Marcus Garvey Wood began the journey to this milestone in his
life on June 18, 1920 when he was born in Gloucester, Virginia
as one of seven sons of Frank and Julia Wood. Marcus completed
elementary and secondary schooling in Gloucester.
of his earliest spiritual milestones was reached while he was
still in high school when, as an already baptized believer in
Christ Jesus, he accepted the call to the Christian ministry.
Union Zion Baptist Church in Ware Neck, Virginia licensed him
to preach in 1937 and ordained him in 1940.
Early in his ministry, Rev. Wood served as pastor of Wainwright
Baptist Church in West Virginia and Bethlehem Baptist Church in
Woodbury, New Jersey. While in New
he earned his Master of Divinity degree at Crozier Theological
Seminary. One of his class mates was the civil rights leader,
Martin Luther King, Jr. This friendship led to his involvement
in the civil rights movement of the 1960's.
Wood came to Providence in 1952. He has led the congregation for
53 years. His visionary leadership has resulted in involving the
congregation in many new and innovative activities. These include:
in a covenant of unity (sharing church facilities)
a solar-heated, handicapped-accessible church
a missionary program which includes foreign missions, food programs,
an AIDS ministry, a committee for the homeless, and a parent/child
development of the Providence Adult Day Care Center
the past half century, Rev. Wood has served the community-at-large
through participation in many agencies, boards and organizations.
Advance Federal Savings, Colgate Rochester, Bexly Hall and Crozer
Divinity School, Rochester, New York; the Kidney Foundation of
Maryland; the Maryland State Dental Board; Montebello Rehabilitation
Hospital; The Baltimore Urban League; the Interdenominational
Ministerial Alliance; the United Baptist Missionary Convention
and the NAACP have benefited from his involvement. He continues
to be active with the Baltimore Baptist Ministers Conference of
Baltimore and Vicinity. He is highly respected among his colleagues
and is known affectionately as "The Dean" of ministers
in the Baltimore Metropolitan area. Of the many honors and awards
he has received, one of the most meaningful was to have been honored
by Crozer Theological Seminary with a "Distinguished Alumni
example, Rev. Wood promotes the need for and advantages of continuous
study. He has encouraged the congregation as a group to study
specific books for spiritual and personal development. He regularly
recognizes academic achievements by persons of all ages. On occasion,
he will point out to children that he continues to study and that
one is never too old to learn. His personal quest for learning
has taken him to distant lands including England and Scotland
for study. Through the efforts of Rev. Wood, the congregation
participates in the Parrish Resource Center of Lancaster, Pa.
The Center focuses on leadership development through workshops
and audio-visual aids.
Wood is an excellent example of age connoting wisdom. Realizing
the inevitability of not being able to continue his workload at
the pace and magnitude of the past, he presented the vision of
a co-pastor to the congregation. With the sanction of the majority
of the congregation, he invited Rev.
Dr. Douglas E. Summers, formerly of Winston-Salem, N. C. to
join him in a co-pastor relationship, marking another milestone
in his pastorate. His willingness to even consider having a co-pastor
is indicative of his strong reliance on and response to the Holy
Spirit for guidance and his own self confidence.
is married to the former Bessie Pendleton. They have two children
and four grandchildren. The title of the book written by Rev.
Wood, "...and Grace Shall Lead Me Home", reflects his
belief in and reliance on the grace of God that has been leading
him and will continue to lead him past other milestones throughout