I’m Alex Martin – and I’m the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Mount Airy, North Carolina. Now just in case you didn’t know it, Mount Airy is the home of Andy Griffith and is the inspiration for the fictional town of Mayberry; where Andy, Opie, Aunt Bea, Deputy Fife and a cast of other memorable characters made quick work of all life’s dilemmas in the wholesome television programming of my youth. Alas, life is no longer as simple as it once was…not even in Mayberry. But even though the community has grown since its Andy Griffith days, it still retains a small-town charm. You can still get a haircut at Floyd’s Barber Shop; you can still get a pork chop sandwich at the Snappy Lunch; and – if you’re lucky – you can still get a tour of Mayberry from a Barney Fife impersonator.
Given this idyllic setting, my blog’s title — Rural Rev — is intended to communicate a couple of meanings. I suppose the most obvious implication is “Rural Reverend,” which (on a good day) is what I am. But I also hope that buried in there somewhere is the idea of “Rural Revolution,” which is something of which I’d like to be a part. Rural communities may be full of small churches. But they’re also full of great people with great faith in a great God, and I believe that revolutionary things can happen when we open our hearts to God and each other and engage fully in His mission in the world.
I’m a graduate of The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia (BA in Economics) and of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky (M. Div). Before becoming the pastor at Calvary Baptist, I spent thirteen years as a collegiate minister with the Virginia Baptist Mission Board and seven years as the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Marshville, North Carolina. I’m married to Teresa — a native of Durham, North Carolina, and a creative and loving companion of whom I am completely unworthy. We have one beautiful child — Windham Olivia — who demonstrates talent and intelligence beyond her years. I enjoy cycling, reading, singing, playing with computers and occasional efforts to stay in shape.
Feel free to email me at pastoralex4 @ gmail.com (remove spaces).