Marianne Rathman was born in Buffalo, NY and grew up on the East Side of Buffalo in the Fruit Belt, which was then a predominantly German settlement. She attended School 37 and, as far back as she can remember, dreamed of being an elementary school teacher. Pursuing her dream, she attended Buffalo State, where she earned a MS degree in Elementary Ed with an urban emphasis. She began taking major leadership in creating programs for disadvantaged children in the neighborhoodand realized that she needed to leave public school teaching and answer the call to the ministry of Church education, particularly in the city. She was a consultant for a Church Resource Center for 10 years and has been a member of Pilgrim–St. Luke’s / El Nuevo Camino UCC for about 40 years.
A founding member of VOICE Buffalo, Marianne was excited from the beginning at the prospect of organizing to build a better Buffalo for all. After attending week-long Leadership Training in organizing, her view of what the church can be in the world has never been the same. She came back from that experience with a real passion for getting other leaders to attend. Marianne co-chaired the Leadership Development Committee for many years and led workshops for VOICE Buffalo locally and at the National Leadership Assembly of the Gamaliel Foundation.