Reverend Andrew Martinez
At a special congregational meeting on Sunday, March 13, the Rev. Dr. Andrew Peter Martinez was confirmed as the future Senior Pastor of First Presbyterian Church.
Here is some background about the Martinez family, who has moved to the Elk Rapids area.
Andrew (“Reverend Andy” or just “Andy”) was born in Temple, Texas and grew up in Dallas as one of seven children. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gordon College, a Christian school in Hamilton-Wenham, Mass.; a Master of Divinity degree and a Doctor of Ministry degree, Church Growth concentration, from Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, Calif. For the past six years he has served as Pastor/ Head of Staff at a Presbyterian church in N.C. Previously, he was Head of Staff and Co-Pastor in Waynesburg, Pa. Before that, he served as Assistant Pastor in Calif. As a Pastoral intern, he worked secular jobs while helping to found three new churches. He also has served as Director/Vice-President of Dallas Can! Academy, an alternative school that gives troubled kids a second chance in life.
Andy is an avid biker who loves being outdoors and enjoying nature. He likes to hunt and fish, and recently learned to golf. He loves to read and enjoys being with people and seeing how God works in their lives. He is passionate about teaching, and feels his gift is to be a catalyst. Six months ago he spent time focusing on his values and re-clarifying his direction in life. He is thrilled to see the gifts in each person and amazed at what people can do with those gifts when they are encouraged and affirmed. Rev. Andy and Lisa have three children, Peter, Lauren and Joy Claire. You can read more about them below. His father (a doctor) and his mother (a nurse) are retired in Cape Cod, Mass.
Lisa has been married to Andrew for 29 years and was born in Quincy, Illinois. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree with a theater major from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling from Fuller theological University in Pasadena, CA. She has been a Licensed Professional Counselor since 1993 and a Counselor Under Supervision since 1983. As a teenager she attended Interlochen Arts Camp. She enjoys kayaking and swimming. She also enjoys singing the Star Spangled Banner for marathons and sports events. Lisa’s parents are realtors in Quincy, Ill. and attend the Presbyterian Church there.
Peter is majoring in pre-med at Appalachian State and also an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) working on his paramedic certification, and a Wilderness EMT and guide. As a community group leader for Campus Crusade for Christ for the last two years, Peter has discipled underclassmen. He has been an ocean rescue lifeguard supervisor for five years, surfs any chance he gets, and is an avid rock climber and adventurer. Within two weeks of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, Peter had organized the first medical missionary team to serve there. During his visit here in January, Peter asked lots of great questions about our church.
Lauren is studying at Wake Forest University in N.C. majoring in political science with a double minor in Latin American studies and art. She has studied abroad in Santiago, Chile, focusing on Spanish and videography. She is an avid photographer and has published photographs in Ivy League college magazines. While working in Haiti, she documented the devastation and used her work to encourage companies and organizations to continue donating medicine, supplies and assistance. She has worked as an assistant to David Allen Harvey, a well known National Geographic photographer. She teaches middle-school classes at a surf school, staying with the girls as they move up each level. She is an ocean rescue life guard supervisor and trained first responder. Needless to say, she loves swimming and running.
Joy Claire has graduated from Elk Rapids High School, where she sang in the choir. She is now at Swarthmore College. Joy Claire plays the piano and trumpet and has enjoyed being in plays and musicals at school. In North Carolina, she was on the swim team for three years. She has served on the DARE County Youth Council to plan and promote involvement in drug-free activities. She participated in two youth groups – a worship band and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She was the Superintendent’s choice to attend Governor’s School last summer to study English in Raleigh, N.C.
Pedro, a Great Pyrenees dog, was born in Lancaster, Pa. Pedro is a large white fluffy dog with beautiful eyes. He will greet you with a big bark to announce your arrival!
Our newest minister in town is Rev. Andrew Martinez of First Presbyterian Church, who participated in our community-wide Ecumenical Service and Picnic in the Park on Monday, Aug. 1. Since his arrival here in June, Rev. Andy has been busy meeting many people and getting settled into life in Elk Rapids. Here is a brief glimpse of his perspective so far.
You have been here just a short time. What are your impressions of Elk Rapids and our surrounding community? What a friendly, active community! I’ve seen so much already – the buzzing of activity around Wednesday Night on River Street, the outdoor recreation available here, the boating community, the cherry orchards…the list just goes on and on. I really feel at home here because I’ve experienced such a friendly welcome by people of all ages. People know each other in this community, and I’m honored they’re bringing me right in.
You came here from the Outer Banks in North Carolina. What has been the most surprising about Elk Rapids and our surrounding community? There’s a lot of similarity between there and here, with the water, the natural beauty of our surroundings, and the many things to do. I really like the energy, enthusiasm and warmth of the people here.
What are you enjoying the most about being here? I believe God has set the table for me to be here and was working to bring me here long before I arrived and began my ministry at First Presbyterian Church. I am enjoying my work as a pastor, and also can’t wait to do more kayaking and catch some lake trout!
If you could change one thing, what would that be? Like all communities, we have people who are needy in certain areas of their lives. I’d like to make sure that Jesus Christ’s help is available right smack in the middle of all of our needs. No doubt everyone in our community has things in their past that linger and get in the way of a happy, satisfied life. On Sunday, August 7th, my sermon will be about how to let go of the past and move on with our lives now and in the future – so we can be the free and happy people we want to be. We’ll have a “Sunday Evening Discussion time” from 5:30 to 7 p.m. to talk about the sermon, and hope people in our community will join us for some great conversation and light refreshments. I’m also planning a “Peace of Mind” sermon series that will start on Sept. 11 – plain talk about how faith can help us get through problems and fearful times.
What do you hope to accomplish during your ministry here? To mobilize Christians in Jesus’ name to help this community. Rev. Andrew is excited to experience his first Harbor Days and meet more people in our community. We will welcome his wife Lisa and daughter Joy to Elk Rapids when they join him here later this month. Lisa is a licensed professional counselor who loves to sing. Joy is a senior this fall at the Elk Rapids High School. She is a very active teen who lives up to her name. The entire Martinez family is now enjoying our community in all seasons. To learn more about Rev. Andy, please drop by First Presbyterian Church at 404 Spruce St., Elk Rapids, or attend a church service on Sundays.
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