Rev. Lynn Martin’s life has always been grounded in the church. At the young age of 5, she dedicated her life to Christ and was baptized at Riverside Methodist Church. As an adult, she held several positions at her childhood church. She had a sincere love for the congregation who felt like family. After many years of service, Martin felt called to a new congregation. It was also there she first felt God’s call to full-time ministry.
Martin shared her revelation with her new pastor at Progressive Missionary Baptist Church who supported her in exploring what God was calling her to. He connected her with Eastern Star Church to participate in the church’s Ministers In Training (MIT) program. At MIT, she had the opportunity to meet several members of the CTS staff and faculty. One who stood out was former Dean Rev. Mary Harris. Martin shared how it was Dean Harris’ excitement and sharing how wonderful CTS was that encouraged her to consider the seminary. Soon thereafter, the MIT group was invited to a weekend seminar at CTS. It was there that she “caught the CTS bug.” She contacted Harris the following Monday and was in her office that week to register for her first class.
Martin went on to take a 2nd class as she was continued to be guided in her call to ministry. “God said you need to prepare yourself for my work,” she shared. “I did not want to misrepresent God. I knew if I were being called to full-time ministry, I needed to prepare myself.” During this same time, Martin was also a caregiver for her elderly husband, started a catering business, and opened a restaurant. Her plate was certainly full as she remained diligent to God’s call.
“Even with all that I was managing, CTS was the cornerstone of my life,” she said. Upon becoming a full-time student Martin ultimately moved to campus. “It was the best decision I ever made, as I was able to truly get to know the other CTS students and developed friendships from the around the world. CTS was transforming for me at all levels.”
One of Martin’s most memorable experiences was traveling to South Africa during her final year of seminary. She was enrolled in a coursed called Racial Reconciliation that was taught by Prof. Allan Boesak, who actually lived across the hall from her in the student apartments. On the first day of class, Boesak announced that all seniors would be traveling to South Africa. “We had to write a paper on the Kairos conference with people from all over the world. Who would have thought a little girl from the west side of Indianapolis from a family of 6 and could actually publish something?” she said. “I had the opportunity to go to South Africa, with CTS faculty, staff and Rev. Jeremiah Wright. I would have never had that opportunity had I not gone to CTS.”
Martin shared that it is her love of learning and desire to give back that has kept her connected to the CTS community. In 2020, she enrolled in CTS’ Doctor of Ministry program. She also currently serves on the CTS Board of Trustees and Alumni Board. Rev. Martin also served on the search committee for the selection of President David Mellott. “I love CTS and the new administration. We’ve made the right choice. CTS has been the quietest kept secret on 42nd street. Thankfully that is changing, as we have so much to offer to both ministry leaders and lay people.”
We are truly grateful for Rev. Martin’s continued service and grateful that she answered God’s call.
Learn more about CTS’ MDiv and DMin programs here.