John Evans Marshall was born in November 1932 at the family home in Chingford, on the outskirts of London. He was educated at Bancrofts School in Woodford, and was called up for National Service at the age of eighteen, serving for two years in the Royal Artillery, part of the time in Germany. He then read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Balliol, Oxford, where he distinguished himself in rowing.
He made a definite commitment to Christ on hearing Billy Graham in Oxford in May 1954, and after graduation in 1955 he responded to a call to the ministry by continuing studies at Mansfield College, Oxford, the theological school of the Congregational denomination to which he belonged. In 1958, after receiving his BA and MA, Marshall was called to Alexandra Road Congregational Church in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, a call twice renewed (in 1958 and 1961). He served this congregation faithfully for 45 years until his death from liver cancer in August 2003.
John Marshall and Susan Westcott were married in Westminster Chapel by Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones in September 1961, having met on a mission in Plymouth during their student days at Oxford. The Lord blessed them with four children. John’s wider ministry included the Trust’s Leicester Ministers’ Conference, where he first preached in 1976, and service as a Trustee from 1982. He travelled widely on behalf of the Trust, and had a particular interest in Eastern Europe.[See also John J Murray’s biography of John Marshall in John E. Marshall: Life and Writings, published by the Trust in 2005.]