Reverend Robert A. Martin, departed this world for heaven on Monday, September 19, 2016 at home in Portland, Ore. He was 83 years old. He was born December 7, 1932 in Minot, N.D. to Allen and Bertha (Jensen) Martin. They moved to Gresham, Ore. when he was a young child and then to Oak Grove, Ore., where he grew up.
He attended Milwaukie High School, graduating in 1951. He attended seminary at Northwest Bible College in Seattle, Wash. During summers while going to school he traveled as part of an “a cappella” quartet singing gospel music. At school he met Janeth M. Newman who became the love of his life. They were married on June 19, 1954, in Wenatchee, Wash.
After seminary “Pastor Bob” began his ministry at the Stimilt Hill Community Church near Wenatchee, Wash., and then moved on to pastor a church in Ilwaco, Wash., and then did some traveling evangelistic work. He eventually spent time as a baker at the old Grandma’s Cookies Company in Portland but kept his hand in ministry teaching the church sized adult Sunday school at the Portland Foursquare church during those years. In 1969 He re-entered fulltime ministry pastoring the Foursquare church in Emmett, Idaho. He eventually pastored Foursquare churches in Lakewood, Wash., and Boise, Idaho. He eventually moved to Spokane Wash., and was on the pastoral staff of the Foursquare Church there and then later moved back to Oregon and assisted Jerry and Joan Sanford in pioneering the Sunnyside Foursquare Church in Sunnyside, Ore. In 1981 he moved to pastor the Neighborhood Foursquare Church in The Dalles, Ore., where he was the senior pastor for 14 years. He also had a weekly radio show for many years in The Dalles, broadcasting the good news of God’s love over the radio every Sunday. He retired in 1995 and he and Jan moved back to Gresham to be close to family.
In retirement Pastor Bob loved to spend time in the summer at their campground on the Pilaguamish River up in Washington. He was a self-educated naturalist and loved the woods and studied every kind of wildflower and butterfly. Pastor Bob always saw the glory of God in everything he saw in nature. Throughout his life he derived great joy in taking his family and friends on hikes in the woods and pointing out every interesting detail and reciting the scientific names of various species and sharing his outdoor and scientific knowledge. He truly loved fishing and loved fish, especially trout, often letting them go. He knew all the scientific names of the various types of fish he loved and never grew tired of telling fish stories!
Pastor Bob had a tremendous sense of humor and imagination and loved to entertain and make people laugh. He particularly loved to entertain the kids, grandkids and the great grandkids with his jokes and antics.
Most of all Pastor Bob loved God and loved people, and lived to love.
He never stopped leading people to the Savior even in his 80’s and still was concerned about people’s souls and leading them in love to Christ, the source of all love. As he grew older and was unable to do many activities he could still love people and that is what he did best and loved doing the most. He lived a life of service to others not in pursuit of worldly wealth but in shepherding and leading people to God in restoration and love. He has fought the good fight, he has finished his course, and he has kept the faith…
Pastor Bob was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Helen and his brother Al. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Jan; his sons, Robert (Ginny) of Dufur, Oregon; Andy (Debbie) of Sandy, Oregon and Lance (Marsha) of Gresham, Oregon. His six granddaughters, Jennifer, Erin, Andrea, Karman, Ericka and Katrina and 10 great-grandchildren.
He was and is greatly loved and will be greatly missed until we are all united again on that heavenly shore.
The celebration of his life will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, September 26, 2016 at the East Hill Youth Center, 701 N. Main Street, Gresham, Ore.
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