Rev, 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.

One 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
Rev. Marcus G. Wood

Jersey, 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.

Rev. 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:

  • Sharing in a covenant of unity (sharing church facilities)
  • Building a solar-heated, handicapped-accessible church
  • Building a missionary program which includes foreign missions, food programs, an AIDS ministry, a committee for the homeless, and a parent/child exhange program.
  • The development of the Providence Adult Day Care Center

Over 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 Award".

Through 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.

Rev. 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.

He 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 life's journey.




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