I’m Joe B. Martin. I have been the Pastor/Head of Staff at Sardis since 2018. My main responsibilities are preaching, teaching, pastoral care, and strategic planning with our great staff and officers as we try to discern the vision God has for us and design a path to get there together. When I am not at work, I love playing, coaching, and watching basketball, so I’m pretty excited to be at a church with been plenty of opportunity to do that without leaving work! I do hope we get back to that and everything else soon.
My wife, Jodi is also an ordained Presbyterian Minister and works at Trinity Presbyterian. It is kind of weird working at different churches for the first time, but it is nice when going home after a long day doesn’t feel like walking into another staff meeting! Our son, Joseph, graduated from Davidson College and completed his master’s at Virginia Tech. It had something to do with making robots walk better. That’s about as much as I understand. Our other son, Ben, graduated Appalachian State and hopes to go to graduate school in athletic training. This is going to be very helpful when he can help his dad with aging knees walk better. I hope I can outperform the robot. Seems more doubtful every day.
My family moved to Charlotte just before I started 1st grade and then after high school I was exiled to various
other southeastern cities until finding my way back. Those cities have nice Presbyterian churches, too, but it is so good to be home in Charlotte and to find a new church home at Sardis. I love the memory of history this
congregation has with an eye to the future, feet that want to walk there, and hands ready to help someone else along the way. One thing that attracted me to Sardis was the work we do in Haiti. This picture from my Sardis trip there is with Rev. Jean-Jonel Fleurisma, who has become a good friend and a regular virtual worshiper with us. I hope conditions in the world allow us to return there soon, but it looks like we will have to wait.
A big part of our faith is waiting. We are learning more about that these pandemic days than we wish, but as we enter Advent, we are reminded of those who waited for the Messiah so desperately and for so long. Now we wait for him to come again and set all things right in a world that still has a desperate need for hope. I am glad to be among Christ’s disciples at Sardis as we wait and hope together.