Remembering Rev. Marvin Albright

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Rev. Marvin Gene Albright
November 10, 1929 – March 25, 2022

Marvin Gene Albright, of Pleasant Hill TN, son of John J. and Selma I. (née Scherer) Albright was born in Houston, TX, on Nov. 10, 1929. During his teen years, he lived with his parents and siblings near the farming community of Beasley, TX, where cotton and corn were the major cash crops.

Following graduation from high school, with the desire to follow a career in ministry, he enrolled at the University of Texas, later transferring to Elmhurst College, IL, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Sociology in 1952. That was followed by a Bachelor of Divinity degree in Old Testament from Eden Theological Seminary, MO, and ordination into ministry at Frieden’s Evan. & Ref. church in Beasley, TX, in 1955.

While at Elmhurst, Marvin met Jo Ann B. Ehlert, who was to become his wife. They were married in the Elmhurst Chapel by Dr. Rudolph Schade on June 25, 1955. Mrs. Albright survives and continues to live in Pleasant Hill. To this union were born their three surviving children, Ms. Gayle Albright of New Braunfels, TX, David Albright (wife Shirley) of Warsaw, MO, and Thomas Albright (wife Judy) of New Cumberland, PA. Surviving are eight grandchildren, Matthew (wife Maddy), Ashleigh, Hannah, Lauren, Jeremy, Shannon, Emily and Carly. Great-grandson, Jace. Two great-granddaughters on the way. Surviving nephews, John, Bill, Keith, Eric. Surviving nieces, Sue Ellen and Julie.

During the 40-year ministry, Rev. Albright served St. John’s Evan. & Ref. Church, Uhland, TX (1955-1958), Redeemer United Church of Christ, Marion, TX (1958-1964), and Immanuel United Church of Christ, Sedalia, MO (1964-1994). The 30 years in Sedalia, he served the church faithfully, also offering leadership to the Conference Camp Committee, the Church and Ministry Committee, Conference Council serving as moderator, and as General Synod Delegate for four years.

Rev. Albright was dedicated to the church and believed that it had a mission to fulfill, to heed Jesus’ call to “feed the hungry, to give drink to the thirsty, to care for the stranger, to clothe the naked, to visit the sick and those in prison.” To that end, with the support of the local church and other likeminded persons, he helped establish the city’s public housing program and served as its director for ten years. He helped organize the Open-Door Service Center for providing clothing and financial resources to meet human needs. He spearheaded a drive to establish CASA (Citizens Against Spousal Abuse) shelter for victims of domestic violence and served as president. He was the organizer and chair of Child Safe of Central Missouri established to address the problem of child sexual abuse. He served as president of the Liberty Center Associations for the Arts, and as a part-time instructor in World Religions at State Fair Community College. In 1985, the Sedalia Chamber of Commerce honored him with the “Outstanding Citizen of the Year” award. In 1991, Eden Theological Seminary conferred on him the Honorary Doctor of Divinity.

After his ministry, Rev. Albright and his wife retired to the Uplands Village community in Pleasant Hill. Active members of the United Church of Christ in Pleasant Hill, he continued his volunteerism for the community and was a consummate advocate for social justice issues.

This quote from George Bernard Shaw is a fitting summary of Rev. Albright’s life and ministry: “I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and so long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatsoever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no ‘brief candle’ for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possibly before handing it on to future generations.” — George Bernard Shaw

Celebration of Life services will be held at a later date.