Marvin F. Cain

07/14/1930 — 12/26/2001

From Richland, WA, US | Born in Amery, Wisconsin

Marvin F. Cain

Marvin Fay Cain died at home in West Richland on December 26, 2001. He was born on July 14, 1930 in Amery, Wisconsin to Marvin F. and Carla Rasmussen Cain. He attended grade school in Amery and in Chicago, Illinois. M Marvin joined the United States Marine Corps in 1947, and served the next four years as a radio operator in Guam, China, California and North Carolina. He received an Honorable Discharge from the Marines in 1951.
Marvin received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Washington State University in 1956. After graduation, he worked for the Aerojet General Corporation in Sacramento and for the Central Intelligence Agency in Washington, D.C.
In 1960, Marvin graduated from Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary with a Bachelor of Divinity degree, and was also ordained in the Lutheran Church. He served as parish pastor at Salem Lutheran Church in Mount Sidney, Virginia for four years.
In June of 1961, Marvin married Irma Fincke.
In the fall of 1964, he enrolled at Union Theological Seminary in Richmond. Virginia, and 1965 he received a Master of Theology degree with an emphasis on Biblical Studies. From there he went to Duke University where he received his Doctor of Philosophy Degree PhD in Biblical Studies in 1972. He held a position of Assistant Professor of Religion at California Lutheran College in Thousand Oaks, California from 1968-1972. In 1972, he accepted a call to Our Saviour's Lutheran Church in Phoenix. Arizona where Marvin remained for seven years, at that time he was also religion professor at Arizona State University.
In 1979, Marvin left the pastorate to accept a position as an electrical engineer with the Bechtel Power Corporation at St. Johns, Arizona. He remained with Bechtel for nearly five years, working at coal and nuclear power plants in Arizona, California and Washington. In 1982, Marvin became pastor of Our Saviour's Lutheran Church in Sunnyside, Washington, while working as an electrical engineer with Grant County PUD in Washington. He retired from both engineering and the ministry in 1992. In 1993, he founded the Mid-Columbia Center for Theological Studies in Pasco. At the Center, he served as Executive Director and Teacher, leading college level, non-denominational courses in all areas of Biblical studies and World Religions. He also served as Interim Pastor at Faith Lutheran Church, Soap Lake; Pilgrim Lutheran Church, Othello; Church of the Master, Pasco; Gideon Lutheran, Connell; and United Church of Christ, Eltopia. At the time of his death, he was serving as interim pastor at Terrace Heights Lutheran Church in Yakima. Marvin pursued post-doctoral study at Hebrew Union College, Jerusalem, Israel. He is a registered professional engineer in Washington and California. Marvin is a licensed private pilot. He is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, the American Academy of Religion and is a Fellow of the Jesus Seminar. He is the author of Jesus the Man: An Introduction for People at Home in the Modern World. He also contributed to several books on Jesus, including The Five Gospels and The Acts of Jesus. Marvin is survived by his wife Irma, daughter Becky Kellogg and husband David, Puyallup, son Delmer, Goldendale: six grandchildren: Bethany, Alexander, Christopher, Zachary, Kamryn and Erinne, Puyallup; his sister Georgia Westland, Bothell; and several nieces and nephews. A memorial service for Marvin will be held on Sunday, December 30 at 4:00 PM at Richland Lutheran Church, 901 VanGiesen, Richland.
In lieu of flowers, Marvin has requested that people make contributions to a scholarship at Duke University Durham, NC, for graduate students in religion.

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Marvin F. Cain

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  • Irma, Marvin’s death was one of the most shocking I’ve experienced. It was not only that it was so sudden, but the hole he left was immediate. I returned to Richland from Spokane in 1996, and learned about the MCCTS from Boyce. From then on I attended many of Marvin’s classes and agreed with Boyce that Marvin and the MCCTS was one of the best things that had happened to the Tri-Cities in many years.

