ABSW Mourns the Death of President Rev. Dr. Paul M. Martin

March 31, 2016 ~ ABSW

Students, faculty, staff, trustees, and graduates mourn the sudden death of Dr. Paul M. Martin, President and Professor of Pastoral Theology at American Baptist Seminary of the West (ABSW) in Berkeley since 2009. He died on March 23 at the age of 77 while in Denver with his wife, Dr. Agnes Martin. A former ABSW trustee, Dr. Martin was the first African-American president of ABSW.

Dr. Martin came to Berkeley with sound credentials. He earned his B.A. degree from Pepperdine University, his Master of Divinity degree from Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology in Richmond, VA, and his Doctor of Philosophy from the California Graduate School of Theology. His dissertation was entitled, “A Critical Analysis of Black Theology from Slavery to Civil Rights.” Dr. Martin was a life member of the Urban League, the NAACP, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Honoring his homiletical skills, Morehouse College named him to its Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Hall of Preachers.

During nearly six decades as an ordained minister, he served as senior pastor for twenty-seven years at the Redeemer Presbyterian Church of Los Angeles, seventeen years at Macedonia Baptist Church in Denver, and later was the interim pastor for two years at Zion Hill Baptist Church in Los Angeles.

Dr. Martin believed in serving the community. During his tenure in Denver, Colorado, he served on the development committees for the Denver International Airport and the Stapleton International Airport. Starting in 1959, Dr. Martin hosted radio ministries on eight stations in Los Angeles and Denver. At the time of his death, he had once again returned to radio by hosting a Saturday morning show from Los Angeles.

Dr. Martin is survived by his wife, Agnes, and their children Anthony Martin, Robert Williams, Rosalyn Thomas, Arlene Sharp, and beloved grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held on: April 16 at 11:00 am at Second Baptist Church, 2412 Griffith Avenue, Los Angeles, CA; April 30 at 10:00 am, Allen Temple Baptist Church, 8501 International Blvd, Oakland, CA; and May 14 at 11:00 am, Macedonia Baptist Church, 3240 Adams Street (MLK Blvd. and Adams Street), Denver, CO

We would also like to announce the establishment of the Rev. Dr. Paul M. Martin Presidential Scholarship. This will be an endowed scholarship to be awarded each year by the ABSW President, a resource that was close to Paul’s heart.

Founded in 1871, the American Baptist Seminary of the West is a charter member of the Graduate Theological Union and is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches USA.

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