Rev. Steven D. Martin, M.Div.
28 Golden Ash Way
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Founder and President, Lakelands Institute LLC (2020-present)
- Consulting and Digital Training for churches and denominational structures facing transitions exacerbated by COVID-19 pandemic
- Market and manage a team of consultants
- Digital trainings expertise
- Online worship resources
Director of Communications and Development, National Council of Churches (2014-2020)
- Production and distribution of written statements
- Strategic communications and social media
- Video and still photography production and distribution
- Donor relations, grant research and writing, and general development efforts
President, Vital Visuals (2002-2014)
- Day-to-day operations for a video production company with PBS credits
- Producer and director of documentary films and educational videos
- Works with both still and video media
- Web presence, social media, marketing, accounting, management of part-time staff
President & Executive Director, Vital Visions Incorporated (2006-2014)
- Vital Visions is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that builds educational programs around Vital Visuals films
- Fundraising, media production, and public speaking for numerous campaigns including Clergy Beyond Borders “Caravan of Reconciliation (US campaigns in 2011, 2013, and Middle East campaign in 2014)”
- Director of “Theologians Under Hitler” Seminary outreach project (2007)
- Director of “Theologians Under Hitler” study guide project (2006)
- Leader of numerous seminars on church/state relations and peacemaking 2005-present
- Lecturer at Chautauqua Institute during 2005 and 2006 seasons
Executive Director and founding partner, New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good (2010-2014)
- Day-to-day operations, fundraising, coalition building, web presence, strategy planning, and media coordination for a new organization working to mobilize Evangelicals and advocate for policies for the common good
- Managed legal work associated with founding the organization, setting up accounting system, managing the 501(c)(3) application to a successful conclusion, and setting up the bank account
- Managed web page, Salsa Tools, emailings, Facebook and Twitter accounts for the organization
- Other founding partners are Rev. Richard Cizik and Dr. David Gushee
Executive Vice President, Evangelicals for Human Rights (2009-2010)
- Day-to-day operations for a major human rights group affiliated with the National Religious Campaign Against Torture
- Manage national media outreach, advocacy events, educational outreach to evangelical churches in the US
- Steering committee included David Gushee, Richard Cizik, Samuel Rodriguez, Ron Sider, and other nationally-known evangelical leaders
Associate Pastor of Stewardship, Justice, and Media Ministries, Kern Memorial United Methodist Church, Oak Ridge, Tennessee (2009-2010)
- Part-time work with fundraising and stewardship, justice ministries, and media ministries for 700-member church
Associate Pastor, First United Methodist Church, Oak Ridge, Tennessee (1998-2005)
- Leadership of contemporary worship service (weekly), traditional/liturgical worship (quarterly)
- Missions, Outreach & Evangelism ministries, Singles ministries (1998-2002)
- Education, Communications, Small Groups (2003-present)
Pastor, Unicoi United Methodist Church, Unicoi, Tennessee (1994-1998)
- Leadership of three weekly worship services and educational programs
- Coordination and leadership of church program
- Supervision of employees
Associate Pastor, Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, Cleveland, TN (1991-1993)
- Direction of Youth Ministries
- Assistance in weekly worship
- Supervision of computer network
Ordained Elder in United Methodist Church, 1991
Pastor, Enterprise & Saint Paul United Methodist Churches, Piney Flats, TN (1989-1991)
- Leadership & direction for two rural churches
Ordained Deacon in United Methodist Church, 1989
Master of Divinity, Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, 1989
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 1986
Emphasis: Economics. Additional study: String Bass Performance, School of Music, 1981-83.
Islam in America: The Christian Truth (2012) Focus: Through intimate portraits of both immigrants and those who been US citizens all of their lives, viewers will come to know Muslims as they truly are: peace loving, responsible citizens, who bring culture and beauty to the places where they live, as well as jobs and economic empowerment. This film is the centerpiece for the New Evangelical Partnership’s cultural education program. Distributed via YouTube with 900,000 views.
Ending US-Sponsored Torture Forever (2009) Focus: educational film produced for the National Religious Coalition Against Torture (NRCAT). The goal of the video and study guide is to help NRCAT build the moral consensus in the United States that torture is always wrong, without exceptions.
