WEST CHAZY — Unpacking is the family activity engaging the Rev. Marty Martin and his wife, Patsy, and their five boys — Blake, Tanner, David, Brendan and Chase.
Sherman, their Chihuahua, supervises.
The family arrived a week ago to their new home and Martin’s charge at West Chazy Community Church.
Sunday, he begins a series of sermons titled “Lessons from the Road.”
“It’s things God taught us living life in an RV,” said Martin, who has been a minister for more than 20 years. “Our first lesson: chasing after dreams don’t replace God in our life. People chase after dreams. You should seek God first and let him make your dreams come true. Another lesson, families need to spend more time together. We’re so fractured and go in all different places. We need to spend more time together to be successful families.”
In 2010, the Martins crossed the country, training in children’s ministry through Kidology.
“Along the way we visited lots of national parks and museums and went to 45 different states,” he said.
He and his wife never left a child behind.
“A few times, we thought we lost the dog,” he said.
What was RV life like with five boys, a wife and a dog?
“You have to learn to get along. You have to learn to talk things out. You can’t hide from each other too well,” he said.
Once they were off the road, the Martins prayed for direction.
“We felt we were ready for a new challenge. My wife has a degree from a Bible college in music. She will be involved in the music of the church,” the pastor said.
The Martins hail from Rockford, Ill.
“I grew up out in the country,” he said. “We grew up in the same general area — good home, good family life.”
Martin majored in pastoral studies at Christian Life College, Mt. Prospect, Ill., near Chicago.
“I felt God’s calling into ministry of some type. Then, I lived in Mexico and worked at a mission there. I came back to Rockford. I was a children’s pastor at my home church, Rock Church,” he said.
At this time, he met Patsy. From 1994 until their RV adventures, he was a children’s pastor in churches in Wichita, Kan., and Roanoke, Va.
Now, the Martins are settling in West Chazy.
“Compared to everywhere else in the country, it’s marvelous,” he said. “Lots of my family in the Midwest and Virginia, it’s terribly hot and humid. We’re glad to be here in the Plattsburgh area.”