|Lionel J. Marcel was the third of six children born to Hayes and Esther Marcel of Houma, Louisiana. The influence of his Christian parents, siblings and church family helped him in determining the path he would take in life.
After graduating from Terrebonne High School in Houma, he attended Centenary College in Shreveport and Perkins School of Theology in Dallas. At first, Rev. Marcel taught in public and private schools while preaching part-time in the 1960s. He later went into full-time ministry and became a deacon in 1971.
Rev. Marcel married Mary Vivian Hatch of Shreveport. The scripture “the two shall become one” was never more true than in the case of Lionel and Mary. They truly shared one spirit in serving the church through three decades and in raising their three children.
Rev. Marcel served the following churches: Sibley, Melville, Palmetto, Wesley (SH), Elton, Basile, McGowen, Lydia, St. Martinville, Pollock, Selma, Liberty Chapel, Asbury (West Monroe), Cotton Valley, Pleasant Valley, Welsh Memorial, Elizabeth, Hopewell, Pine Grove, and Justiss Memorial.
Rev. Marcel was always active in civic organizations in the communities that he served. He also loved singing and Cajun cooking. A few years before he retired, he took a singing group to South America for a two-week crusade. Lionel also loved to tell jokes to lift the spirits of those around him. Whether it was in conversation, in a sermon, or at a community gathering, he would always have a funny story to tell.
Even after Rev. Marcel retired in 1996, he pastored a few more years. At the end of the decade, Lionel and Mary moved to the Dallas area to be near their children. Although physical ailments brought his life to a close in 2003, his spirit never failed.
Rev. Marcel never led a large church. His appointments were often small-to-medium rural churches … often two or three on a circuit. He wasn’t about bigger appointments or putting his name on plaques. Rev. Marcel’s mission was to bring a smile to the face, to feed the body, to bring a song to the ear, and to fill the heart with the love of Christ.
He is survived, and fondly missed, by his wife Mary, their children … Dr. Randy Marcel, Dr. Perry Marcel, Simone Marcel … and their families. Though he has left us in body, Lionel’s spirit lives on in the love and memories passed on to his children and grandchildren and to all who were blessed by Lionel’s life through the years.
by Tim Hebert, Lionel’s nephew
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 2004|