John and his wife Ashely dedicated themselves to the resurrection of place in the historic downtown of Opelika, Alabama. Like many small mill towns around the country, Opelika’s main street had deteriorated to a state of hopelessness and disrepair. One historic house in 1998 began a twenty-year journey of redeeming a city. Today, their work of restoring over 150 properties and launching 40 small businesses in those ten square blocks has become the gold standard for small-town revitalization in the state of Alabama. Opelika’s story, an account of beauty from brokenness, mirrors their personal story. Through the sharing and walking out of their personal testimony of reconciliation, they have given hope to hundreds of couples facing divorce and have inspired thousands of business leaders who aspire to live out their faith through their work.
Through his umbrella organization Marsh Collective, John has continued to follow his call to this work by helping others restore, revitalize and redeem their communities and build purpose driven businesses through collaboration with mission driven patrons and stakeholders. To date, the team has implemented interventions all across the United States. This collection of businesses that includes consulting, property development, restaurant, hospitality design, event management and others is dedicated to the flourishing of both people and places.