The Rev. Dr. Marlon B. Tilghman was certified as a Lay Speaker in 1996; Licensed to Preach in 2006 and Ordained an Elder in 2012. The Religious Leadership and Diversity Project at Ohio State University interviewed Rev. Tilghman as a leader in growing multi-ethnic congregations. He has taught as a missionary to Zimbabwe, Africa for their bi-annual Pastor’s School at Africa University. He is also a graduate of the National Leaders in the Mid-Atlantic Labor Leadership Initiative to support Labor Unions across America.

Dr. Tilghman currently serves as the pastor of Ames United Methodist Church in Bel Air, MD. Ames is the oldest African-American church in downtown Harford County and it has served as a beacon of hope, perseverance, and social justice since 1867. The congregation’s vision is to spread the gospel through family values, education, hospitality, health, and holiness to the glory of God.

Rev. Tilghman served as the Co-Chair BRIDGE Maryland, Inc. (BMI) 2016- 2019. As the co-chair, he was instrumental in developing their website, teaching, and mentoring male youth while establishing relationships and partnerships statewide for social justice in Maryland and nationally. He is currently a BMI co-leader in the Criminal Justice Workgroup which addresses injustices in the legal system. He is the Secretary for the Council of Presidents for Gamaliel, Inc., and he serves on the Board of Pensions and Health Benefits and the Administrative Review Committee for the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.

Dr. Tilghman has degrees from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, Howard University School of Architecture, Wesley Theological Seminary, and United Theological Seminary (DMin., ‘22). He retired from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as an architect and project manager in 2009. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves as a Staff Sergeant and is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm. He met his best friend and wife Barbette when they both served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. Together they have three adult sons and two granddaughters.

Rev. Tilghman gave his life to Christ at the age of twelve in a small Holiness church in Cambridge, Maryland, pastored by his uncle and exhorter Rev. Freddie Bryant. He accepted his call to ordination on Palm Sunday, April 13, 2003, at his home church Northwood-Appold UMC. While at Northwood-Appold he served as a trustee, a lay speaker, and the president of the Usher’s Board for over 3 years.

The foundation of his ministry and community organizing principles is nurtured in Galatians 6:9 and Proverbs 3:3-6, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Furthermore, “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.