After graduation from Hinds Junior college, he transferred to William Carey College in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where he also attended on an athletic scholarship. There, on October 24, 1954, as a result of the concern of many, particulary the Dean of men, Dr. Andy Tate, “Step” received Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. He says, “I was called to preach simultaneously with my salvation experience, but did not recognize it until later.” His first pastorate was the Sanford Baptist Church near Hattiesburg.
Upon graduation from William Carey College, he entered New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. While in seminary, he was called to pastor the Navco Baptist Church in Mobile where he served for four years.
He was in full-time evangelism with Rev. Billy Crosby for over two years and has preached over 400 revivals during his ministry as a pastor/evangelist. Responding to God’s leadership, in March of 1969, Bro. “Step”, his wife Pat, and their six children left the pastorate of the First Baptist Church of Satsuma, Alabama and moved to Shreveport to become the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church.
Under Bro. “Step’s” leadership, Calvary quickly outgrew the physical plant on St. Vincent Avenue; and in 1975 through Bro. “Step’s” sensitivity to God’s leadership and vision, acquired an 80-acre site and began construction of the gymnasium and education facility located in south Shreveport. The move was made from the St. Vincent location to the existing location in 1977. There were several major expansion projects during the next 25 years. Through the “Together We Build” program in 1979, funds were given to erect the auditorium. The highlight of that program was the church giving $300,000 on one Sunday.
Additional educational facilities were added in the “Enlarging Our Vision” program in 1986. The athletic complex along with the formation of the Calvary League was added to the ministry in 1992. “Buiding Together for Jesus” added the Family Life Center in 1999 and included the remodeling of the kitchen and fellowship assembly areas.
Bro. “Step’s” Shreveport ministry started on five acres in Cedar Grove with a membership of 3,151 people, an average Sunday attendance of 620, an annual budget of $125,000, and two staff members. During his 33 years of ministry at Calvary, the church successfully relocated to an 80 acre site and membership grew to approximately 6,000 with an average Sunday attendance of 1,000. The annual budget increased to $2,000,000 with nine full-time staff members plus three others leading the academy, day care and Cedar Hill ministries.
During his ministry, Calvary saw 4,551 baptisms and 4,680 members added by letter. Calvary was consistently ranked in the Top 10 Churches in Evangelism for over 25 years during his tenure. Bro. “Step” gives God all the glory and all the credit for his longtime ministry at Calvary.
Bro. “Step” was named Pastor Emeritus of Calvary Baptist Church upon his retirement in 2002. Following his retirement, the next twelve years of ministry were focused on preaching revivals and encouraging pastors of churches across the south. He has preached in over fifteen sates and six foreign countries.
His heartbeat is to continue pointing souls to the saving grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Step Martin Evangelistic Ministries, a 501(c)3 organization, was formed for this purpose and provides financial support to seminary students and missionary efforts throughout the world.