Great Men Of God I Have Met
Over the years I have had the opportunity to meet many great men of God. I have wrote about my meeting Rev. Billy Graham when I was a teenager in a bowling alley. That meeting was very very brief but it has always stuck with me. I have found that sometimes we put people on a pedestal that they don’t really deserve. I am sorry to say that I did that with some of those I met. I am not going to say who they are but you can make your own assumptions. Early before my ministry I was honored to meet two great heroes of the faith Dr. John R Rice and Lester Roloff. I met Evangelist Lester Roloff in the parking lot of a church. I was going to a revival that he and another speaker was at but I had gotten their a few minutes later than I had expected but was blessed to meet him there in the parking lot. He was in a hurry as his plane had landed at an area airport later than expected. He shook my hand and told me to stay faithful to God and keep my eyes off of man. He said man will fail you but God will never fail you.
I met Dr. John R. Rice at a Sword of the Lord conference and only got to talk to him very briefly. He shook my hand and encouraged me to follow my dream to become a Pastor.
While I was a Pastor in Baraboo I went to our summer camp in Northern Wisconsin and our Camp Speaker was Dr. R.B. Ouellette Pastor of First Baptist Church of Bridgeport, Michigan. During camp I was able to spend time with this great man of God and he was a great encourager to me. It was during that time I spent with him during that camp that I rededicated my ministry to the Lord. Later after that camp I went on vacation to Michigan I visited his Church. It was a great honor to see him there in his own pulpit. He took my family out to dinner that Sunday we were there visiting with him.
Also while I was Pastor in Baraboo I was honored to become a real friend to Dr. Brad Weniger. He preached a revival for the church in Baraboo. At the time he was Pastoring a church out in California and I had become friends with him. He paid his own expenses and came and preached a revival for us. Later in my life he counseled me through a very dark time in my life when I came to Alton. He was a rock for me when nobody else believed in me. The last I heard he was Pastoring Central Baptist Church in Woodbridge, Virginia.
While I was at Baraboo I was honored to have Dr. Wendell Evan visit my church. It was a total surprise but an exciting blessing over the years after his visit I was honored to see him on many occasions. Some while visiting down in Crown Point and some after I moved to Hammond, Indiana for a short time. I was moved by his dignity with grace.
One Sunday I was getting up to start the services and Dr. Ray Young and his family walked in. After the services I talked with him and his wife for a few minutes. He was on vacation and chose our church to attend.
After I served for ten years in Baraboo I went to meet with Dr. Jack Hyles for counsel. I spent some time in his office listening to his counsel. I left his office thinking that God has something great in store of me. I was a bit disturbed by one comment he made to me before I left. I ask him about all the accusations that have been made about him and he said to me; “don’t worry about it, I am the Pastor of First Baptist of Hammond and nobody tells me what to do.”
Dr. John Hanks was a man who took a chance on me and helped me finish my schooling. I had to work hard to finish my education and he was there to push me until I finished. I remembered several years after I graduated he came to my church in Baraboo and he told me how proud he was of me and the work I was doing. He has since gone on to be with the Lord but his memory lives in my heart.
Dr. Jim Delashmit was my Pastor and friend until he died. Dr. Delashmit was the Former President of Hell’s Angels and then God saved him from that pit. After his salvation in attended Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri and then began preaching his message; “From Dope To Hope” across the country. Then he took a church in Posen, Illinois and that is where I met him. I served under him for 4 years before going to my first church in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Dr. Delashmit has died and is now in Heaven but God used him to impact my life. Other than the next person on this list he had the greatest impact on my life.
I left the last of the great men of God because he is the one who had the most impact on my life. I spent most of my life getting trained for the ministry. Some of it was through experience and some through training I received in Bible College. I will never be able to repay my Dad for the training I received from him. Rev Samuel J. Martin, Sr. is my Dad and I carry his name proudly as I am Rev. Samuel J. Martin, Jr.