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 leaders, riots 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. 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 was rocked coming to see the so-called “doctrines of grace” while studying through Romans. 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, 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. Since 1998 I have 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 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 years.
I have served in the Baptist association in which I have belonged. In the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA) I served 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, 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 2017 we celebrated our 45th 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 2016 I was voted in as the 4th Coordinator of the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA) at the 19th annual General Assembly in Rockford, Illinois. My responsibilities include helping and encouraging pastors in existing churches, and new churches being planted, and to aid our churches in their care of their missionaries and church planters and chaplains. I give presentations explaining our association of local churches, explaining the INSTITUTE OF REFORMED BAPTIST STUDIES (IRBS) as it has moved to Texas as a free standing theological seminary.
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. Classes began n September of 2018 with the first graduating class slated for 2021. I will be half-time Coordinator of our national association, and half-time Dean of Students for the next year.
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 (born 1975) & Sally (born 1977)
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 LINCOLDSHIRE, 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 Senior Pastor.
1989-2012–Led Heritage Church (Evangelical-Reformed-Baptist) as Senior Pastor; retired in 2012
1989-1997–Member of the Administrative Council of the Reformed Baptist Missions Service (RBMS)
1996-1997–Helped to form the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA)
1997-2009–Member of the Board of Trustees of the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies (IRBS) at Westminster Theological Seminary California.
1997-2009–Member of the Administrative Council of the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA)
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.
2016–became the 4th Coordinator of the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America (ARBCA).
2017–hired to become the first Dean of Students at the newly formed IRBS THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, with incoming students slated to matriculate in the Fall of 2018. Along with being the half-time Coordinator of the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches, I will be half-time Dean of Students for the next year.
2004–Contributed “Training Other Men’ in DEAR TIMOTHY (Letters on Pastoral Ministry); edited by Thomas Ascol; Founders Press
2010–Edited and contributed chapters to BIBLICAL SHEPHERDING OF GOD’S SHEEP (The Use and Abuse of Authority by Church Officers); Day One Publications
1990-2012–Contributed articles to the RBMS UPDATE and later the ARBCA UPDATE
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 South Africa, France, Switzerland, New Zealand, Quebec, Canada, and Escondido, California.
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