R. Marshall Blalock
Marshall Blalock serves as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Charleston. A native of Charleston, Marshall grew up in First Baptist Church. A graduate of Furman University (B.A. History), Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and North Greenville University (D.Min.), he was ordained by First Baptist Church 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, returning to First Baptist Church as pastor in 1997.
Marshall is married to Cathy, and they have three adult children and three grandchildren. Cathy is a partner in ministry, serving in the Women’s Ministry leading Bible studies and prayer groups. Cathy has the distinction of formerly being named as "Pastor's Wife of the Year" among 47,000 Southern Baptist Churches across America.
Marshall’s tenure as pastor has been marked by an abiding commitment to the original mission of the church, missions and discipleship. First Baptist Church is integrally involved in international missions, with seven members serving overseas full-time to share the gospel with unreached peoples. First Baptist takes teams regularly to partner with these missionary families. First Baptist is involved in local mission projects, including support for two church plants in the city.
In the shadow of the Emanuel Nine murders on June 17, 2015, Marshall has been working for racial reconciliation to the city and beyond. He serves on the steering council for Unify, an initiative to bring reconciliation through churches across America. 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, chairman of the Abuse Reform Task Force for the Southern Baptist Convention, and currently serves as a trustee on the International Mission Board.
“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