Marshall to Blunt: Be true to Jesus
By Allen Palmeri
January 25, 2005
JEFFERSON CITY – John Marshall is the governor’s pastor, so it’s fair to assume he was waiting for the call that would line him up as the speaker for the public prayer service Jan. 10 at First Baptist Church, Jefferson City.
But when word finally came that Gov.-elect Matt Blunt wanted Marshall to do the honors, the pastor of Second Baptist Church, Springfield, admitted to a little bit of surprise. He quickly got over that and knew he could get on a very comfortable level with Blunt once he saw him at the inaugural prayer service.
“When you know somebody real well, you know their heart, so it was no problem for me to be very straightforward,” Marshall said. “My remarks were directed right to him. The whole message was for him.”
Honesty was Marshall’s first point.
“Missourians like your genuine simplicity,” Marshall told Blunt. “Don’t seek to become something other than what you are. Don’t become plastic and unreal. Be honest.”
The second point was humility.
“Halls of power can become an ego rush,” Marshall warned. “The corridors politicians pursue often become nooses dragging them down. Humble men have been elected, become puffed up, and crashed on these corridors like breakers.”
The third point was to encourage Gov. Blunt to love his wife, Melanie.
“I’m confident you will feel us loving you, governor, as we watch you loving your wife and children,” the pastor said. “Don’t let us down. Be a husband.”
The fourth and final point was holiness.
“Be true to Jesus,” Marshall exhorted. “Offend Him not. Honor His reputation. Bless the nail-scarred hand that has blessed you.”
Marshall said the governor called him Jan. 11 to thank him for the message.
“I’ve already been talking about the things of the Lord with him even since the inauguration,” Marshall said.