American evangelist. T.T. Martin was born in Smith County,
Mississippi, on April 28, 1862. Following a childhood and
youth amid the extreme poverty of the post-war South, he was
graduated from Mississippi College, where his father both
preached and taught mathematics. While preparing for a career
of law, he felt a growing impression that he must preach.
And, after a period of intense and prayerful self-examina-
tion, he gave up his legal ambitions and devoted himself to
preparing for the ministry, graduating from the Southern Bap-
tist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1891.
While awaiting assignment for the foreign mission
work, he was stricken with an almost fatal attack of food
poisoning, and was advised by physicians to move to Colorado
as his only chance of recovery. From 1897 to 1900, he was
pastor in Cripple Creek. Preaching there and in nearby camps,
often in the open air, he recovered his health and developed
the unusual strength of voice that was to carry him through
almost 40 years of exceptionally strenuous preaching.
Martin entered full-time evangelistic work in 1900,
and his ministry soon became noted for its effectiveness in
bringing conviction and acceptance of Christ as personal Sa-
viour. In the early 1900s, he began to use large tents for
his meetings, as most of the churches could not accommodate
the crowds. Soon invitations began to come from all sections
of the country. In order to fill the many requests that came,
he gathered around him a group of evangelists and musicians,
whose presentation of the way of salvation he knew to be
clear and sound. He personally scheduled these men, organized
in teams, throughout the country.
Active until the last few months of his life, he died
May 23, 1939, and was buried at Glouster, Mississippi. On his
gravestone are the dates of his birth and three Scripture
texts, which were the core of his ministry: John 3:16, Acts
16:31, and John 5:24.