The pastor of First Baptist Church is Ryan J. Martin. He began his ministry here in October 2013.
Pastor Martin was born to parents who were members of a church in rural Illinois called the Apostolic Christian Church, an Anabaptist denomination most akin to the Mennonites. In the ﬁrst grade his mother and father enrolled Ryan in a Baptist Christian school in central Illinois. It was through the ministry of this Christian school that he heard and believed the gospel. In late grade school, Ryan’s parents became members of the Baptist church connected with that school.
A few years later Ryan was immersed and joined First Baptist Church of LaSalle, Ill. While attending Northland Baptist Bible College (now Northland International University), Ryan completed a bachelor’s degree in sacred music. After a year of traveling with an evangelist and marrying Jennifer, Ryan and Jen moved to the Minneapolis area.
Pastor Martin has received the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Philosophy (historical theology) degrees from Central Baptist Theological Seminary. His dissertation was on the role of affections and passions in the theology of Jonathan Edwards. In 2009 he was ordained to gospel ministry by Bible Baptist Church of Elk River, Minnesota (now in Otsego). From early 2010 to October 2013, Ryan ministered at Bethany Bible Church in Hendersonville, N.C. as an assistant and Associate Pastor. The Lord has blessed Pastor and Jennifer with four sons and two daughters.
Pastor Martin is the author of the forthcoming Understanding Affections in the Theology of Jonathan Edwards: The High Exercises of Divine Love (T&T Clark, 2018). He contributed to the Conservative Christian Declaration (2014) and the Jonathan Edwards Encyclopedia (2017), and he is the associate editor of the hymnal Hymns to the Living God. In addition to this, he serves on the board of Religious Affections Ministries, and he is a regular contributor to that ministry’s website. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society. He also blogs at Immoderate.