B.S. in Pastoral Ministries, Trinity College of Florida
Honorary Doctorate, Trinity College of Florida
Trinity College of Florida made a great impact on my life and my pastoral ministry at Indian Rocks Baptist Church. My story begins when I was a 16-year-old boy at my home church in El Dorado, Arkansas. A Trinity student visited our church and brought a catalog with Billy Graham's picture on the front cover. My Sunday school teacher knew that I had been praying for God's will and where I should go to study for the ministry. My parents brought me to see the school, which, at the time was located in Clearwater, Florida. Dr. W.T. Watson met with us and walked us around the campus. The Lord directed my steps, and the following year after graduating from High School, I moved to Clearwater to attend Trinity College of Florida.
I got off to a rocky start, but four years later, I graduated and left to go home to Arkansas. I took a position as a church staff member working with youth. After almost four years, God was stirring my heart to preach. I preached across the south and did a one-week revival at First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks. We had a great week, and it opened a door for me to begin my Pastoral ministry. I was called by Indian Rocks on the first Sunday of May 1971. On my first Sunday, we had 79 people in Sunday school and 91 in the Worship Service. Through the past 36 years, our membership has grown to over 6,000 with an average attendance of 3,000 each weekend. We are so grateful for God's blessings; He has been so good!
Charlie and Stephanie Martin have been married for 37 years. They have five children, sixteen grandchildren, and many precious memories. Stephanie built a spacious home on Beaver Dam Road where they currently reside. She loves to sew, hunt, and can the fruits and vegetables grown in the garden. Charlie has time to hunt, fish, work in the garden, and ride his ATV with a group called, "The Bethel Glory Riders," riding the numerous mountain trails in the area. Charlie grew up in South Arkansas, and Stephanie was raised near Dayton, Ohio. They met and married in Largo, Florida.
In May of 2007, God led me to announce my retiremernt from First Baptist Churh of Indian Rocks located in Largo, Florida. God had spoken to my heart very clearly that He had another assignment for my life and ministry. The Personnel Committee at Indian Rocks asked if I would act as a search committee to work with them in locating a new pastor. Later, they asked if I could stay and assist the new pastor for about one year. The day after I publically announced my retirement, I was contacted by Bethel Baptist Church in Vilas, NC. They had been searching for a pastor for four years. Stephanie and I drove to North Carolina to meet with the church family. We were voted in at Bethel, July of 2007. I officially retired at Indian Rocks in May of 2008 and moved full time to Bethel Baptist. We continue to be amazed at what God is doing in a very rural and mountainous area of North Carolina. God has confirmed this decision was "ALL His Doing" so many times, and we thank Him for His perfect leadership. We look forward to serving Him here as long as He allows. We love the church, the people, and life in these mountains.
Home phone 828-297-5969 Cell 828-406-7559
Burl’s role at Bethel Baptist is leading and equipping the youth to grow in their understanding of God and His mission. He is passionate about teaching God’s Word and helping students enjoy and understand it for themselves.
Burl has a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from Appalachian State University and is the Physical Education teacher at Bethel Elementary School, where he has been since 2007. Burl is currently pursuing his Master’s in Biblical Studies at Colorado Theological Seminary. Prior to coming to Bethel Baptist Church, Burl served as a youth leader and College Director for 8 years at Howards Creek Baptist Church. He and his wife Jennifer have been married since 2007, and have two young children: Jay and Selah. Jennifer obtained her Master’s in Christian Counseling from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary and currently works part time at Mt Vernon Counseling Ministry. They enjoy having people in their home, playing sports, the outdoors, working on their Christmas tree farm, and rooting for the Mountaineers and Tar Heels!