Pratt, Marvin Anson


On May 23, 1977, family and friends from across the United States gathered in worship at First United Methodist Church of Pineville to thank God for the faith, life, and witness of Marvin Anson Pratt. Eighteen months previously, Marvin suffered a severe heart attack and required by-pass surgery. He bounced back with excitement and enthusiasm for ministry only three months later to be diagnosed with a virulent form of cancer. Marvin made two important decisions; first God would continue to be the center of his life, not his illness, and second, he would be more interested in the needs of others than in his own. These two decisions added a new dimension to his ministry in the last eighteen months of his earthly pilgrimage. When anyone would go to visit Marvin with the intention of ministering to him, they instead left with the inner assurance they had stood on “holy ground” and had received a “blessing”. The gathered congregation gave thanks to God for enriching and enhancing our lives through the ministry of Marvin Anson Pratt.
Marvin began his earthly pilgrimage in Bay City, Michigan on August 28, 1933 and was transferred to the Church Triumphant on Tuesday, May 20, 1997 in Alexandria, Louisiana. Marvin and his wife, Nancy entered the United Methodist Church under the ministry of the Rev. Tom Beeler at Trinity Church, Alexandria. Later Marvin would experience the “call to preach” and serve our congregations on the Provencal-Weaver charge and then the Marksville-Oakgrove-Simmesport charge as a Full-time Local Pastor. The strength of Marvin’s witness during these last eighteen months is summarized in the poem entitled “Going Home” by Perry Tanksley and included in the bulletin on May 20, 1997.
Have you ever worked
Until strength was gone
And, miracle of miracles,
You worked right on?
Strength comes at end of day
To those who turn toward home.
Have you ever traveled
On a journey too long
And yet, miraculously,
You journeyed on?
Such strength is sent to those
Who are traveling home.
Have you ever wearied of life
When everything went wrong
And yet for reasons unknown
Your heart flooded with song?
Such is “the Christian’s joy,
The gladness of going HOME.
Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1997; p. 267 By J. Roddy Taylor

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