Marvin Ponder is an associate pastor of the University Church in Loma Linda, California, with his areas of special responsibility being pastoral care and church administration. Prior to his coming to Loma Linda in 1977, he served as Campus Chaplain of Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska (1972-77), and pastored churches in Dallas, Irving, Richardson, and Wichita Falls, Texas (1968-72).
Marvin was born and raised in Galveston, Texas. He attended one year of college at Southwestern Junior College in Keene, Texas in 1962 and completed his B.A. degree in Theology at Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1966. He continued his theological training at Andrews University Theological Seminary in Berrien Springs, Michigan where he received his Master of Divinity degree in 1968. He was ordained to the gospel ministry in 1972 in the Texas Conference.
In addition to his pastoral work, music has always been an important part of Marvin's life and ministry. He first began singing when he was six years old, accompanying himself on his Ukelele, and later on the guitar as he grew into his teens. For three years (1961-64) he sang second tenor with ""The Knight of Harmony"" quartet. They traveled throughout the southwestern and mid-western parts of the United States singing gospel and barbershop quartet music.
It was during that time that Marvin began singing with Herman Harp (baritone in the quartet) as a folk singing duo. They teamed up with Gene and Marie Jennings in 1974 in Dallas, Texas and began singing as a team with Gene at the piano and Marie at the organ. From 1974 to 1996 ""Ponder, Harp & Jennings"" presented gospel concerts throughout the country and recorded a total of ten gospel music albums with Chapel Records. Marvin has also recorded a solo album entitled ""Steps.""
Marvin is married to Shirley (Huffman) of Kansas City, Missouri. Shirley has served as Pastor of Christian Education at the University Church since 1987. They have two sons, Christopher and Jonathan, and a daughter, Jennifer.