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Honoring Retiring Ministry: Stan Martin

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Honoring Retiring Ministry: Stan Martin

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The United Church of God (UCG) would like to recognize Stan Martin upon his retirement from the employed ministry in the Church. Stan, alongside his wife Penny, has been serving as a pastor since March 2011, though he has been an elder for more than 30 years.

Ordained in 1989, Mr. Martin was hired in March 2011 to fill a gap in pastoral care. He began his employed pastoral role as an associate pastor in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Rome, Georgia, until July that same year when he was transferred to pastor Knoxville and Kingsport, Tennessee, and London, Kentucky.

He and his wife have served in several capacities during these past 11 years. “My wife and I have enjoyed the opportunity to be a pastor employed by UCG for the past 11 plus years. Although I have been an elder over 30 years, we have only been employed by UCG since then.

Over the years we have met so many wonderful people and it has been a privilege for Penny and me to have served.”

Roy and Norma Holladay wrote of the Martins, “Stan and Penny served in the Rome and Chattanooga churches. They were greatly loved by all the members. A good example of this is when the Rome church planned to attend the local minor league baseball game. A number of the members were not able to afford to attend. The Martins purchased tickets to give to those members and made sure that everyone was able to attend.

“Stan and Penny both have the heart of a servant and also exhibit great hospitality. They were always willing to do anything they were asked to do.

“Stan and Penny have been our wonderful and dear friends for many years and we treasure their friendship. They will be a tremendous asset in whatever area they retire to.”

In 2016 the Martins were transferred to pastor in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Ocala and Vero Beach, Florida, where they served two years before transferring again to pastor in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, and Lawton, Oklahoma.

Rick and Deborah Shabi commented: “We have known Stan Martin for 35 years, dating back to the time we both lived in the Nashville, Tennessee, area. Stan is an outgoing, warm, friendly man who is a pleasure to be around. We shared many good times together with him and his family and other couples who were in Nashville back then.

“It was a pleasure to be in Nashville when he was ordained an elder by Mr. Kellers. We knew he would fill that office well, as he has demonstrated over the years.

“Our families didn’t lose contact over the years, and back in 2011, Stan and we were hired into the full-time ministry at the same time. It was wonderful to have the same calling and to be able to share the ‘ups and downs’ and get advice from one another. Stan and Penny served their congregations well, and now they are retiring. Well done, Stan and Penny! We count it a blessing to have you as friends. Thank you for your service to God and His people. Enjoy your new life in retirement, and keep in touch with all of us!”

Stan and Penny (Smith) Martin have been married for 11½ years. Stan comments, “I have two grown children: Margie, who lives in the Kansas City area with five children (married to Taylor Jones); and Stephen, who lives in Houston with one child (married to Cayla Loper). Penny has one son, Tyler Sterban, who lives in the Nashville, Tennessee, area and one deceased son, Zachery Sterban.”

Besides serving as a pastor, Stan has been steadily serving in other ways. Namely, he served as festival coordinator for five years between Jekyll Island and in Gatlinburg; he served at Camp Woodmen teaching Christian Living and serves on the expelled elder appeal committee of the General Conference of Elders.

Gary Smith says, “Stan Martin and I became friends while being in a dorm together at Ambassador College, Pasadena in 1974. Since that time we have remained friends as we have gone through the years. We have been able to reconnect at the Feast of Tabernacles and through attending the GCE gatherings since 1995.

“From 1974, Stan has been a faithful member and servant in the Church of God. His faithfulness has allowed us to enjoy many memorable times together.

“I think that Stan’s faithfulness is wonderfully illustrated by the willingness of him and his wife, Penny, to enter the ministry instead of retiring. After finishing up as a medical rep, he was offered the opportunity to serve in the ministry. He willingly chose to serve the people of God rather than enjoy a leisurely retirement. To put God first in this way is a wonderful tribute to the faithfulness of Stan and his wife.”

In his leisure time, Stan says “I love to read, enjoy most sports (although now it is mainly watching) and golf (which thankfully I can still play). We also enjoy traveling and getting to know people.”

Although they’re retiring from the employed ministry, the Martins will continue serving as elder and elder’s wife. “Although we are retiring from employment, we still plan to be active serving in every way possible. An elder never truly retires from service, just as a Christian never retires from being a Christian. We are moving to the Huntsville, Alabama, area where we have seven churches within approximately two hours from where we will be living. We look forward to our next area of service in the Church.”