Abraham Marshall followed his father in becoming the pastor of the Kiokee Baptist church in north east Georgia. After more than forty years of bachelorhood, Abraham determined that the Lord wanted him to marry, providing him with someone “to divide the sorrows and double the joys of life.” That desire was a part of Abraham’s purpose in visiting his father’s homeland in New England. Praying for a better horse and for a wife, Bro. Marshall set off across the Savanna River in 1792. In a few days, a Christian brother heard about the preacher’s need and traded horses with him. With that prayer answered, Abraham believed a wife would also be provided.
Stopping in Spottsylvania, Virginia at the home of John Waller, Marshall met Miss Ann Waller. She was not the least bit taken aback when he explained the purpose of his trip and that he had appointments in New England. She agreed to marry him, if the Lord didn’t provide him a wife from among the Yankees.
Abraham Marshall’s preaching tour in the north was blessed by the Lord, but no wife was supplied. On this day in 1792 he arrived back in Spottsylvania and four days later the couple was married. Six days were involved in the entire courtship, but these were not starry-eyed children. He was a forty-four-year-old seasoned Baptist preacher and she was thirty-one-year-old Christian woman.
Ann and Abraham enjoyed a three month “horseback honeymoon,” riding about 550 miles down to Kiokee. The couple eventually had four sons, one of whom followed his father and grandfather as pastor of the church.
Ann Marshall died in the fall of 1815 in her fifty-fourth year and her husband followed her a year later at the age of seventy-two.
My heart was moved a few years ago when I visited the old Kiokee church, unused but still standing, and the little cemetery where a few markers still carried the name “Marshall” on them.