A pastor in New Haven for four decades, Abraham Marsach was a spiritual shepherd and community leader. He loved and supported people and was affectionately known as “El Viejo,” which translated means “the old man.” Many considered him their spiritual father, but for those without a father figure in their lives, he served as an earthly father as well.
Born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, December 29, 1934, he was the third of four siblings. Rev. Marsach was ordained as a minister in 1954. He began his career at John 3:16 Christian Church of the Assemblies of God in Bronx, New York, where he met his wife, Margarita Lebron Marsach. They married in 1960.
Rev. Marsach served as a pastor in Norwalk, CT. and Stamford CT., before settling in New Haven. He was able to take a small congregation that no other pastor wanted to lead and turned it into a thriving church. He had a great sense of humor and jokingly told the congregation on several occasions he was still waiting for the “real” pastor to arrive.
He dedicated himself to his newfound home, serving the community as an advocate for the disenfranchised while guiding and comforting the community through months of civil unrest during the Black Panther movement. In the 1970’s, he also took on the enormous project of moving the growing congregation from a small church to the present-day Star of Jacob location. The building project was a labor of love in which the entire congregation helped to complete. He even took on the challenge of securing the steeple when hired professionals refused to do it.
Friends and family said he was an example of true Christianity with a humble and gentle spirit. To the hungry, he offered food. To the sick, he offered company. To the lost, he offered guidance. If you were to define 'pastor,' he would fit that definition. To his former congregation, Rev. Marsach was a gift from God. He emphasized the practicality of the gospel and how it could change people's lifestyle and their circumstances.
Through his example, he inspired others. The church was a breeding ground for future community leaders. His own commitment to the well-being of his congregation and the community around him, helped to plant the seeds of higher education as a means of advancement. Today former members of the Star of Jacob now work as ministers, nurses, doctors, judges, teachers, principal’s, business owners, fire men and women, and law enforcement officials to name a few. Many of these credit Rev. and Mrs. Marsach for the inspiration and support that led to their success.
Rev. Marsach retired to Port St. Lucie, Florida in April 2004, after shepherding the Star of Jacob Christina Church of the Spanish Eastern District of the Assemblies of God for 40 years. In 2018, he returned to West Haven, CT after his health began to decline. He died Sunday, August 19, at the age of 83.
In addition to his wife, Rev. Marsach is survived by three children, Dr. Ruth Marsach Wood of Ridgefield, CT., Debra Marsach Vega of Danbury, CT., and Rebecca Marsach Warren of Canton, Georgia. He is also survived by seven grandchildren and one great grandchild.
Visitation will be held Saturday, August 25th from 10:00-3:30 followed by a Celebration of Life service at 4:00 p.m., at the Star of Jacob Christian Church, 506 Howard, Ave., New Haven, CT.