Marvin, Enoch Mather (1823–1877)

By: Claudia Hazlewood

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: April 1, 1995

Enoch Mather Marvin, Methodist bishop and author, the son of Wells Ely Marvin, was born in a double log cabin in Warren County, Missouri, on June 12, 1823. He joined the Methodist Church in 1839, was licensed to preach in 1841, and was admitted on trial to the Missouri Conference. He was ordained deacon in 1843 and elder in 1845. In 1852 he became presiding elder of the St. Charles district. He was financial agent of St. Charles College in 1854 and 1855, and in 1856 he was appointed to Centenary Methodist Church, St. Louis, where he served until 1862. His first book, Marvin's Lectures, published in 1859, grew from weekly lectures against Catholicism first published in the St. Louis Republican. Because of his Southern sympathies, Marvin left St. Louis in 1862 to serve as chaplain in the Confederate Army. He was attached to Arkansas and Texas divisions and after the Civil War was appointed to the Methodist church in Marshall, Texas. He was elected bishop of the Trans-Mississippi Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, at New Orleans in 1866 and served until 1876, when he was appointed bishop in the Pacific area. He made a world tour of missions in 1876 and wrote The East by Way of the West, which was published first weekly in the Christian Advocate and later in book form in 1878. After returning to the United States in 1877, he held five conferences before his death in St. Louis on November 26, 1877. He was buried at St. Louis on November 29. Marvin College at Waxahachie, Texas, was named for him.

Theodore Flood and John W. Hamilton, eds., Lives of the Methodist Bishops (New York: Phillips and Hunt, 1882).


  • Religion
  • Methodist

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Claudia Hazlewood, “Marvin, Enoch Mather,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed December 03, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

April 1, 1995