    I attended only few classes this past year due to scheduling conflicts, but I was also figuring that I could go later. Now “later” is no more and I am sad. I admired Marvin as much as anyone I’ve known. He was brilliant–a walking encyclopaedia. He not only had a great library, but he knew what was in it. I will miss him greatly.

    I’ll also miss seeing you at the Center, Irma. I was always impressed by the abundant support you gave to Marvin and the MCCTS.

    With love,

    Don Doran

    Don Doran
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, US
  • My husband and I moved to Richland at the end of August, 2000. I wanted to find a place in this area where I felt I could receive a knowledgeable understanding of the Bible and of our relationship to God and to our fellow man. In the ads for churches in the Tri-City Herald, I found an ad for the Mid-Columbia Center for Theological Studies. I asked for information and the Center’s schedule. Marvin’s article in the June, 2001 “The Voice”, said “…Jesus’ vision of the kingdom or reign of God, which is a kingdom in the here and now, not a kingdom relocated by the church to some future time and place that is accessible only by death as a reward for being good church people. As we now know, not only was the kingdom proclaimed by Jesus in the here and now, it was open to all sorts and conditions of people. It is a truly inclusive kingdom, open to rich and poor, male and female, black and white, young and old, gay and straight. It is a realm of God, not at all like our exclusive social, ethnic and economic clubs we call ‘churches’ today.” I knew then I had found a place where I was going to feel comfortable with people who do not claim to have all the truth, but are willing to keep learning with love and acceptance for all people. I thank God for people like Marvin Cain. I know Marvin will continue to learn about God’s love, not only for himself, but for all mankind. My regret is that I had such a short time to learn from him, but he left a great legacy. My blessings and love go to Irma and the entire family for their loss, and I thank them for sharing Marvin Cain with us. God bless you.

    Sincerely,

    Ardyce Fish

    Ardyce Fish
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, US
  • This is such sad news to receive. Marvin has been an amazing gift to Southeastern Washington. I have many colleagues who have participated in the work of the Mid-Columbia Center for Theological Studies, and have enjoyed presenting three or four seminars on Q, Thomas, and Early Christianity Before the New Testament myself.I remember sitting beside Marvin at annual conventions of the Society of Biblical Literature.

    Please convey my condolences to Marvin’s wife. I will not be able to attend the funeral, as I am on sabbatical this winter quarter finishing up a book in Claremont, CA.

    Sincerely,

    Ronald L. Jolliffe

    Walla Walla College

    Theology Department

    Ronald Jolliffe
    November 4, 2014
    US
  • Thank you very much for letting me know of Marvin’s sudden and untimely death. I am shocked at the news and deeply saddened. I considered Marvin a genuine friend, a treasured colleague in the quest to understand and present the Bible in ways which are responsible and faithful, a person of sterling integrity and someone who always gave of himself to serve people around him. The Mid-Columbia region will miss this man and his many generous contributions to theological education in the area. I will miss him.

    Having just arrived in Jordan for an extended sabbatical of several months, I will unfortunately be unable to attend his service this Sunday. However, I am copying this email to my theology colleagues at Walla Walla College, many of whom gave seminars at the Mid-Columbia Center for Theological Studies. It is Christmas break and I don’t know how many are around, but I want them to know of this.

    And, if you would, please extend my sincere sympathies to his wife. Our prayers are with Marvin’s family.

    Doug Clark

    Douglas Clark
    November 4, 2014
    US
  • Irma, Marvin’s death was one of the most shocking I’ve experienced. It was not only that it was so sudden, but the hole he left was immediate. I returned to Richland from Spokane in 1996, and learned about the MCCTS from Boyce. From then on I attended many of Marvin’s classes and agreed with Boyce that Marvin and the MCCTS was one of the best things that had happened to the Tri-Cities in many years.

    I attended only few classes this past year due to scheduling conflicts, but I was also figuring that I could go later. Now “later” is no more and I am sad. I admired Marvin as much as anyone I’ve known. He was brilliant–a walking encyclopaedia. He not only had a great library, but he knew what was in it. I will miss him greatly.

