Thomas Luther Marberry, age 71 and 9 months, was born on May 3, 1949, in Houston, Texas. He grew up in Bryan, Texas, where his father served for many years as Head Professional at the Municipal Golf Course.
Thomas graduated from Oklahoma Bible College, Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College, now Randall University. He received his B.A. in Religion from Baylor University, May 14, 1971, in Waco, Texas. He completed a Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Theological Seminary, December 14, 1973, in Ft. Worth, Texas. Thomas earned his Ph.D., with an emphasis in New Testament studies from Baylor University, December 18, 1982.
Thomas served in various capacities during his 46 years at Randall University. Thomas served as professor of New Testament from 1975-1983. He served as Vice President for Academic Affairs from April 1983 to June 1989. In 1989, he returned to the classroom, his first love, where he continued to teach until June 1999.
In July 1999, Thomas accepted the position of President of El Seminario Biblico La Cruz, Reynosa, Tamps., Mexico. He served in that capacity through July 31, 2008. On August 1, 2008, Thomas returned to Randall University and began serving as Vice President for Academic Affairs. In February 2013, Thomas returned to the classroom teaching at the undergraduate level as well as working with the Master’s program in the Randall Graduate School until his death.
On May 11, 2013, the Board of Trustees awarded Thomas the faculty rank of Distinguished Professor of New Testament. Thomas is the first person in the history of Randall to be accorded the Distinguished Professor.
Thomas was a man of music, missions, and ministry. Thomas loved music of all types. His early life plan was to be band director. While at Baylor University, he played tuba in the Baylor Symphony, Concert Band, and Wind Ensemble. He was active in the Randall Brass Ensemble during the 1980s.
Thomas always had a heart for missions, both at home or abroad. He served as a sponsor of Randall’s Student Mission Fellowship. He was instrumental in organizing and sponsoring trips to Mexico. He took his first trip to Mexico in 1989.
Thomas has served the Free Will Baptist denomination in several different capacities. He served as pastor of the United Free Will Baptist Church, Bryan, Texas, from 1973-1975. He served as pastor of the Prairie Bell Free Will Baptist Church, Putnam, OK, for 16 years (January 1976 to August 1992). In February 2014, Thomas accepted the pastorate of the First Free Will Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, OK.
He has held several different state and national offices within the denomination. Thomas wrote several articles for Contact Magazine (now One Magazine) as well as a monthly column entitled “Top Shelf”. He also wrote the commentary on Galatians, the Johannine Epistles (1, 2, 3 John), and Luke in the Randall House Bible Commentary series. Thomas served on the commission for Theological Integrity from 2018 to 2021.
In 1983, he married Wilma Lee Ussery of Kansas City, Missouri. The couple lived in Oklahoma and Texas.
He is survived by his brother, Donald Jay Marberry of Sequin, Texas; one nephew, Shane Curington, of Temple, Texas; and one niece, Shanna Bodehamer, of Katy, Texas.
Thomas is also survived by several cousins and a host of other relatives and friends.
Thomas was preceded in death by his parents, Luther Fagan Marberry and Ruby Estelle (Sheffield) Marberry of Texas. Luther Fagan Marberry-born on August 28, 1916, Streetman, Freestone County, Texas. Died on June 15, 1991, in Bryan, Brazos County, Texas. Ruby Estelle Sheffield Marberry-born on July 6, 1917, in Coolidge, Limestone County, Texas. Died on March 19, 1996, in Moore, Cleveland County, Oklahoma.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Dr. Thomas L. Marberry Christian Ministry Scholarship at Randall University.
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