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).”
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