshall was director of the extension center from 1985-2000; it was named as the William R. Marshall Center for Theological Studies in 2006. Marshall also played a role in establishing the center in 1976.
Rudy Gonzalez, dean of the Marshall Center, said Marshall considered the naming of the center “an honor he did not deserve…. Bill Marshall was a gentle man who loved the Lord and loved all people.”
Marshall was an active Southern Baptist layman, serving both the local church and denominational life as a Sunday School teacher, deacon and member of executive boards of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and the San Antonio Baptist Association. A native of San Antonio, he was passionate about advancing theological education, especially for Hispanic pastors.
During more than 30 years in public education, he was superintendent of curriculum in the Harlandale (Texas) Independent School District from 1969-84 and had experience as a principal, vice principal, professor and teacher from 1952-69.
According to a news release from Southwestern Seminary, the San Antonio extension center under his direction advanced “the education of many South Texas preachers who could not afford to be trained in Fort Worth,” where Southwestern’s main campus is located. “[H]e was able to turn a school that only offered undergraduate degrees into a seminary with master’s level education.”
“His dynamic personality and passion for the Lord drew the highest numbers of recruiting and graduating students to date,” the news release recounted. Even though he retired in 2000, Marshall continued to recruit students to the extension center.
Marshall is survived by two daughters, Susan and Angie. His wife of 55 years, Nell, died earlier this year. Visitation will be held on Sunday, Oct. 27, from 2-9 p.m. at the Mission Park Burial Park South in San Antonio. The funeral will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 28, at First Baptist Church of San Antonio.
Michelle Myers is a writer for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.