A native of the Midwest, I grew up attending schools across the Midwest and the South as my father moved upward in his company. Graduating from high school in Indiana in 1966, I attended the all-male Wabash College and majored in English. I was converted to Christ my junior year after observing the assassinations of two national leaders, riots and demonstrations on the college campuses, the burning of the inner cities, the rise of the drug culture, the recreational view of sex and the implosion of what was called ‘traditional marriage’ and family values. As painful as it was to see what was going on in my nation, it was more painful yet to see that this same disease of the soul was in my own heart–that what was wrong “out there with them” was also true of me too. At just the right time the Lord brought the gospel to me and gave me grace to see its truth about me and my sin, the holiness of God, the wrath to come, the rescue mission on which the Father sent the Son, and His call on me to repent of my sins and believe this good news. My conversion and subsequent radical change of life brought many changes for the good and a newborn compassion for the lost all around me.
Upon graduation from college in 1970, I moved to California where I worked for two years in a student evangelism and discipleship ministry before being transferred back to Indiana. In 1976 my life had a theological bomb dropped on my playground of life–I came to see the so-called “doctrines of grace” while studying through Romans. God saves sinners! I was in full time evangelism yet had never studied regeneration (the new birth), conversion (repentance and faith), or sanctification (growing in Christ-like holiness). I came to see why the recovery of these biblical truths at the time of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century rocked medieval Europe. My life was also impacted by receiving a call from God to go into the pastoral ministry. I began to see Christ’s church in the New Testament as the main thing and my parachurch work as ancillary. Sensing I needed more seasoning in working with adults in the church, I moved to Atlanta where I worked with another parachurch ministry engaged in disciple building in the local church.
With the blessings of my local church in Atlanta after two years, I moved to Chicago to train for the pastoral ministry at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. I was humbled, challenged and stretched in many ways. My professors included such esteemed evangelical scholars as D. A. Carson, Doug Moo, Mark Noll, John Woodbridge, Leon Morris, Grant Osborne, Thomas McComiskey, Walter Kaiser, Wayne Grudem, Harold O. J. Brown, William Stanford Reid, and Kenneth Kantzer. I pursued a degree in Church History & Historical Theology while taking the courses for Systematic Theology, New Testament and Greek, and Old Testament. I received my M. A. after writing a thesis on the epistemology of Charles Hodge, the great Princeton theologian of the 19th century.
Upon my return to Atlanta I pastored for 31 years in two churches. From 1998 to 2011, I led THE LOG COLLEGE, a pastoral training academy for men seeking a Reformed education who could not move to another city to train. Some of the best professors in the world are available on tape/cd and their courses were the backbone of the training. THE LOG COLLEGE aimed to teach confessional Reformed and Baptist theology in the context of biblical and historical studies with a backstory of evangelical and Reformed piety. A number of men completed the three year course and are faithfully and fruitfully serving in churches in the United States.
My many years in pastoral ministry have shown me the importance of encouraging pastors and gathering together like-minded men for mutual encouragement and edification. Many men feel lonely and isolated and have little access to cross-pollination. Pastors in reforming situations, pastors just coming to see the doctrines of grace, pastors without sympathetic church officers, young pastors and church planters have been a key focus of my ministry over the past twenty-five years.
I have served in the Baptist association in which I have belonged for many years on the Administrative Council and the Foreign Missions Committee. I have also served as the Chairman of the Administrative Council of the Georgia Association of Confessional Baptist Churches (GACB).
For four years I worked alongside Pastor Irfon Hughes and Dr. Joel Beeke to plan and lead the annual North American Banner of Truth Ministers Pastors’ Conference.
Dr. Tom Ascol asked me to contribute a chapter to his book for young pastors, DEAR TIMOTHY (Founders Press) and Walt Chantry asked me to take the leadership to edit and contribute to another book, a revision of BIBLICAL SHEPHERDING OF GOD’S SHEEP: The Use and Abuse of Authority by Church Officers (Day One Publications).
I married my dear wife Cindy in 1972 and in 2020 we celebrated our 48th anniversary by the grace of God. She has been my more than faithful help-mate and always a delight to come home to after a tough day. We were blessed with two children who are married in the Lord and have six precious grandchildren.
