In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Marshall Gaines Duncan, 95

Marshall Gaines Duncan, 1925-2020

Marshall Gaines Duncan, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel among the Sub-Saharan African Affinity Peoples in Kenya, died Dec. 21, 2020, in Knoxville, Tennessee. He was 95.

Born in Powell, Tennessee, to the late Hugh and Eulelia Duncan, he grew up in Andersonville and served in the Navy during World War II. He received the Bachelor of Arts from Carson Newman College (now University), Jefferson City, Tennessee, and in 1955 received the Master of Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas.

Duncan married Margie Rains in 1950 and served as pastor of churches in Texas and Tennessee from 1950 to 1965. The Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) appointed the Duncans in 1965 as missionaries to Kenya, East Africa, where he served as an English-language pastor, at a community center and in evangelism and agriculture until Margie’s death in 1983. He later married Julia Cruze and they were appointed to missionary service in Kenya.

Duncan retired after 25 years and then served as an interim pastor for churches in Alaska and Hawaii.

He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Julia Cruze Duncan, and his two sons, M. Alan Duncan (Andrea) and Ken Duncan (Cindy). He is also survived by his three granddaughters, one grandson, nine great-grandchildren and two sisters, Sue Craft (Jay) and Sarah Duncan.

A family graveside service was held at Black Oak Baptist Church Cemetery in Clinton, Tennessee, on Jan. 5, 2021.

Donations in his memory may be made to the International Mission Board, 3806 Monument Avenue, Richmond, VA 23230, or online at

Read an obituary here.