Elisabeth of Berlin (2008) Focus: biographical film on Elisabeth Schmitz, an unknown Christian woman who resisted the Nazis and sheltered Jews in Berlin during the Third Reich. This film incorporates groundbreaking work by German historian Manfred Gailus and will bring many to reconsider the history of resistance in the churches during the Nazi era. Interviews include Bishop Wolfgang Huber (German Evangelical Church), David Gushee (Mercer University), Martin Greschat (University of Giessen), Christoph Markschies (President, Humbolt University, Berlin), Stephen Haynes (Rhodes College), Andreas Pangritz (University of Bonn), and others. Available in English and German versions.
God With Us: Baptism and the Jews in the Third Reich (2007) Focus: how theories of race collided with traditional Protestant views of baptism in Nazi Germany. This film’s production included original research in Berlin, Bielefeld, Eisenach, and Minden, Germany. This film includes material by Susannah Heschel (Dartmouth University), Doris Bergen (Univ. of Toronto), Richard Steigmann-Gall (Kent State Univ.), Glen Stassen (Fuller Theological Seminary), Wolfgang Krogel (Landeskirchen Archiv, Berlin-Brandenburg), and Manfred Gailus (Tech. Univ. of Berlin), and includes previously unpublished film and photographic material from the early years of the Third Reich.
Renewal or Ruin? The Institute on Religion and Democracy’s Attack on the United Methodist Church (2006-7) Focus: Through interviews with researchers and bishops, viewers gain introductory knowledge of the tactics employed by the IRD to diminish the effectiveness of the UMC. This 25-minute video is intended for use by Adult Education classes and by general conference delegations. Its distribution to United Methodist General Conference delegates in the spring of 2008 resulted in greatly diminished funding and loss of board members and staff for the organization (IRD).
Theologians Under Hitler (2003-2005) Focus: Three major Protestant theologians who supported Hitler during the Third Reich. Project consultants: Dr. Robert Ericksen (Pacific Lutheran University), Prof. Hubert Locke (Annual Scholars Conference on the Holocaust), Dr. Manfred Gailus (Tech. Univ. of Berlin), Dr. Hartmut Lehmann (Göttingen Univ), Dr. Joerg Olemacher (Griefswald Univ), Dr. Hermann Lichtenberger (Tubingen Univ.), Dr. Susannah Heschel (Dartmouth Univ.) Distributed nationally to PBS stations through NETA to 38 million households.
Islam in America After September 11th (2001-2002) Focus: Survey of impressions by Muslims in view of the events of September 11, 2001. Project consultants: Dr. Yvonne Haddad (Georgetown Univ.), Shayhk Hamza Yusuf Hanson (Zaytuna Institute, Oakland, CA). Public screenings, lectures, and panel discussions: University of Tennessee, Knoxville; University of California, Berkeley; University of Toledo, Ohio. Distributed nationally to PBS stations for broadcast to 35 million households. Distributed to home video by Astrolabe Islamic Media.
Human Cloning: Bane or Blessing? (2000-2001) Focus: Science, theology and ethics issues raised by human cloning and stem cell research. Project Consultants: Dr. Robert Lanza (Advanced Cell Technology, Worcester, MA), Dr. Stanley Hauerwas (Duke University), Dr. Ian Wilmut (Roslin Institute, Edinburgh: creator of “Dolly”), others. Distributed nationally to PBS stations for broadcast.
Muslims in Appalachia: Islam in Exile (2000-2001) Focus: Reflections by Muslims living in the heart of Bible Belt America, possibilities for Muslim/Christian relations. Project Consultants: Dr. Yvonne Haddad (Georgetown Univ.), Dr. Bruce Privratsky (Yasawi University, Turkistan, Kazakhstan). Broadcast by over 45 PBS stations to over 70 million households in USA in months following 9/11. Additional broadcast in Nablus, West Bank, United Methodist Radio Service in Africa. Public screenings, lectures, and panel discussions: American University, Washington, D.C.; Al-Hijra Mosque, Falls Church, VA; Islamic Center of Northeast Tennessee, Johnson City, TN; Pellissippi State Community College, Knoxville, TN; University of Tennessee, Knoxville, others. Distributed to educational markets by Films for the Humanities and Sciences (www.films.com).
