A Legacy of Service




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Carl Thomas

Pastor | Live Free Founder | Lover of Jesus, Philly sports, fitness, tattoos, sarcasm, and craft beers.

Today I want to share some sad news, but at the same time… some inspiration and lessons to be learned

Marshall Pierce was an online small group leader for us the past 5 years. He faithfully led two different groups of men every Monday and poured his life into the work we are doing here at Live Free.

Despite several significant health challenges, he continued to serve week in and week out, always doing his best to show up for the guys who looked to his leadership.

In August of 2020 Marshal was diagnosed with ALS, and within 30 days he had to hang up his SGO leadership hat due to a significant decline in his speech caused by his condition. 

Sadly, in December he was put on hospice and later passed on January 27th. 

It’s a sad and somber day for the Live Free community as we say goodbye to such a faithful and admired leader, but we also celebrate the fact that he no longer is suffering and is in the presence of the God he’s served so well over the course of his life.

We want to support the Pierce family throughout this sad and difficult time by raising money to help them financially with the many costs they face as a result of Marshall’s care and funeral expenses.

If you want to be part of this effort and send some love to the Pierce family click here to donate.

100% of the funds raised will go to Marshall’s family and we are matching the first $2,000 in contributions.

All that being said, there are a few things I don’t want you to miss here!

1) Community is powerful.

Why would someone support a family of a man they never met? 

Because they are part of a community that exists to support the members of it. Community has the ability to bring people together like nothing else and effect meaningful change. 

Supporting and loving someone as an individual is great and something we should all do, but when we come together as a community the results of our efforts increase 10 fold.


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2) Community is about “we,” not “you” and “me.”

We have often heard people say things like, “Why would I join an online community with a bunch of people I don’t know to talk about problems and challenges that are deeply personal?”

The answer?

Because community is a shared experience and is not about the individual, but the collective. 

Community changes the focus from… 

“MY struggle” to “OUR struggle.”
“MY challenge” to “OUR challenge.”
“MY journey” to “OUR journey.”
“MY victory” to “OUR victory.”

Community means you are no longer carrying the weight of your burdens by yourself. 

You don’t need to have a personal relationship with someone in the community to be part of it. You just need to believe in the common goal, and over time, those personal relationships will develop and grow as well.

3) Your involvement in a community matters.

Marshall led his online groups in addition to several local Celebrate Recovery groups for years. He continually poured himself into the lives of these small communities and as a result, he leaves behind a legacy of care and service.

Marshall may no longer be with us, but the men whose lives he touched will never forget him or the impact he had on them.

In a world where so many want to be an “influencer” and think they are making an impact with TikTok clips and Instagram stories, humble people like Marshall who, behind the scenes, are actively engaged in real communities and serving those same people are the ones making a REAL difference.

Real and authentic community in action is one of the most beautiful things you can witness. And when you jump in and serve those communities, you will leave behind something far greater than you can ever imagine… a legacy.

Rest in peace Marshall Pierce. 

We will miss you. But we will certainly never forget you.

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