Marsh Hudson-Knapp, at work in the Biblcial Gardens at First Congregational Church, UCC
Marsh Hudson-Knapp began life in Bennington, Vermont, born to Frances and Ronald Knapp. He grew up in the United Methodist Church, started worship with the First Baptist Church, and became a member of the Second Congregational Church, while enjoying regular fellowship with the Friends Meeting. In elementary school, Marsh began to grow tropical fish as a hobby, which in time became a thriving business in his home. When he graduated from Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington in 1967 he was among the first graduating class. He attended Colby College in Waterville, Maine, where he became a leader in the University Christian Movement, and President of the Interfaith Council. The first summer home from college, Marsh and his father, moved the aquarium shop to a shopping plaza and his Dad operated the business, Knapp's Pets & Hobbies, for 35 years.
After working two years for Rutland Mental Health, Marsh returned to College at Lone Mountain College in San Francisco, where he graduated with majors of Communication and Psychology, Philosophy and Religion. While at Lone Mountain, Marsh met Lucinda Hudson, and in the summer of 1973 they married! Marsh continued his studies preparing for ministry at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California, attended a summer of Clinical Pastoral training at the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont, and graduated from seminary in 1975.
Marsh and Cindy moved to Orleans, Vermont (10 miles from the Canadian boarder) where he served as pastor of the Orleans Federated Church (United Methodist and United Church of Christ) and the Brownington Congregational Church UCC. For many years Marsh served as Vice-President of the community action agency in the region, OCCSA. In 1976 he also became a founding member of the Committee on the Healing Ministry of the Vermont Conference UCC, which won acceptance of an overture to reclaim healing ministry in the UCC in the Conference and at the General Synod of the UCC. Marsh and Cindy also became the proud parents of a daughter.
Marsh received a call to pastor the First Congregational Church of Fair Haven, UCC in 1980, and has served there since that time. He helped to found Fair Haven Concerned, served as its president for 13 years, and continues to serve on the Board of Directors. This coalition of community groups seeks to find help for anyone in need in the community, and involve each person receiving help in helping others.
Marsh received training in Calling and Caring Ministries, and subsequently learned to be a trainer. With the support of the Committee on the Healing Ministry of Vt. Conference, he organized 40 hour training sessions in skills for listening and ministry that have trained about 250 people across Vermont. Marsh taught these skills to teens who learned to lead and care for others through the local drug prevention program and continues to use ad teach these skills in the First Congregational Church in Fair Haven.
Marsh helped to found FISHNET, an ecumenical fellowship of persons called to pray for healing. He and the Vt. Conference Healing Committee arranged for a healing weekend with Francis and Judith MacNutt in 1983 and 900 people came! In the following years an ecumenical group continued the conferences and developed regional support groups for people praying for others. Marsh and Cindy also worked actively with Christian Healing Ministries, the organization through which the MacNutts minister, to establish their organization, their bookstore, and computer systems.
From early in his ministry Marsh has been activelt involved in Brothers and Sisters of the Way, an order for Protstant Clergy, which hosts annual retreats and carries our yearlong ministries. Marsh serves as the Scribe for the New England Chapter and for the order and reated and maintains the webpages for them.
In 1980 Marsh and Cindy gave birth to a son. He and his sister have grown a lot! Cindy teaches art at Mill River Union High School in North Clarendon, VT and is Production Advisor to Stage 40 drama programs there.
Cindy, Moses and Marsh sing in the '99 Christmas Cantata
In 1981 Marsh visited Israel for several weeks, and upon his return felt a lively interest in the plants of the Bible. He and Cindy have designed each of the gardens at the First Congregational Church, with a lot of faithful help from Cele Phillips and other gardeners. Since then he has penned:
Plants in a Biblical Garden, a journey through 100 of the stories of the Bible where plants play a key role;
Marsh and the Biblical Gardens in Fair Haven have been the subject of a Charles Osgood radio feature, a multi-page story in the Christian Science monitor, and in 2008 an article about Bible Gardens by Dean Fosdick of the Associates Press.
In 2000 Marsh created this website for the church, and a wesite on Bible Gardens (www.BibleGardens.com), the website for Fair Haven Concerned, Inc., webpages for Brothers and Sisters of the Way, and a site for his parents: www.IrishVacation.House.com.
In November of 2008 Marsh will celebrate his 33rd year of ordained ministry and his 28th year in Fair Haven.
Marsh lives to be real, to experience life openly and deeply. He warmly welcomes all people and cares deeply about the people in his church and community. He loves exploring the Bible, art, people, family history... and playing with the family dog, Iris.
To contact Marsh you may phone him at 802-265-8605 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org