When Rev. Joe Martin was an atheist, he said he saw most Christians as hypocrites. Then he found God as he aged into his late 50s, and something happened that he describes as "pretty amazing."
Martin is now a United Methodist Church minister in Fallsington, Pa. Ironically, this short-timer minister joined a church that was started in 1866! Prior to working at a church, "Pastor Joe" was a television engineer for 40 years. His New Jersey-based broadcasting employer shut down in 2011.
"Every time I kept running from God, he just kept after me. Eventually, not only did I believe in God, within six or seven years, I was pastoring a church," he proclaimed.
Martin and his wife Penny both candidly testify to the dramatic turnaround in his life and character, which he attributes to God's grace. "Just give God a chance. Stop trying to do it all on your own. Surrender your feelings to God and let Jesus in," he said.
"With all the stuff I had before God, I thought I was the happiest guy in the world, until I found God. And now, serving God, I'm happier now than I've ever been in my entire life."
Penny told ME TV reporter Dawn Stensland-Mendte she prayed for decades that her husband would find God. "There was a time in our marriage that our nightstand would be full of Playboys. Now our nightstand is full of Bibles and devotional books," she shared.
Martin revealed one of the reasons he didn't want to think about becoming a Christian was because many of the Christians he saw going to church every Sunday were "some of the biggest liars, thieves and hypocrites I've ever met in my life. And I thought, 'if that's what they're teaching behind those walls, then I don't want to have anything to do with that.' That's disgusting."
Martin's former co-workers said his faith journey is a real miracle. Martin is still finishing seminary school.
"Jesus is a loving, caring God, and He loves everyone. We all makes mistakes, we all sin," said this no longer ordinary Joe.