And he set up the pillars in the porch of the temple: and he set up the right pillar, and called the name thereof Jachin: and he set up the left pillar, and called the name thereof Boaz. 1Kings 7:21
It has been my pleasure and privilege to know many fine pastors in the Reformed Baptist movement in the last 33 years, and each has had an influence in my life, on my understanding of the scripture, and on my pastoral work that has been of tremendous value. Without their contribution to my life, my ministry would have been poorer by far.
Such men have contributed greatly to not only my own ministry, but the ministry of many others as well. All of us pastors owe a tremendous debt of gratitude for the influence that men of God have had on us individually, and on the Reformed Baptist movement as a whole, both in America and around the world.
But among the Reformed Baptist pastors that have had perhaps the largest sphere and degree of influence for good in our movement in the last several decades, two names stand head and shoulders above the rest: Walter Chantry and Albert Martin.
Both were contemporary pioneers in the fledgling Reformed Baptist movement that was coming to life in America, and both contributed immeasurably to the growth of both the number of men that came to Reformed Baptist convictions, and the number of Reformed Baptist churches that were founded as a result.
It was my pleasure to know both men personally, and each had a dramatic impact on my theology and ministry: Pastor Martin through his tape ministry, and Pastor Chantry through his books. But it was more than their teaching that had an impact – it was their personal kindness to me individually that made it clear that these men were not just teachers, but that they both had a heart for God’s servants that was compassionate and loving.
When I was going through some very difficult decisions regarding the impending death of my uncle, Pastor Martin took the time to give me personal counsel about the ethical issues that applied to medical decisions that I had to make, and provided both wisdom and comfort in what was a very difficult and confusing time for me.
When I was a young pastor, and in sore need of guidance in ordering my pastoral priorities and my ministry to my flock, Pastor Chantry took a day out of his schedule to drive 400 miles round trip to have lunch with me to provide that guidance.
It was my pleasure to attend various pastors’ conferences where each spoke on various occasions, and the unfailing effect of their warm pastoral preaching was to re-inspire each pastor there to more zealous and faithful service for Christ.
Each of these men have made a huge contribution to the Reformed Baptist movement, and inspired thousands to love and preach the reformed faith. Without them both we would have been much poorer and less knowledgeable than we are. Thank God for such gifts to His church. We remember them both with love and gratitude, and pray that the Head of the church may be pleased to raise up such pillars once again.Pastor Max Doner Sovereign Grace Bible Church Lebanon, Oregon