Tag Archives: Bill Martin

Called To Cross Lines

by Bill Martin, Towamencin congregation

On a snowy Saturday evening this past winter, my wife Sharon and I were leaving an almost empty Lowes store. I drove our car along the front of the store to avoid the speed bumps.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“What I am not supposed to,” came my reply.  After a brief pause, I turned to her and said, “It makes me feel alive.”

She broke into laughter. “I’ve never heard you say it so plainly.”

Honestly, though, that’s who I am. Sharon likes to draw an imaginary line with one hand, saying, “Here’s the line,” and then, extending her arm as far as she can, adding, “and here you are.  You always have to cross the line.”

I was the child that needed more discipline than my siblings; trouble seemed to find me. So imagine the impact, when I was about 10 years old, of my mom saying to me, “There was a Billy Sunday, a Billy Graham, and, I believe, one day there will be a Billy Martin.”

It was a moment at a young age when I realized there had been a path laid out for my life, not because my mom said I should, but because I knew she had spoken truth to me.

In high school, the line-crossing trends continued and I am certain there were not many teachers who wanted me in their classes. Yet a comment from Mr. Benner when he graded one of my speeches in speech class reaffirmed what my mom had told me. It was called a “Mini Chapel Speech” and he gave me a B grade with the comment, “Bill, I think you should consider becoming a pastor.” The note carried more weight because it was not based on the quality of the speech but rather on something else that he saw in me.

I have learned that God does not call us because we are perfect or because we are the best at something. God calls us out of His design and what He desires and what He is doing.

Several years ago, I was preaching at Spruce Lake Retreat. After the sermon, a friend came up to tell me about a comment a high school classmate made: “Of all the people I went to high school with, that’s the last guy I would have thought would become a pastor.”

That’s right, that’s me. Called by God, not because of who I am, but because of who He is.

Ministerial Update (April 2014)

Hadi Sunarto
Hadi Sunarto was licensed as a deacon at Philadelphia Praise Center in March.

Steve Kriss, Director of Leadership Cultivation, provided this update from the March & April meetings of the Credentials and Ministerial Committees:

Hadi Sunarto (East Rutherford, NJ) was approved for a license for specific the ministry of deacon at Philadelphia Praise Center.

Krista Showalter Ehst (Bally, PA) was approved with a license toward ordination to serve as pastor at Alpha (NJ) Mennonite Church.

Bill Martin was approved with a license toward ordination and to serve as associate pastor at Towamencin Mennonite Church.

Danilo Sanchez (Whitehall congregation) was approved to serve as Allentown area youth minister with a license toward ordination.

Donna Merow was approved for ordination and continues to serve as pastor at Ambler (Pa) Mennonite Church.

Several new members have been added to the Ministerial and Credentials committees.

Mike Clemmer (Towamencin) and Marlene Frankenfield (Salford) have been named to the Ministerial Committee.   Heidi Hochstetler (Bally) resigned her position from the committee earlier this year.   Continuing Ministerial Committtee members include:  Verle Brubaker (Swamp), Ken Burkholder (Deep Run East), Carolyn Egli (Whitehall), Janet Panning (Plains), Mary Nitzsche (Blooming Glen), Jim Williams (Nueva Vida Norristown New Life).

Aldo Siahaan (Philadelphia Praise) and Marta Castillo (Nueva Vida Norristown New Life) have been named to three year terms on the credentials committee.    Continuing committee members include:  Rose Bender (Whitehall), Verle Brubaker (Swamp) and Mike Clemmer (Towamencin).

Steve Kriss began serving as Conference staff liaison for both committees since the retirement of Noah Kolb late in 2013.