    I’ll also miss seeing you at the Center, Irma. I was always impressed by the abundant support you gave to Marvin and the MCCTS.

    With love,

    Don Doran

    Don Doran
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, US
  • My husband and I moved to Richland at the end of August, 2000. I wanted to find a place in this area where I felt I could receive a knowledgeable understanding of the Bible and of our relationship to God and to our fellow man. In the ads for churches in the Tri-City Herald, I found an ad for the Mid-Columbia Center for Theological Studies. I asked for information and the Center’s schedule. Marvin’s article in the June, 2001 “The Voice”, said “…Jesus’ vision of the kingdom or reign of God, which is a kingdom in the here and now, not a kingdom relocated by the church to some future time and place that is accessible only by death as a reward for being good church people. As we now know, not only was the kingdom proclaimed by Jesus in the here and now, it was open to all sorts and conditions of people. It is a truly inclusive kingdom, open to rich and poor, male and female, black and white, young and old, gay and straight. It is a realm of God, not at all like our exclusive social, ethnic and economic clubs we call ‘churches’ today.” I knew then I had found a place where I was going to feel comfortable with people who do not claim to have all the truth, but are willing to keep learning with love and acceptance for all people. I thank God for people like Marvin Cain. I know Marvin will continue to learn about God’s love, not only for himself, but for all mankind. My regret is that I had such a short time to learn from him, but he left a great legacy. My blessings and love go to Irma and the entire family for their loss, and I thank them for sharing Marvin Cain with us. God bless you.

    Sincerely,

    Ardyce Fish

    Ardyce Fish
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, US
  • This is such sad news to receive. Marvin has been an amazing gift to Southeastern Washington. I have many colleagues who have participated in the work of the Mid-Columbia Center for Theological Studies, and have enjoyed presenting three or four seminars on Q, Thomas, and Early Christianity Before the New Testament myself.I remember sitting beside Marvin at annual conventions of the Society of Biblical Literature.

    Please convey my condolences to Marvin’s wife. I will not be able to attend the funeral, as I am on sabbatical this winter quarter finishing up a book in Claremont, CA.

    Sincerely,

    Ronald L. Jolliffe

    Walla Walla College

    Theology Department

    Ronald Jolliffe
    November 4, 2014
    US
  • Thank you very much for letting me know of Marvin’s sudden and untimely death. I am shocked at the news and deeply saddened. I considered Marvin a genuine friend, a treasured colleague in the quest to understand and present the Bible in ways which are responsible and faithful, a person of sterling integrity and someone who always gave of himself to serve people around him. The Mid-Columbia region will miss this man and his many generous contributions to theological education in the area. I will miss him.

    Having just arrived in Jordan for an extended sabbatical of several months, I will unfortunately be unable to attend his service this Sunday. However, I am copying this email to my theology colleagues at Walla Walla College, many of whom gave seminars at the Mid-Columbia Center for Theological Studies. It is Christmas break and I don’t know how many are around, but I want them to know of this.

    And, if you would, please extend my sincere sympathies to his wife. Our prayers are with Marvin’s family.

    Doug Clark

    Douglas Clark
    November 4, 2014
    US
  • So sorry to hear about Marvin. He was a great and very knowledgable person. He was always willing to answer any questions one had on theology. He was a wonderful careing Pastor.

    Our prayers are with you Irma, and your family.

    God be with you,

    Patti, Tom, April & Robert Miller

    Tom and Patti Miller
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, US
  • I admired him greatly. His death is a huge loss to our community.

    Arthur Klym
    November 4, 2014
    Kennewick, WA, US
  • Dr. Marvin Cain was a very special asset to our region.Not often do you find a man so willing to share his emmince wealth of knowledge with so many in such a humble way as to make even the less educated feel welcome to his teachings. God Bless you Marvin, please pray for us from heaven, which I know you will.

    Dan Dufault
    November 4, 2014
    Plymouth, WA, US
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