508 Cokesburg Lane Richmond, VA 23229 804.658.4256DonaldMarsden@pff.net
Donald grew up attending a Presbyterian congregation in Connecticut. Although involved in his church youth group, and identifying with the Christian way of life, he had only the foggiest, agnostic notion of God. That changed in the summer of 1976 when God grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and became very real to him. Donald sensed God’s call to faith and to ministry in the Presbyterian Church. Life has never been under control since.
Even before he came to faith, Donald became involved in mission work– repairing homes and teaching gymnastics to children in rural Maine through church summer youth trips. After college he spent two years serving in youth ministry with German youth in West Berlin, Germany, visiting with Christians behind the iron curtain in East Germany, Poland and Russia. Following graduation from Princeton Seminary, Donald was ordained to the gospel ministry. He and his wife Laurie served thirteen years in two congregations in Pennsylvania and Virginia. The Marsdens were then called with their three children to serve as missionaries of the PCUSA in Russia from 1997-2008. In Russia Donald focused on training Russian church leaders for ministry and publishing books for children. He also travelled with Harold Kurtz to visit the nomadic reindeer herding Nenets in Siberia, the Roma in Ukraine, and thus was introduced to the work of frontier mission.
In PFF Donald focuses on helping congregations become involved in outreach to the Arssi Oromo of Ethiopia. He also has relationships with mission workers in West Africa, Russia, Siberia, Hungary and Ukraine. Donald works with congregations all over the United States, but especially in Virginia, the Carolinas, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New England.
Donald writes “God has led me to follow and serve Jesus Christ in ways I never expected. The call to be a pastor, to eleven years of mission service in Russia and Siberia, to serve with PFF – all of these have come to me as total surprises. Sometimes I have responded reluctantly to God’s call, sometimes enthusiastically. In our highly complex, fragmented and violent world it is a privilege to serve with PFF seeking to be a part of extending good news to all ethnic and religious groups in the world. I am grateful to God to be in partnership with so many wonderful people who make this possible.”
Write or call Donald to be included on his monthly prayer letter or newsletter list.