Reverend Merrill R. Marisseau

Rev. Merrill R. Marisseau was born and raised in the farmhouse on Simmons Road, one mile from Spies Church, where he still lives today and raised his own family.  His grandfather, Henry D. S. Gauby, purchased the farm from his father who was of German descent and owned the farm property since 1885.  Sometime during the 1940’s, Rev. Marisseau’s mother, Florence (Gauby), and her husband, Romeo Marisseau from Haverhill, Massachusetts, purchased the farm and raised their son, Merrill, along with the rest of the farm family.  Rev. Marisseau’s family on his mother’s side were always Reformed members of Spies Union Church throughout the generations and dedicated to the church and the Lord’s work.  Being raised along side the farm family, Rev. Marisseau worked in the fields, cared for all kinds of animals, was involved in 4H Clubs, had few frills of life, but plenty of good food.  He grew up at a time and in a family where nothing went to waste and what one had accumulated, was taken very good care of so that things lasted a long time.  The family went to church together every Sunday without fail and participated in all of its activities.


            Rev. Marisseau originally had the desire to go into veterinary medicine but in his senior year of high school, felt the call to Christian Ministry.  He graduated from Mt. Penn High School in 1956, from Albright College in 1960 with a Bachelor of  Arts degree, was on the Albright Lions football team and President his senior year of the Zeta Omega Epsilon Fraternity.  In the summer of 1960, he was married to Jacqueline (Rohrbach), also a member of Zion’s Spies Church where they had met.  He went on to graduate from Lancaster Seminary of the United Church of Christ in 1963 with a Bachelor of Divinity degree.  The Marisseaus then moved back to the old farm after living in Lancaster for 3 years, purchasing the farm from Rev. Marisseau’s parents.  The Marisseau’s have two children…Holly Marie, married to Robbie L. Wiswesser, and have two children, Taylor and Collin;…and a son, Heath Merrill, married to Joanne (Miner).


            Rev. Marisseau served as pastor for 20+ years at 3 churches.  As a seminary student, he served Salem Shalters U.C.C., Fleetwood, during 1962-1963; Good Shepherd U.C.C. Tuckerton, 1963-1968; and Salem Shalters U.C.C. and St. John’s (Pricetown) U.C.C. as a 2-point charge for most of the years between 1968-1983.  In addition to church duties, Rev. Marisseau operated a horse boarding and training stable at the farm where he also led a Youth 4H Horse and Pony Club with the whole family being involved.


            Rev. Marisseau holds a Nursing Home Administrators License and served our county nursing home for approximately 8 years.  He also taught a number of evening classes for Reading Area Community College based on “Leadership and Management Skills”.  For 15 years Rev. Marisseau and Jackie owned and operated a food concession business at two local farmers markets and various festivals between 1986 and 2001.  They decided to sell the business and enter into their “retirement years”.  In September 2003, the Spies Church Consistory approached Rev. Marisseau relative to “helping out” at his home church which he accepted when the congregation voted affirmatively to call Rev. Marisseau as their pastor.


            Rev. Marisseau's wife, Jackie passed away in 2012.  In 2014 he married Judy Angstadt.


            In his spare time, Rev. Marisseau enjoys fly fishing, hunting, ball games and racing of all kinds.


            May these “retirement” years continue to be enriching, happy, and fulfilling ones as we continue to work together in God’s light as a church family.