I retired from the pastorate of a local church in 2012 and am devoting my remaining years of ministry to the building up of pastors and local churches under God. I covet your prayers for my on-going pursuit of holiness and becoming more like Christ and more useful for His Kingdom. I want to finish well. In May of 2017 I was asked to become the first Dean of Students at the IRBS THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY being built by our association in Texas. I retired in June of 2020 and returned to Indiana where our roots are.
See my concentrated career information below.
PROFESSIONAL RESUME FOR STEVEN L. MARTIN
Birth: April 9, 1948–Freeport, IL. Married: September 2, 1972
Wife: Cindy Children: Matt & Sally
1970–B. A. in English, WABASH COLLEGE: Crawfordsville, IN
1973–Completed the course work for a Diploma and graduated from Campus Crusade for Christ’s INSTITUTE OF BIBLICAL STUDIES.
1979-1981–Completed course work for an M. A. in Church History at TRINITY EVANGELICAL DIVINITY SCHOOL (TEDS); Deerfield, IL (also took for credit the M. Div. courses in Greek and New Testament; Old Testament (minus the Hebrew), and Systematic Theology.
1984–Wrote and defended my thesis on THE DOCTRINES OF MAN, REASON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF CHARLES HODGE. Graduated from TEDS.
PARACHURCH AND CHURCH RESPONSIBILITIES:
1969–Conversion to Christ in January of that year in the middle of my Junior Year in college.
1970-1977–Staff member and later local Director of Campus Crusade for Christ ministries first in Newport Beach, California and later Indianapolis, Indiana
1977-1979–Worldwide Discipleship Association; Assistant to the President and Director of Training. (At this time I was attending Grace Evangelical Church of Fayetteville, GA as a layman)
1980-1981–Elder in THE VILLAGE CHURCH OF LINCOLNSHIRE, Illinois
1981–Ordained to the Gospel Ministry by Grace Evangelical Church, Fayetteville, GA.
1981-1985–Associate Pastor of Grace Evangelical Church, Fayetteville, GA
1985-1989–Sr. Pastor of Grace Evangelical Church, Fayetteville, GA
1989–Led our church to adopt the 2nd London Baptist Confession (1689) and helped to form Heritage Church of Fayetteville, GA, where I was installed as the Pastor.
1989-2012–Led Heritage Church (Evangelical-Reformed-Baptist) as Senior Pastor; retired in 2012
1997-2009–Member of the Board of Trustees of the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies (IRBS) at Westminster Theological Seminary California.
2007-2012–Helped to form and later was voted in as Chairman of the Administrative Council of the Georgia Association of Confessional Baptist Churches (GACB). Later named the Coordinator of GACB, ministering to pastors in GACB and other pastors too.
2017-2020–Became the first Dean of Students at the newly formed IRBS THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY in Texas, with incoming students slated to matriculate in the Fall of 2018. Retired in April, 2020.
2004–Contributed “Training Other Men’ in DEAR TIMOTHY (Letters on Pastoral Ministry); edited by Thomas Ascol; Founders Press; 2nd edition 2017
2010–Edited and contributed chapters to BIBLICAL SHEPHERDING OF GOD’S SHEEP (The Use and Abuse of Authority by Church Officers); Day One Publications
2013–Researched for 20 years and compiled COMMENTING AND COMMENTARIES FOR THE 21ST CENTURY (The Best Commentaries and Research Tools for Understanding All the Books of the Bible); my e-book is available at the E-store.
REFORMED ECUMENICAL INVOLVMENTS:
1986-2010–Attended & brought other men to the BANNER OF TRUTH NORTH AMERICAN MINISTERS CONFERENCE in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Memphis, TN and Grantham, PA.
2004-2009–Served with Pastor Irfon Hughes (PCA Presbyterian) & Dr. Joel Beeke (Dutch Reformed) as the Reformed Baptist member of the Planning Team to lead and oversee the BANNER OF TRUTH NORTH AMERICAN MINISTERS CONFERENCE in Grantham, PA.
2005, 2009–Invited to preach at the BANNER OF TRUTH NORTH AMERICAN MINISTERS CONFERENCE in Grantham, PA.
