Thu | Sep 20, 2018

Gillian Martin walks from corporate world for ministry

Published:Saturday | June 2, 2018 | 12:00 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston/ Gleaner Writer

Today, Gillian Martin has made it her life's mission to offer training programmes exclusively to churches. She operates as a trainer, speaker, lay preacher and tract writer for churches throughout Jamaica.

To facilitate this, she walked away from the corporate world and financial security to fulfil a call upon her life.

Martin, who worked in the banking sector for 15 years, chalked up experience in a number of areas and was awarded Top Salesperson for a financial institution in 2004.

With no prior experience in the field, Martin later pursued her passion as a self-employed trainer, where she offered training to a number of powerful corporate entities across Jamaica for a period of five years.

"Initially, it was challenging making the transition from a safe, full-time job to that of someone who is self-employed, but I was passionate and determined. I acquired key entrepreneurial skills and crucial life lessons on this path," she told Family & Religion.

Corporate training, she said, turned out to be quite a successful venture for her. However, in 2014, she felt a strong call on her life to engage in full-time ministry.

"I was not sure about what that would entail and so I took up the daunting task of fasting from the media and spending a lot of time in solitude. The fast/sabbatical took a total of 18 months," she shared.

Martin said the discovery on her mission finally came through a sermon/presentation in which the speaker outlined that a person's spiritual gift is their "job description for ministry".

 

DIFFICULTY GIVING IT UP

 

Although she knew what she was called to do, she said it was difficult giving up everything to venture into church ministry.

"I was concerned about how I would survive financially. I mourned for two days. I did not cry, but I was deeply concerned. I felt as if a part of me had died. But after that two-day period, I started to accept it and plan for the road ahead.

"When I gained clarity about exactly what I was called to do in ministry, I moved full speed ahead. I continued to prepare training programmes and other relevant material. I approached various churches and introduced my programmes to them," she said.

However, it was not smooth sailing as she said it was very hard at times. Martin felt as if the good times she had in the past would never return. Her fears were allayed as she said she has seen God putting the pieces of her life back together again.

Now, affording herself the opportunity to look back, she said it has been worth it.

"I believe I am better poised to address social issues and build the church in this capacity. It has allowed me to impact lives in more and deeper ways and this is my life's purpose," she said.

Martin, who hails from Manchester and is a past student of Manchester High School, surrendered her life to the Lord in 2002. She had a dream of attaining a degree, and when she accomplished it, she thought she would feel fulfilled, but while she felt happy about it, fulfilment eluded her. She said she felt as if something was still missing in her life.

"It is something that no accomplishment, no asset could provide," she shared, adding that she discovered the missing link at a convention in Keswick, when the words of the popular song Just A Closer Walk With Thee ministered to her. She was eventually led to the Lord by a lady at the convention.

Sixteen years later, Martin is even more devoted and passionate about her purpose.

"I believe it is very important that people identify and pursue their purpose. I believe that living a purpose-driven life is the key to a fulfilling life. It is at the heart of happiness. People should pursue their passions and purpose in spite of the challenges. Being focused, persistent and positive will make one attain the unattainable!"