Led the communications effort for the ACT to End Racism rally on the National Mall in Washington, DC, April 4, 2018. This rally was attended by 10,000-12,000 people; over 70 individual stories were carried by US media. Covered live by CNN, USA Today, and received front-page, above-the-fold coverage by the Washington Post. Coordinated a team of staff and contractors to develop branding, messaging, and media strategy, interviews, press relations, and social media. Created and maintained the rally’s website and social media; 100k website views and Facebook page engagements. Carried out organic and paid social media campaigns. Headed up fundraising efforts for the rally in which $103,000 was raised over four months. Also worked with event and media production. This rally was a project of the National Council of Churches.
Accepted into membership in the National Press Club, January, 2018.
Led fact-finding and pilgrimage trips to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron, Amman, and Nazareth in 2015, 2017, and 2018.
Served as a steering committee member of “Know Your Neighbor,” a multi-faith campaign to reduce bigotry in the US. Key events included a launch at the White House with Department of Justice and Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships personnel, January 2016. Spoke on behalf of KYN as a panelist at the President’s Campus Challenge, June 2016. http://knowyourneighbor.us/
Traveled with a diverse group of faith media producers to sites across Jordan. This trip was led by the Jordan Tourism Board, 2016.
Participated in a multi-faith advisory committee for CBS Religion; consulted on the production of four nationally-broadcast programs annually, 2015-2019.
Coordinated and participated in the 2014 Easter “Caravan of Reconciliation” by Clergy Beyond Borders and Vital Visions, April 2014. This caravan took a delegation of seven (four Muslim and three Christian) religious leaders to Amman, Ramallah, and Jerusalem during Holy Week (preceding Easter). Highlights included a meeting at the Royal Palace in Amman, Jordan, with King Abdullah’s top advisor, and participation in the Good Friday procession in Jerusalem. The Caravan was covered by Fox News and broadcast domestically on Good Friday: I was one of the interviewees for the segment.
Produced the official video for the Detainee Treatment Panel, The Constitution Project, spring 2013. This bi-partisan panel investigated detainee treatment in the Clinton and Bush administrations and came to the conclusion that the United States did indeed torture prisoners.
Presented “Islam in America: The Christian Truth” at the 10th Annual Doha Interfaith Conference in Doha, Qatar, April 2013.
Joined the Board of Directors of Kairos USA (www.kairosusa.org), 2012-2015. Drafter of the Kairos USA response to Kairos Palestine document.
Traveled to Bethlehem, Hebron, Jerusalem, and other cities in Israel and the West Bank, June 2010 and June 2011. Led a tour of the West Bank and Jerusalem in June 2012.
Contributed two chapters in “A New Evangelical Manifesto,” Chalice Press, 2012. David P. Gushee, editor.
Published articles in the Huffington Post, the Washington Post, the Tennesseean, and other online resources, 2009-2013.
Named to the Board of Directors of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (www.nrcat.org), January 2011. Elected Secretary of the board in January 2013.
Participated in the Caravan of Reconciliation, Clergy Beyond Borders, September 2011. This two week journey took a group of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish clergy over 4000 miles across the Eastern and US, speaking at venues including Duke University, the Martin Luther King Center, Emory University, Murfreesboro, TN, and included a closing event with Maryland governor Martin O’Malley and a segment broadcast on Al Jazeera.
Joined the steering committee of “Shoulder-to-Shoulder: Standing With American Muslims, Upholding American Values,” a project of the Islamic Society of North America, 2010.
Held an event, “Burn Candles, Not Qurans” in Oak Ridge, TN., a community gathering that brought clergy of many different faiths together with over 300 people in attendance. Imam Yahya Hendi, Muslim Chaplain of Georgetown University, was the keynote speaker. This event was widely covered by regional media.
Participated in a gathering of religious leaders at the National Press Club by the Islamic Society of North America in early September, 2010. This meeting was held in response to Terry Jones’ threat to burn copies of the Quran, the Park 51 Islamic Center controversy, and other Islamophobic incidents that summer.
Traveled to Jalingo, Nigeria, with leaders from the General Board of Church and Society, United Methodist Church, for a Muslim-Christian dialogue, October, 2010.
Presented “Elisabeth of Berlin” (world premiere) at the historic Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche in Berlin, November 4th, 2008. US screenings took place at Duke University, American University, Lipscomb University, Pacific Lutheran University, and many other locations across the US.
Developed and executed the “IRD Information Project” in the spring of 2008. Through funding from the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, over 2000 copies of “Renewal or Ruin” were distributed to domestic and foreign leaders of the United Methodist Church. The video was seen over 3,500 times online, and five events were held across the southeastern US showing and discussing the video.
