The Reverend Marcus Halley is a native of North Carolina where he was educated in the Gaston County School district. Upon graduating with his high school diploma in 2004, he matriculated and graduated from Johnson C. Smith University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in History. He entered seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center where he was introduced to the Christian and indigenous spirituality of African peoples throughout the diaspora. After graduating from the ITC in May 2011 with a Master of Divinity, he successfully completed a pastoral residency with Emory Center for Pastoral Studies before matriculating and graduating from The School of Theology at the University of the South (affectionately known as “Sewanee”) with a Master of Sacred Theology in Anglican Studies in May 2015. An avid historian, theologian, and writer, Father Marcus chose to fill a void in theological scholarship by completing his thesis “Lifted Hands, Broken Chains: Exploring the Liberating Theological Praxis of Absalom Jones and the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, 1794 – 1808.” He is also a regular contributing writer for Grow Christians and has contributed to other projects such as Thirty Seconds or Less – Ideas Done Daily, and the Logos Project.
Father Marcus began his life as a Baptist (National Baptist Convention, USA), but eventually made his way into the Episcopal Church. After being confirmed at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church by the Rt. Rev. J. Neil Alexander (9th Bishop of Atlanta), Father Marcus discerned a call for Holy Orders and was duly ordained as a transitional deacon on December 15, 2012 by the Rt. Rev. Robert C. Wright, 10th Bishop of Atlanta, and as a priest on November 1, 2013 by the Rt. Rev. Martin Field, Bishop of West Missouri (on behalf of the Bishop of Atlanta). He currently serves as the 18th Rector of St. Paul’s Church on Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis, Minnesota, worshiping community of the Episcopal Church in Minnesota.
His path to the present combines all of his spiritual streams: the fervor and fire of the Baptist and Pentecostal tradition, the mysticism and cosmological connectivity of the West African spirituality of his ancestors, and the deep piety and beauty of Anglicanism. He often describes himself as a tree with Baptist roots and Anglo-Catholic branches planted by the streams of living water. He is a theologically-orthodox, liberation-minded, socially- and politically-conscious, high church, Episcopal priest born in the North, raised in the South, residing in the Midwest, praying like its 1599.