Pastor's Bio




Faithfully and diligently, Dr. Melvin O. Marriner has guided Grove Church from a small, historic community church, to an ever-increasing influential flock of almost 5,000. In addition to three Sunday services, Tuesday noon and Wednesday night Bible Study, Grove houses several life ministries under the umbrella of Visions of Truth Ministries (VOTM). These ministries serve any persons of need throughout their various life stages.

In addition to serving as Senior Pastor of Grove, Dr. Marriner is dedicated to serving the community.  He currently serves as President of Dr. Martin Luther King Leadership Steering Committee, and is a member of Portsmouth Notable, Portsmouth Rotary, Rotary International, the Tidewater Metro Ministers’ Conference, and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.  He serves on the boards of Portsmouth Partnership and Portsmouth Community Foundation, and is Chief Executive Office (CEO) of Visions of Truth Community Development Corporation.  He is also the Chaplain for the Portsmouth Fire Department.

Dr. Marriner previously served on the Sickle Cell Anemia Board, was a mentor with Chesapeake Public Schools, served as the first Vice President of the Norfolk Union Association/Baptist General Convention and as a board member of the American Red Cross Association. He has lectured many times at Eastern Virginia Medical School on the importance of blending Theology and Science.

Dr. Marriner received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Norfolk State University, a Master of Divinity degree from Virginia Union University School of Theology and a Doctorate of Ministry from United Theological Seminary. 

Because of his belief in the importance of education, Dr. Marriner and Grove Church opened the Marriner Christian Academy: Early Learning and Family Education Center in September 2001, a pre-school that serves children, two to five years of age.

Because of his dedication and service to the community, Dr. Marriner  has received numerous honors and awards.  Among them are a commendation during the 2003 session of the Virginia General Assembly (House Joint Resolution Number 624), and the 2004 session (Senate Joint Resolution Number 245); the Eureka Community Man of the Year Award; Martin Luther King Award from Old Dominion University;  the Outstanding Community Service Award from Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.; the Excel Award for Community Service presented by Hampton Roads Black Media Professionals;  CBN 700 Club Church of the Week for Homeownership Program;  the Portsmouth NAACP Minority Economic Award;  the L.D. Britt, M.D. Community Service Award; Omega Psi Phi Citizen of the Year Award; the Urban League of Hampton Roads’ Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award;  and the South Hampton Roads Pan Hellenic Council Greek of the Year Award 2006.

Dr. Marriner is a native and resident of Chesapeake, Virginia. He is the son of the late James and Magdalene Marriner. He is married to Captain Shelley Kay-Marriner, U.S. Navy, who is currently the Officer in Charge of Branch Health Clinic Naval Station Norfolk, Branch Health Clinic Naval Weapons Station Yorktown and Branch Health Clinic Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Captain Marriner, a native of Buffalo, NY, is a graduate of Niagara University, where she earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Nursing and Biology.  She also earned a Master of Science degree in Nursing from the University of North Carolina.

 Captain Marriner has amassed numerous military awards, including three Meritorious Service Medals, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon,  Navy Unit Commendation, four Navy Meritorious Unit Commendations Global War on Terrorism, Kuwait Liberation (Saudi Arabia) and Kuwait liberation Medal (Kuwait).

Dr. Marriner is the proud father of three sons, Courtland, Isaiah and Joshua.