Our Pastor and Leading Lady


Dr. Melvin O. Marriner,
Senior Pastor & Community Change Agent

With a true heart for God and God’s people, Dr. Melvin O. Marriner is one of today’s most provocative and transparent ministers. As the longest serving Senior Pastor of Grove Church, Dr. Marriner’s overarching mission for the Church and its members is to GLORIFY God, edify the people who are Christ-centered and to evangelize the lost. Dr. Marriner believes that God is looking for individuals to have His Spirit, His motive, His intent, and His heart.

Dr. Marriner believes that education unlocks the door to success, and he leads by example. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Norfolk State University, Dr. Marriner continued his education—earning a Master’s of Divinity degree from Virginia Union University School of Theology and a Doctorate of Ministry from United Theological Seminary.

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, and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. He serves on the boards of Portsmouth Partnership and Portsmouth Community Foundation, and is Chief Executive Officer (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.

A native resident of Chesapeake, Virginia, Dr. Marriner is married to Captain Shelley Kay-Marriner, USN, and is the proud father of four sons – Courtland, Isaiah, Joshua, and Brandon.


Shelley Kay-Marriner,
Leading Lady

A strong woman of God, helpmeet to Dr. Melvin O. Marriner, and accomplished career professional in her own right, Richelle K. Marriner, known affectionately as Shelley, is Grove's Leading Lady.

A native of Buffalo, NY, Captain Marriner 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).


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