Rev. Martin Hawley was born in Northwest Arkansas and studied history and classical studies at University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. While managing a local restaurant and pursuing his studies, Martin met Shari West, who would become his wife and partner. After their wedding, Pastor Hawley worked in management for Dillard’s and then Belk Department Stores and the couple traveled extensively with various store assignments in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Georgia. All the while, Martin was fighting a rising sense of call to the ministry.
As recent members of Hope Presbyterian Church in 2000–2001, Martin and Shari agreed that it was time for them to move to St. Louis so that Martin could study for the ministry at Covenant Theological Seminary. While studying in St. Louis, Martin was offered an internship at Hope in the summer of 2004. At the end of his internship, the church’s pulpit committee interviewed him as a potential candidate for the next senior pastor. In January of 2005, Martin was called by Hope to serve as its new pastor. He holds the degrees of MDiv, MAET, and ThM from Covenant, and is currently pursuing PhD work through the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.
Pastor Martin has served as Hope’s senior pastor for 12 years and loves the people of Hope and the north Georgia region. He also serves as the executive director of Reformation Hope, Inc., a missions ministry serving the people of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. He is the author of five books spotlighted below. Shari continues her work as a graphic designer, using her gifts in ministry support as well as in the commercial and non-profit sectors. She also serves on the Northwest Georgia Presbytery Women in the Church leadership team.