The spirit of one of the most striking, virile, unique, individuals and irrepressible personalities of this generation quietly and peacefully slipped into Heaven at 4:00 P. M., May 23, and his body was laid to rest in the beautiful cemetery at Gloster, Miss., the next afternoon, by the side of his father, Rev. M. T. Martin, in the person of Evangelist T. T. Martin.
Brother Martin had often requested me to preach his funeral and write an outline of his life for the papers. Upon my suggestion that he give me the high points and facts of his life, he sent me the 1925 volume of Dr. E. P. Alldredge's "Southern Baptist Handbook" of which six pages are given to a rather detailed biography of Brother Martin and a splendid analysis of his life and character, together with one of the best pictures of him I have seen.
The last active service Brother Martin did was a four weeks' meeting with Roberts Memorial Baptist church in Columbus, Georgia last October, from which he returned home stricken with heart failure, and then the completion of his life story, "Viewing Life's Sunset From the Top of Pike's Peak." It was my joy and profit to prepare the manuscript of that work for the printers. I wept at times and laughed at times until I could not type. It is about forty-five thousand words of a rich and soul-stirring life story. It will be off the press soon!
The doctors said all the way along, "There is not but one thing the matter with you, your heart is just worn out from hard work. Otherwise, you are wonderfully sound." And so Tuesday afternoon, May 23, 1939, his heart just beat the last time and from full consciousness and quiet, with his family by his side at the Baptist Hospital in Jackson, he was suddenly at home with the Lord!
He was born April 26, 1862, in Smith County, Mississippi. His father, Prof. M. T. Martin, was long time Professor of Mathematics at Mississippi College. His mother also held an A. B. degree from Mississippi College. Brother Martin graduated from Mississippi College in 1886. He planned for himself a life of teaching. Hence he went to Baylor College, where later his college classmate, "Jack" Hardy, was President for twenty-five years, and where his other classmate Prof. P. H. Eager, was one time President. In Baylor (Belton) Brother Martin was teacher of General Science.
At Belton, Texas, while teaching, he was ordained to the ministry in 1888. He entered immediately upon evangelistic work. He later went to Louisville, Kentucky, and entered the Seminary. He first did pastoral work in mountain towns in Kentucky. Then he did mountain mission work. Three different men who were classmates of his in the Seminary, two of them roommates, said, "Brother Martin spent nearly all his time down at the city missions preaching and winning souls."
He volunteered as a missionary to Brazil. He was accepted. But before going he was stricken, with a large group of others with ptomaine poison at a banquet. This left him so impaired in health that he could not go out as a missionary. He went to Colorado as pastor at Cripple Creek.
His stories of these experiences stir the soul. A whole chapter of these is given in his autobiography. He was trying to prepare another manuscript of Colorado experiences, "Over The Range From Colorado" but weakened so fast after he was stricken, he was never able to make any progress at it. What a rich treasure is thus buried forever!
In 1900, he came to Louisville to hold a meeting with T. T. Eaton and the old Walnut Street Church. He came for two weeks. He stayed eight weeks. From then on, T. T. Martin occupied a place so uniquely his own in the field of evangelism until he has been studied by men of all denominations. Four different times in my life with him have I had letters from Seminary students in the department of Evangelism who had been given assignments to study the life of T. T. Martin as an evangelist, and they were writing me for material. And Dr. Alldredge says,"We hear witness to the fact that every ounce of his consecrated, virile, intense and irrepressible personality has gone into his one great business of life - able to give some first hand account of his able and distinct methods, the clear cut virile message he delivered, the outstanding reactions in the minds and hearts of his auditors - he is like no other of the great evangelists known to our history - He is in fact a sui generis - one of his own kind! - more than any evangelist known - T. T. Martin is a teacher evangelist - He has one idea, one purpose - inculcate very certain great fundamental truths in the minds and hearts of his hearers. - He knows and cares very little about publicity - he carefully and studiously avoids all methods and plans calculated to play upon the emotions. He goes after the intellect and then the conscience. He is the last word in logic - and it's logic set on fire too. He literally compels men to think."The above was written fourteen years ago and hence in the present tense. I wish I could quote more fully, but the entire article will be in the book soon coming out!
Brother Martin was a prolific writer. He was the author of sixteen volumes. He left the manuscripts for other volumes which will be published later. Only space compels me to stop! My heart is sad to say good-bye!
[A. D. Muse, Western Recorder, June 15, 1939, p. 10. Document provided by Ben Stratton, Farmington, KY. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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