The Homeward Step of a Good Man

January 28, 2011 by Paul Chappell

“The world is in great need for good men—godly men!” (from Dr. Eldon Martens’ book The Steps of a Good Man)

Dr. Eldon Martens was one of those good men—a man of great integrity. Last night, the Lord directed his final step Homeward. After preaching the evening service for a revival meeting in Fresno, California, he suffered a major heart attack and went home to be with the Lord.

When I think of Dr. Martens, three words come to mind—faithful, fundamental, and friend.

He was faithful.

For over forty years, Dr. Martens served the Lord in full-time ministry, pastoring for many of those years. In his early days of ministry, he served with men such as Jack Van Impe and Dr. Wally Beebe.

Dr. Martens pastored Central Baptist Church in Clovis, California, and he founded the Fundamental Baptist Church in Escondido, California. He pastored these churches for fourteen years each, leading both of them in great spiritual and numeric growth.

In 1992, Dr. Martens stepped out of the pastorate after completely losing his voice from Spastic Dysphonia. During this difficult time, he faithfully served the Lord and never stopped trusting Him. Churches around the nation were thrilled when God restored his voice, even after medical experts said it was impossible.

In 1997, Dr. Martens began a Men’s Conference called the “Master’s Men.” This ministry has touched the lives of hundreds of men and has strengthened and encouraged scores of pastors and local independent Baptist churches.

He was fundamental.

Dr. Martens’ ministry was marked by a commitment to fundamentalism, including a willingness to practice ecclesiastical separation and, when necessary, to refrain from those who employed or endorsed false doctrine.

And yet, he practiced all of that with a gracious spirit and a genuine walk of godliness.

He was a friend.

Dr. Martens has been a friend to hundreds of pastors, encouraging and loving them. He was a faithful friend to me for more than a quarter of a century, and I will miss him deeply.

For the past few years, Dr. Martens and his wife, Martha, have been members of Lancaster Baptist Church and have traveled representing West Coast Baptist College. Dr. Martens’ preaching and wise counsel has been an encouragement to many pastors and young church planters as he has traveled.

Psalm 37:23 says, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.” Dr. Martens walked with the Lord for many decades, allowing the Lord to order his steps. I can only imagine his delight when the Lord ordered his final step—into His very presence.

A memorial service will be conducted at 9:00 a.m. on Friday in the auditorium of Lancaster Baptist Church. Please be in prayer for Mrs. Martha Martens and their children and grandchildren.


  1. What a Godly man, and what a loss is suffered even by those who did not know him personally, yet time and time were touched by his ministries. I can not imagine Masters Men without him.
    Pastor Larry Cox

    Comment by Larry Cox — January 28, 2011 @ 5:45 pm

  2. A fitting tribute. Our theme this year is “Taking The Next Step” based on Ps. 37:23. Dr. Martens is certainly an example of it. I only met him once, but he had a sweet, spiritual presence about him that was unmistakable.

    Comment by Mike Westmoreland — January 28, 2011 @ 6:08 pm

  3. Heaven is a little bit richer today with the homegoing of Dr. Martens. He left those of us who were privileged to know him a tremendous example of how to walk with God and walk before others.

    Comment by Tom King — January 28, 2011 @ 8:03 pm

  4. I am sorry to hear about Dr. Martens but at least we know where he is now. I have wanted to attend the Fresno conference for years and was planning on going this year. I would like to have a coppy of his book “THE STEPS OF A GOOD MAN”. I am a member of Lighthouse Baptist Under Pastor Jim Preston. I love him and Bro Wilson as well as the church. I am on a fixed income but I plan to save the money to come to the conference this year.

    Comment by Ray Morris — January 28, 2011 @ 10:23 pm

  5. When I think of Bro. Martens I think of the words, gentle giant. He was a quiet man who never tried to put himself in the forefront. He was the ultimate setup man like John the Baptist pointing people to Christ and lifting up others who were in the ministry. He sought no fame for himself but was worthy and deserved to sit at the head table at any venue. Yet you would not see him rubbing shoulders at the grand banquet but find him in the kitchen encouraging a new convert or young preacher. He was a man who made those around him great.

    He lived what he preached. He was known for his integrity and unwavering commitment to the fundamentals of the faith regardless of personal cost to him. He taught by his life that you could be a fundamentalist without any hint of compromise and still be kind and gentle.

    He was a friend to all who needed one. He helped make me a better Christian, a better husband and a better pastor. I am going to miss him more than words can tell.

    Comment by Jim Preston — January 29, 2011 @ 4:20 pm

  6. I had the privilege of pastoring the church he founded in Escondido following his first 3 years there. Then when God led me away to the East coast, he followed me as pastor there. Through the years God gave us a love and a friendship for each other that was a blessing and an empowering of my life. I saw Jesus in him. I was humbled in his presence. I was challenged by his ministry. I was enriched by his friendship. Thank you for your kind memorial to my dear friend.

    Comment by David Martin — January 29, 2011 @ 4:51 pm

  7. I had the honor of meeting this wonderful man and his very gracious wife Martha at my church (Coast Hills Baptist Church, Santa Maria, CA)n He signed my Bible and listed what I would say might have been his life verse. 1Timothy 1:12. I trust that he is being rewarded for that faithfulness.

    Comment by Hollye Draves-Aquino — February 1, 2011 @ 12:46 pm

  8. Not a comment but a question…Who is going to take his place in the battle?? It’s a great cause for Christ.

    Comment by Sam Kemper — February 8, 2011 @ 8:40 am

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