The Rev. Dr. Albert M. Marcis, president of the LCMS SELC District from 1972 to 1997, died March 24 in Oviedo, Fla., with his wife, Sylvia, by his side. He was 89.
A funeral service was held March 28 at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, 2021 W. State Road 426, Oviedo, FL 32765. The service was live-streamed.
Marcis was instrumental in the transition of the Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Church, to the Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Churches, to the Synod’s nongeographical SELC District, and was its president for 25 years, making him one of the longest-serving district presidents in the LCMS.
He also was a leader in the development and expansion of Lutheran Haven in Oviedo, a ministry of the SELC District that provides independent, assisted, skilled-nursing and memory-care services to retired Lutherans.
Marcis served the LCMS on the Commission on Theology and Church Relations (12 years, six as chairman), the Task Force on Conflict Resolution (chairman), the Commission on Constitutional Matters (12 years, four as chairman), the Council of Presidents (vice-chairman) and the Standing Committee on Pastoral Ministry.
He was appointed in 2011 to the Synod’s Commission on Handbook and helped prepare and edit the last four LCMS Handbooks, which contain the church body’s constitution, bylaws and articles of incorporation.
Marcis also was the longtime founding pastor of Calvary Lutheran Church in Parma, Ohio, and served there from 1957 until his retirement from parish ministry in 1994. Prior to that, he was pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Blue Island, Ill., from 1954 to 1957.
LCMS First Vice-President Rev. Dr. Herbert C. Mueller Jr. described Marcis as “a respected pastor who led the SELC District with grace and an infectious joy. The pastors of his district loved him. At least 25 vicars received their start in ministry with him, including my brother, Bill Mueller, now a pastor in Fort Wayne.”
As former president of the LCMS Southern Illinois District, Mueller said he got to know Marcis, also a district president, “as a Christ-centered pastor and churchman from whom I could learn much. He was a faithful and humble servant of Christ, beloved by family and colleagues alike.”
At a celebration of Marcis’ 50th anniversary of ministry, it was noted that a former vicar at Calvary Lutheran Church recalled finding, on his first day at the congregation years before, Marcis, then SELC district president as well as Calvary’s pastor, “on his knees, cleaning candle wax from the church carpet.
“Those who know Pastor Marcis find this an apt illustration of the man: willing and able to serve the Lord and His people with humility and in any capacity,” relates the anniversary bio.
Marcis received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from his alma mater, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, in 1980, and in 2013 was honored with the “Lloyd Behnken Good and Faithful Servant Medallion” from the Florida-Georgia District’s Veterans of the Cross.
In retirement, Marcis and his wife, Sylvia, divided their time between homes in Parma, Ohio, and Winter Springs, Fla., where they became members of St. Luke’s, Oviedo, in 2011.
The couple “loved to worship, participate in the activities of the congregation and enjoyed the fellowship of many pastors and friends at Lutheran Haven,” said St. Luke’s Pastor Rev. Wally Arp, who will be officiating at Marcis’ funeral.
Arp called Marcis “a mentor and a friend to so many pastors, not only in our district but throughout the Synod” and “a very loving, supporting guy who really cherished being able to give encouragement to pastors.”
Added Arp: “The words of Jesus chosen for his funeral service are a fitting summary of his life: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master’ (Matthew 25:21).”
Survivors include Marcis’ wife of 62 years, Sylvia, four children — Michael Marcis, of Parma, Ohio; Ruth Marcis, of Perry, Ohio; Lois Marcis, of Middleburg, Ohio; and Karen (Dan) Springer, of Kirtland, Ohio — and four grandchildren.
Memorials may be made to the St. Luke’s Lutheran Church Memorial Fund (see address above), or Lutheran Haven Memorial Fund, 2041 West S.R. 426, Oviedo, FL 32765.
Posted March 27, 2017 / Updated March 29, 2017
Was honored to be one of those who served as vicar under Pastor Marcis. I thank God for Sylvia and him and can’t imagine the lives that have been touched and blessed! Celebrating the victory!
Indeed well done good and faithful servant.
It was an honor to have known him.
I also had the joy of being mentored by Pastor Marcis as a vicar. His gentle direction and wise counsel impressed upon me the servant nature of the pastoral office. A true undershepherd of the Good Shepherd, I look forward to seeing him again and rejoicing with him around the throne of the Lamb.
Though countless people both in and outside our LC–MS will remember brother Marcis as a humble, multi-talented chuchman, Lois and I remember him and his beloved Sylvia primarily as loving members of the body of Christ and also as loving pastor to my dear parents, Michael and Anne Ballas.
Always fun to be with, whether during our many years of serving together at Haven Board meetings in Florida, during a memorable relaxing weekend visit at the Marcis family lake cottage in Western Ontario, or countless points and places in between, one was left with the underlying conviction that we were ever privileged to be in the presence of a self-giving, genuinely loving Christian couple from whom, though learning much from each and every contact, we knew we could have learned a whole lot more.
Many are the stories we (and many others) could share with the Marcis children ranging from lighted-hearted mutual enjoyment on a golf course to the even greater joy of following my dear mentor’s impromptu instructions at a Finnish Canadian country church. Whether expressed or not, everything we were privileged to do together ultimately centered in our Brother-Savior Jesus Christ and the furtherance
of His saving Gospel of forgiveness.
We thank God for this humble servant of Christ because of whom we will surely meet again in unending praise at the feet of the spotless Lamb who was slain, but who has also begun His reign. Thank You, Jesus!
He is a true man of God, and I will go to my grave grateful that as my Vicarage Supervisor he showed me what it looks and sounds like to be a truly missional Pastor and leader. A generation of csl Pastors learned how important “patience” and “tact” are in/for ministry because of President Al.
It was my joy to follow Pastor Marcis as the pastor of Calvary LCMS in Parma, OH. He paved the way for twelve wonderful years of ministry in the midst of a strong Christian family. It was my true delight to minister to Al and Sylvia as members of my flock. As often as they received, they gave back to me richly from the treasures of the LORD. Well done, good and faithful servant…and dear friend. You will be missed until we reunite in the glory of paradise!
What loving mentors Pastor Marcis and Sylvia were to me and my family during my vicarage year (1988-1989)! I remember after my first sermon Pastor Marcis brought me into his office and said, “John, that was not preaching.” His words were not condescending or prideful; rather, they were urgent and compassionate. He knew how important it was to provide God’s people with God’s Word in ways they could understand and apply. His laugh and his smile will always remain precious in my memories.
In loving memory of Dr. Albert Marcis
Dear Sylvia and family –
Our little white country church at Lappe, Ontario, Canada was the destination each summer of the Marcis family. I began to look forward each July to see them at the worship service starting in the 1950’s and continuing for over 60 years. He was my spiritual mentor. Being the organist for those years I especially appreciated the strong baritone voice that he blessed us with. He always had some good advice to share about his faith. We, at Lappe Lutheran remember Dr. Marcis (and his family) lovingly and for the blessed gift of faith in Jesus that he so freely shared. We are thankful to God for His good and faithful servant. God grant your family comfort and peace. (Matthew 11: 28 – 29).