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Marston to retire as foundation president

Marston to retire as foundation president

e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service

Marston to retire as foundation president

By Suzanne McGovern | Dec. 8, 2009 {1110}

NOTE: A headshot of the Rev. Thomas W. Marston is available at

LAKELAND — The Rev. Thomas W. Marston, president of the Florida United Methodist Foundation Inc. since 1992, announced that he will retire effective Dec. 31, 2010. Marston is the fourth president of the foundation, established in 1966. 

Rev. Thomas W. Marston

“The foundation has thrived under Tom’s visionary leadership,” said Vernon Swartsel, the foundation’s board chairman, in accepting Marston’s announcement. “We have grown from an organization with approximately $30 million in assets under management to one of Methodism’s largest foundations with more than $227 million in assets under management.”

Swartsel says Marston has worked hard to establish and maintain strong relationships throughout the Florida Annual Conference and with the foundation’s board of directors.

“His collegial management style is a distinguishing factor in his success, and the stature and scope of the foundation’s services have multiplied as a result,” Swartsel said. “We have become the development office of the annual conference, added fund raising services for churches, (and) developed educational programs for laity and clergy on everything from stewardship development to personal and church financial management.”

At the same time, Swartsel added, Marston has “continued to emphasize and expand our core ministries of managing investments, making loans, and fostering endowment and planned giving programs for churches.”

Swartsel said the foundation will begin the search for Marston’s replacement in early 2010.

“We have established a search committee of current and former board members, and we will begin to advertise the vacancy early next year,” he said. “Our goal is to have a new incoming president on board in July so that we can have a six-month overlap.”

“We are extremely grateful for Tom’s service, and we look forward to a smooth transition,” Swartsel added.

Upon his retirement Marston will have completed 43 years in ministry. He received his bachelor’s degree from Drew University in New Jersey in 1966 and a Master of Divinity from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, in 1969.  He served a series of pastoral appointments in the Troy Conference for 10 years before serving in the Maine Conference from 1977 to 1985.  Prior to joining the foundation, he was director of the benefits department of the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of The United Methodist Church.   

News media contact: Tita Parham, 800-282-8011,, Orlando

*Parham is managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**McGovern is vice president of communications for the Florida United Methodist Foundation Inc. in Lakeland, Fla.