1862 – 1939
T. T. Martin was born in Smith County, Mississippi, April 28, 1862. Following a childhood and youth amid the extreme poverty of a postwar South, he graduated from Mississippi College, where his father both preached and taught mathematics. While preparing a career of law, Martin felt a growing impression that he must preach. After a period of intense and prayerful self-examination, he gave up his legal ambitions and devoted himself to preparing for the ministry. He graduated from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1891.
While awaiting assignment for the foreign mission work, Martin was stricken with an almost fatal attack of food poisoning, and was advised by physicians that moving to Colorado was the only chance for recovery. From 1897 to 1900 Martin was pastor in Cripple Creek, preaching in nearby camps, often in the open air. Martin recovered his health and developed the unusual strength of voice that was to carry him through almost forty years of exceptionally strenuous preaching.
Martin entered full-time evangelistic work in 1900, and his ministry soon became noted for its effectiveness in bringing conviction and conversion. In the early 1900’s, he began to use large tents for his meetings because most of the churches could not accommodate the crowds. Soon invitations began to come from all sections of the country. In order to fill the many requests, he gathered around him a group of evangelists and musicians whose presentation of the way of salvation was clear and sound. He personally scheduled these men in organized teams throughout the country.
Active until the last few months of his life, he died on May 23, 1939, and was buried at Gloster, Mississippi. On his gravestone are the dates of his birth and death and three Scripture texts which were the core of his ministry: John 3:16, Acts 16:31, and John 5:24.