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Bryan Lee Martin

I am going to share about me, a lot about me, probably more than you wanted to know. So here goes….

I have been a Christian minister since 1977 helping individuals, couples and families negotiate their way through life with love and compassion.

Jennifer and I have been married since November 1973. We have four adult children (They are great human beings. They turned out so good that I think we may have deprived the world by limiting it to four) and eleven grandchildren.

I earned my Bachelor’s degree from Melodyland School of Theology, Anaheim, CA. Melodyland was at the center of the “Charismatic movement” in those exciting days of the Jesus People movement in Southern California in the early 70's. It was a dynamic, spirit-filled place of learning and experiencing.

After graduation I was the assistant protestant chaplain at UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, CA and the protestant chaplain for the Orange County Probation Department serving several juvenile facilities, including Juvenile Hall and the Albert Sitton Home for abused and abandoned children. It was a great opportunity and you might be able to imagine what is like to work with that population. I could tell you a lot of stories.

 While I was doing my chaplain work I earned my Master of Divinity (M.Div) from Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA. The classical theological training at Fuller was a fabulous educational experience. The M.Div. is a three year professional graduate degree, what most denominations require for their clergy. I am very proud of my M.Div.

Just after Fuller Jennifer and our three children packed up and moved to Fresno, CA to plant the Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Fresno/Clovis where I served for nearly 10 years.

I entered the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Counseling program at the Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary, Fresno, CA (MBBS). I credit the good people of MBBS for equipping me for life with essential relationship and counseling skills, and giving me the ability to empower others in their relationships.

I worked for a short time as a Marriage and Family Therapist, but that wasn’t where I wanted to be. An opportunity came up at Cross Church, a congregational church, and I ended up there for nearly eight years, eight of the best years of my ministry career.

 During this time I completed my Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary. My doctoral program emphasized spirituality, preaching, and popular cultural studies. My dissertation was on preaching with cultural relevance.

In August 2001 I planted The River Covenant Church, which has morphed into Heartland Community Church. More about that in a moment. 

After Cross Church I needed some employment to help ends meet so I took a job as a Chaplain at Fresno's VA Hospital. This is the Mother Theresa part of my ministry. Here I initiated and taught "Spirituality and Recovery" and served the veteran community. This was an awesome experience. I was a Board Certified Chaplain with both the Association of Professional Chaplains the National Association of Veteran's Affairs Chaplains.

Now, about Heartland Community Church; I wanted to lead a church that was not money driven, didn't have awful internal politics, or tried to manipulate people by one means or another. I wanted to lead a church that was focused on helping people experience the love of God in a way that would actually empower them to do God’s work right where they are. I succeeded. Money is not the driving force at our church. There is no internal politics. Love is relentlessly preached, given and experienced. HeartLand is the place where you can get the inspiration, encouragement and empowerment to be and do everything God wants you do be. I feel good about that.

I have served in leadership roles in several community and non-profit organizations and I have participated in interfaith activities in the area. Under my leadership our church helped sponsor the Interfaith Scholar Weekend. I have been on the executive committee of the Fresno Ministerial Association, a past board member of the local Habitat for Humanity (during the Jackie Holmes years), Chairman of Family Leadership (a non-profit parent empowerment group), and I currently serves on the board of Twilight Haven (a non-profit assisted living and skilled nursing facility for Seniors).

Jennifer (My wife) and I wrote a book called “Fun Loving: How to have a practically perfect relationship” ( https://goo.gl/qN0n3H ). It turned out to be fun and good, too. And I wrote "My Ideal Day of Love (https://goo.gl/AWq1ZL) which you might enjoy. 

I love grand-parenting, hiking in Yosemite and I am a life long learner.  As you can see I enjoy a rich and diverse spirituality. I am a man of deep practical faith. My prayer is that God's love would flow through your heart to your world. Love is the most important thing, PERIOD.