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Hubert Martin, VP for business at Southwestern, retires July 31

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–Hubert Martin is retiring as vice president of business affairs at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary after 30 years of service to Southern Baptists.

Martin, who came to Southwestern as a student in 1973, said, “The Lord knew what He was doing,” far more than Martin did at the time.

“But having gone through the seminary, I understand what it means to be a seminarian. I understand the demands of being a student, father, husband, provider, church member and trying to do all of those things at the same time.”

Martin’s preparation for his work at Southwestern began even before God called him into ministry. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1968 and spent two years at a training facility at Fort Bragg, N.C., where he worked for a command sergeant major, the highest rank an enlisted man can hold in the Army.
The sergeant major demonstrated an ability to win peoples’ confidence and lead them efficiently, which helped Martin form ideas about leadership that he has used ever since.

After his tour of duty in the military, Martin went to work in the private sector for a few years before he sensed God’s call to a specific ministry and he enrolled at Southwestern where, with G.I. Bill aid, his wife, Claudia, was able to stay home and raise their two children.

“I felt like the Lord had called me into fulltime service in the business side of our denomination,” Martin said. “I was 27 at the time and had a wife and two children and, like many of us, picked up and came to the seminary.”

Martin began his career at Southwestern at the end of his second year as a student, when he became director of purchasing.

“I figured it would take me a longer time than most graduates to get situated, so I had my 500 resumes printed up and I was ready,” Martin said. “Somebody said, ‘You need to go over and talk to Vice President for Business Affairs Wayne Evans about where to put your resume.’”

Martin gave the resume to Evans, his predecessor, and the rest is history. “I handed out one resume, and had 499 left. In God’s timing, the position [director of purchasing] was needed and he saw something that met the criteria of what he was looking for.”

Martin became the business manager of the seminary a few years later and vice president of business affairs in 1984. As a man called into business services, he compared his longevity in office to that of a pastor who spends a long tenure in one church.

“You never want to take the Lord’s hand out of it,” Martin said. “The Lord needs to impress on you where you need to be. But when pastors spend, say, 30 years with a congregation, there is a uniqueness that happens there that does not happen when the pastor spends two years there.”

Martin said he hopes to do some consulting and volunteer work once he has retired from Southwestern. He said he will take the same philosophy which has served him so well over the years wherever he goes.

“I think we have a need in every ministry to have good business operations, so that the finances and operations are done in a Christ-centered, businesslike manner,” Martin said. “That means being honest and setting up systems to make the money go as far as it can, while still providing the services that are needed…. When you’re fair with people and honest with what you do, a lot of good things happen. ”

Martin said he also hopes to spend more time with his wife and their children and three grandchildren. He said he could not have accomplished any of what he has without his family’s support.

A broad smile crossed Martin’s face when he recounted what his daughter said about him at a retirement party. She said that her father was concerned with three things: love of God, his family and his job.

“When you think about being able to spend your life investing in young men and women who are going to make a difference in the world, that is something worth investing your life in,” Martin said. “And I’ve gotten to do that for 30 years right here at Southwestern. And I’m still one of those people who believe that one person can make a difference.”

Martin received an honorary doctorate of humanities from Dallas Baptist University in December 2003. He also recently received the Taylor Daniels Award of Merit from the Southern Baptist Business Officers Association, an annual award given to a business administrator in the denomination. Martin’s retirement becomes effective July 31.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: HUBERT MARTIN.

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  • Samuel Smith