Marsh, 33, said after that weeks of prayer and conversation, he accepted a position as canon for congregational life at the Cathedral of St. Philip on Peachtree Street in Atlanta. He is expected to begin his new ministry on Nov. 28.
“I got a call by the dean to serve as canon of congregational life of the cathedral, a wonderful opportunity, and I just couldn’t say no,” Marsh said.
“My main job will be to work with 700 people that are between the ages of 20 and 40, newlyweds, people getting married and people married with children.”
The Very Rev. Sam Candler, dean of the Cathedral of St. Philip, wrote to his members that he heard good things about Marsh dating back to his college days and more recently around Episcopal church circles.
“Our canon staff, and our search advisory committee, are impressed with the range and the depth of Wallace Marsh’s ministry,” Candler wrote.
“He knows how to pastor, teach, preach and administer; and all these are exactly the skills the cathedral needs in a canon. Like all canons here, Wallace will participate fully in the presiding, preaching and pastoring schedules of priestly life. In particular, Wallace will be canon for congregational life, helping to develop small group ministries, young family ministries and parish life programs.”
Marsh and his wife of one year, Margaret Ann, will reside in the cathedral residence, according to the Cathedral St. Philips.
In August 2009, Marsh became associate rector of St. James,’ where he assisted the rector in the liturgy, pastoral care and teaching. A few months later, the Rev. Karen Evans retired as rector of the 1,300-member church. From January 2010 to April 2010, Marsh led the church, until the Rev. Dean Taylor took over as interim rector. Taylor left in September and Marsh has since served as priest-in-charge.
Before coming to St. James’, Marsh was the associate rector at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Albany. Before seminary, he was lay chaplain at All Saints’ Chapel in Sewanee, Tenn. In 2001, earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Sewanee: The University of the South and a master’s degree from the Yale Divinity School in 2007.
Marsh’s last Sunday service at St. James’ will be Sunday. The congregation is what he said he will miss the most. Through the transition of rectors, the church members showed a lot of trust him, he said.
“They’re wonderful, wonderful people,” said Marsh, who shared a farewell lunch with church staff on Wednesday.
“In many ways they’re like a small family and I’ve gotten to know everyone very well. It will be a larger family at the cathedral but it will be harder to get to know the people there, as well as I’ve gotten to know the people here.”
In December, the Rev. Roger Allen, a Thomasville native, will become St. James’ newest rector.
For the past five years Allen has served as rector of St. James Episcopal Church in Alexander City, Ala. Previously, he was the priest at the Chapel of the Holy Comforter in New Orleans and a chaplain at two colleges there. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia, Tulane University School of Law and the School of Theology at Sewanee.