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Mailing Address
Garrett-Evangelical
2121 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60201

Phone: (847) 866-3971
Toll-Free: (800) SEMINARY
Fax: (847) 866-3989
Alum.Relations@garrett.edu

Meet Marlan Branch

PH10_Students_Marlan_Branch_1-10Hometown: Evanston, IL

Age: 31

Home Church & Denomination: Bethel A.M.E. Church, Evanston, IL

Degrees: Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Prairie View A&M University in Texas, 2004

Garrett-Evangelical Degree Program/Year: Master of Divinity, 2nd year

Career Plans: I am preparing to be an ordained pastor in the AME Church, but I am completely open to whatever it is God wants me to do. Eventually, I would like to become a Paulian scholar. I love Paul. I really connect with him, maybe because of my engineering background. Paul's writing is both structured and creative. He was trying to teach something God revealed to him to as many people as he could reach. It was a revelation so intense that Paul struggled within the limitations of earthly vernacular to describe it. Paul was concerned about spiritual healing that a lot of people are missing today. There's a spiritual brokenness in our world. Like Paul, I want to be part of the healing process.

Personal Information: I was born in Ackerman, Mississippi, the oldest of nine children. That number is somewhat misleading, though. My biological father, with whom I've never lived, has seven children and step-children. I spent most of my childhood and teenage years in the Chicago area with my mother and two sisters. We lived on Chicago's West Side, in Glencoe and in Evanston, where I graduated from high school. My mother is an ordained itinerant deacon in the AME Church. My father is a United Methodist elder in Georgia. I am engaged to Michele Watkins, a beautiful woman in every way and a 3rd year MDiv student here who is preparing for ordination as an elder in The United Methodist Church.

Attraction to Garrett-Evangelical: Even though I had spent many years in Evanston, I really did not know a whole lot about Garrett-Evangelical before enrolling. But I had several alumni at my church encourage me to attend as I was moving through the AME discernment process. "You need to go to seminary, and you need to go to Garrett," they said again and again. Once here, I quickly became very comfortable and drawn in by the Christian love Garrett-Evangelical expresses. Calling: I believe God has called me into a pastoral direction. Though the calling to be a pastor is clear, every semester it seems as though God is preparing me to minister and serve his people within the body of the church and to encourage those people outside of the body of the church to know Christ. Since I have begun preparing for ministry at Garrett-Evangelical, God is leading me into an area focusing on healing the spirits of his people.

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The United Methodist Church, welcomes
students from a wide range of faith traditions.