R. Marshall Blalock
R. Marshall Blalock has served as Pastor of First Baptist Church since July of 1997. A native of Charleston, Marshall grew up attending First Baptist School from second grade through high school graduation, becoming a member of the church as a teenager. A graduate of Furman University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Marshall was ordained at First Baptist in August of 1981. He previously served as pastor of St. Helena Baptist Church in Beaufort, SC, and Sullivan’s Island Baptist Church in the Charleston area.
Marshall is married to Cathy and they have three adult children, all married, and the children grew up as part of the First Baptist Church family. Cathy is a partner in ministry, serving in the Women’s Ministry leading Bible studies and prayer groups.
Marshall’s tenure as pastor has been marked by an abiding commitment to the original mission of the church, missions and education. First Baptist Church annually gives generously to international missions, ranking in the top one percent of all Southern Baptist churches. First Baptist takes teams at least twice a year to partner with First Baptist’s many missionary families serving in various parts of the world. First Baptist is involved in local mission projects, two church plants in the city, and has opportunities to reach families through the ministry of First Baptist School of Charleston.
One major focus going on at present is the Regeneration campaign to renew the church campus to provide opportunities to reach generations to come. First Baptist Church has made several key decisions regarding properties and buildings during the pastor’s tenure. Among those was the 2008 purchase of 60 acres to build new school facilities on James Island. The beautiful and spacious new facilities have had a great impact on educational and spiritual growth for hundreds of students. The renewal of the downtown campus will be completed by April 2022.
Since June of 2015 when the shooting took place at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, the pastor has been working to bring racial reconciliation to the city and beyond. He has spoken at Mission Mississippi, the Southern Baptist Convention, and in universities across South Carolina. He has served as president of the South Carolina Baptist Convention and on several executive and task force committees in the Southern Baptist Convention.
“In my life I have been afforded many blessings by the grace of God, and among the choicest of those blessings is being a part of First Baptist Church of Charleston. I rejoice in getting to love and serve our people, to preach the eternal truth of God’s word, to be part of a church on mission for Christ, and to rejoice in worship of the One True God together. Our staff and our volunteer leaders are all outstanding, and together we seek to honor Christ and make disciples as we serve our city.” — Marshall