Assembled and carried out a second dialogue around the film “Theologians Under Hitler,” May 2007. Participants included David Gushee (Union University), Glen Stassen (Fuller Theological Seminary), Richard Land (Southern Baptist Convention & Council on Foreign Affairs), Eileen Lindner (National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA), and others.
Presented “Group Conflict Resolution: Apology, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation” conference at Vanderbilt University Law School, Nashville, March 27, 2007. My paper presented the “Theologians Under Hitler” Dialogues and was published in the journal of the Duke University Law School, “Law & Contemporary Problems,” in 2008.
Honored with a dinner and reception by the Church Relations Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, February 2007.
Assembled and executed “The Nashville Dialogue,” a conversation around the film “Theologians Under Hitler,” April 2006. Participants included Bob Edgar (NCC), Richard Land (SBC), Arthur Waskow (Shalom Center), Cary Cass (Center for Reclaiming America for Christ), Barry Lynn (Americans United for the Separation of Church and State), and others.
Screened “Theologians Under Hitler” before the Democratic Faith Working Group of the United States House of Representatives, November 2005. Presenters included Victoria Barnett, US Holocaust Memorial Museum and Robert Ericksen, Pacific Lutheran University. Participants included Rep. Henry Waxman, Rep. James Clyburn, Rep. James McDermott, Rep. Chris Dodd, Burns Strider, and various other congressional staff. This event was coordinated by the General Board of Church and Society, United Methodist Church.
Member, Institutional Animal Control and Use Committee (IACUC), an ethics committee controlling the use of animals in research at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, January 2003-July 2006.
Vice-Chair of Muslim Outreach Team, Holston Conference, United Methodist Church, 2003-2005. Assisted in obtaining and monitoring financial support for Muslim outreach in US & abroad.
Presented award of merit and gratitude by United Muslims of Toledo (UMAT) at annual banquet, Toledo, OH, October 11, 2002.
Founded Vital Visions Incorporated, January 2002.
Research & interview trips to mosques and Islamic Centers in San Francisco, CA; Toledo, OH; Tampa, FL; Washington, DC; Johnson City, TN; and Knoxville, TN. Attended Eid Al-Fitr prayers, “Knoxville Deen Intensive,” and a Muslim wedding at Anoor Mosque, Knoxville, TN.
Research & interview trip to Istanbul, Turkey and Israel/Palestine, March 2000. Self-guided to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Beit Sahour, East Jerusalem, Jericho.
Member, Anderson County Kosovar Refugee Resettlement Team, 1999-2000. Resettled family of 13 refugees in Oak Ridge, TN after Kosovar refugee crisis.
Launched “First Place” contemporary worship service in a 55+ year old traditional congregation, March 1999. This service has continued to the present day.
Founding Webmaster of Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church, 1997-2002.
Led resettlement of a family of Bosnian refugees in Unicoi, TN. 1997-98.
Laid groundwork for Hispanic ministry through encouragement of interaction between church members and migrant farming community, Unicoi, TN 1996-98.
Research & interview trip to Israel/Palestine, December 1997. Self-guided to Tel Aviv, Nazareth, Golan Heights, Jerusalem, Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, Bethlehem, East Jerusalem, Jericho, Dead Sea. Formed lasting relationship with group of Palestinian Christian residents of the Old City.
Coordinated the Consultation on Contemporary Worship for Holston Conference, 1996-98; also served on the Convocation Design Team for 1998 as part of this consultation.
Taught section on Pastoral Care, Emory University Course of Study School, summer 1996.
Joined Central Asia Outreach (later renamed Muslim Outreach Team), a group engaged in Muslim-Christian dialogue and peacemaking, 1995.
- French (3 years basic conversational & reading)
- German (self-taught, basic conversational & reading)
- Serbo-Croatian (basic greetings)
- Arabic (basic greetings & religious terms)
Software (expert knowledge):
- Apple Final Cut Pro X
- Adobe Creative Suite
- Intuit Quickbooks
- Google Docs
- Microsoft Office Suite
Video/Film production hardware:
- Sony 4K still and video cameras and production environment
- Canon 5DmkIII and 60D DSLR cameras (still photos & video)
- Television and streaming media production
Steve currently lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland.