A pastor who rode 4,400 miles to find a wife
March 31, 1792 – Abraham Marshall, three days back from his trip to New England, spoke again of his intention of marriage to Miss Ann Waller. The forty-four-year old Separate Baptist preacher and thirty-one year old maiden had a breathtaking, six day romance. On Tuesday April 3, 1792, the emboldened, romantic preacher proposed, and at 7 o’clock that evening, the couple were married before a group of friends. After serving the Kiokee Baptist Church (Georgia) for eight years as a bachelor-pastor, Abraham determined that he needed a wife and decided to travel the 2,200 miles to New England – the place of his birth – and trust the Lord somewhere along the way to provide him a help meet who would enhance his ministry. A gentleman, knowing of his plans, exchanged horses with him. With confidence that God was with him, Pastor Marshall continued on his journey believing that the second answer to his petition would be met. His diary tells that he stopped at the home of John Waller, the famed Separate Baptist preacher in Spottsylvania, Virginia, and it was there that the second half of his prayer was to be answered. Abraham’s diary told of their “horseback honeymoon,” which covered approximately 550 miles. Marshall told of “having a river or creek to swim, horses loose, lying out of doors, rainy days and dark nights, and ever and anon meeting with excellent friends…until three months absence to a day, found us at home amid the tears, joys and congratulations of friend, on Big Kiokee.” Mrs. Marshall was a great blessing to her husband’s ministry. They had four sons, and their son Jabez, who succeeded his father as pastor at Kiokee, wrote tenderly of his mother, “Through the whole of her life she was exemplarily pious…” She died at 54 in 1815, Abraham at 72 in 1819.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 130-131.