Marsh Collective Update
Marsh Collective Update
By Ashley and John Marsh (Co-Founders of the Marsh Collective)
So much changed in the last few years, since recording Beauty and Brokenness, and yet we continue to live in the harvest of the same good work. We have seen both sons come back into the family business. Ash has taken the CEO role in our companies, and we have enjoyed becoming grandparents. We have been blessed to have the opportunity to help counsel into reconciliation over 200 marriages and have created a free framework for aligning under a common purpose: our 5F assessment.
But even as the last few years have seen so much change, everything from partners leaving to the radical business shifts as a result of COVID, the common grace of good work has remained the same. We have bought and sold properties, gained and lost neighbors, and learned so much along the way. But through it all, the thread of love and redemption has only become clearer. And, as is so often the case, the changes in our lives (though not always easy) have brought new opportunities to affect God’s purpose in our community at large.
Possibly, the greatest shift for us has been the flourishing of our work in communities outside of Opelika. In communities all over our country, God has used our story to help others live the gospel in the places that they are called to. This has coalesced into a consulting company, The Marsh Collective, where we serve communities from towns of less than two thousand to MSAs approaching a quarter of a million. In all, we now help steward over $2b in redemptive real estate with people and organizations we call Patrons. Through the economic success of these projects, we have spread God’s love to towns and peoples whom the world had all but left behind, we see Beauty in Broken Places and People.
Looking to our future, change is every bit as much a part of our direction as it is a part of our story. From our early days of restoring buildings and streets, we have come to view towns in a more holistic context. We now treat cities as mixed-use developments with fractional ownership. And through our work, we have created roadmaps to change that transcend regional and local challenges.
Of course, our hearts will always be in Opelika (we believe objectively the greatest city in the world). We are deep into the work we trust will be a hundred-year gift to our city’s prosperity. We are creating a hospitality destination in the center of our city, which aims to celebrate everything we love about Opelika and become the epicenter of biblical hospitality. Ash (now our CEO) says hospitality is “I thought of you before you got here.” So, we spend every day asking ourselves what a resort built to model God’s love would look like.
In short, the last few years have been more of the same: challenges, blessings, joy, failure, and good work. But through it all, one thing is clear: we’re just getting started on God’s journey.
Please reach out if you resonate with our story or want to hear more about what we’re doing. We’re completing a book in the coming months to share the wisdom we’ve gained over the last quarter century of our journey. And if you’re interested in our tools for marriage, we’ve created a free 5F survey that we believe will bless you.
Ashley is CEO and actively runs a collection of companies that she and her husband, John, have built. Over the last 25 years, John and Ashely have guided over 60 startup businesses in various industries, such as Hospitality, Construction, Real Estate Investing, Advertising, and multiple Restaurants. John and Ashley have renovated 280+ buildings within ten blocks of downtown Opelika to help restore their city.
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