2002–Helped to host the ALLIANCE OF CONFESSING EVANGELICALS (ACE) inaugural conference in Atlanta
1989-2012–We wanted our people to hear the best preachers available. Guest preachers for HERITAGE CHURCH included Sinclair Ferguson, Iain Murray, Jerry Bridges, Walter Chantry, Geoff Thomas, Irfon Hughes, Ken G. Smith, Erroll Hulse, Martin Holdt, Conrad Mbewe, Tedd Tripp, Gordon Keddie, Tom Nettles, Tom Ascol, and others.
EDUCATING AND TRAINING PASTORS:
1998-2011–Initiated, developed and led THE LOG COLLEGE, a 3-4 year pastoral training institute for men preparing for the confessional Reformed Baptist ministry who were not able to leave home and church to matriculate elsewhere. Other attendees were pastors who wanted to retrain with a confessional and Reformed emphasis.
[NOTE: Our lecturers on tape included James Packer, Iain Murray, Robert Godfrey,Derek Thomas, Geoff Thomas, F. F. Bruce, R. C. Sproul, Francis Schaeffer, Roger Nicole, Sinclair Ferguson, Walter Chantry, Paul Barnett, Tom Nettles, Stuart Olyott, Joel Beeke, J. Ligon Duncan, Douglas Kelly, James Renihan, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Carl Trueman, Stuart Scott, Richard Pratt and Michael Haykin.]
2001-2011–Six men graduated from THE LOG COLLEGE and are faithfully and fruitfully serving confessional Baptist churches (and one Presbyterian church in North Carolina!) around Georgia. Another five men received at least two years of training but were unable to finish the diploma course because of pressing church and/or family responsibilities. They too are faithfully and fruitfully serving churches in Georgia and Pennsylvania.
2001-2012–I have preached and taught at Pastors Conferences and workshops in Nigeria, South Africa, France, Switzerland, New Zealand, Quebec, Canada and New Brunswick, Canada.
2006-2015–Contributed the Book Blog & Expert Book Advice Columns for Cumberland Valley Bible Book Service (CVBBS.COM)
2013–Southeast Regional Ambassador for the English Standard Bible (ESV); Crossway Books
Dear Pastor Steve, I am also a veteran pastor, preparing for a new ministry teaching poor preachers in SE Asia. I would appreciate your prayers but also your counsel and assistance with resources. I will spend the next several months completing support raising and then 11 months in language school. Many thanks, David Rasmussen
Let me know how you think I can be of help and I will do what I can. May the Lord bless your ministry to poor preachers in SE Asia.
Your fellow servant and co-laborer,
I love you Pastor Steve. You have left a VERY strong impact on me and my walk. God bless you brother….You are truly a man of God. Is there any greater honor?
Dear Pastor Steve,
Thank you so much my dear friend for the book, “Revival & Revivalism”, you sent me through Pastor Jerry Slate! I will cherish it, and look forward to reading it! You are such an inspiration and an encouragement to both myself and Pastor Jerry! Thank you for all your labors in the Lord and using your gift for the edifying of the saints for the glory of God! Will be keeping you and your dear family in prayer! Thanks for staying in touch with us! Many blessings!
David Harris Sr.
Dear Pastor Steve
I had a great time talking with you at the G3 conference this past week. Thank you for taking the time to talk with me and share some of your fondest memories of our dear beloved brother Martin. I look forward to using the resources you have pointed me to and being in touch with you in the near future
Mark Powell, CRBC, Easley
Glad to see you’re continuing to love the Household of Faith. Miss you, dear brother.
Love in Christ,
I came across your website tonight as I was researching one of my ancestors – Rev. Samuel Finley, one of the original students in the Log College. Even though that Log College is long gone, I am grateful to see that the mission lives on through godly men like you who have taken up the standard to rally men to grow their skills in pastoring. We desperately need more men like you. Thank you for encouraging preachers to new depths in their love of Christ and in their calling.
Pastor Steve, did you live with Jack Murray in Lake Forest during your seminary years? If so, do you remember Sandy, Jack’s girlfriend? The long talks we had about Jesus and faith? You must have despaired of me, but I’ve landed in the Lord’s arms after all. Thank you for ministering to me in those days of searching.
Steve, I have a book gift for you. One that I recently edited. It’s one that every man should read – especially us older ones. It’s good biblical medicine for the times we live in. Please send me your postal mailing address and I will get ENDURE: A Christian Man’s Guide to Finishing Strong, by my good friend, Bill Newton. Published by Shepherd Press. Hello to Cindy. Pat Leahy, Asheville, NC.