Hello, we are Tim and Martha Jo Melton and we have two children. Our daughter Callie is 28 and married to Drew, and our son Camp is 23. We presently live in Myrtle Beach, SC and, yes, the weather really is beautiful here all year round, just as long as the hurricanes stay away. We have over 30 years of Christian ministry experience together – mostly in Presbyterian Churches. We met at Columbia International University (CIU) where we graduated with BA degrees in Biblical Studies and Theology. We married shortly after and spent the next 30 years in full time ministry. During the first half of our ministry (15 years) we worked with teenagers in Presbyterian churches (ARP and PCA) where we partnered with Young Life student ministry. During the second half of ministry, Tim went on to get his Seminary degree (MA in Theology) from CIU and transitioned to Adult Pastoral Ministry at Surfside Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Myrtle Beach, SC. Meanwhile, Martha Jo continued as a volunteer leader for the youth and women’s ministry at Surfside Presbyterian, where we both served for over 15 years.
Our Early Ministry: In the early years of our work together, we developed a high sense of relational ministry – learning to share the gospel with students in the context of trusted friendships. These years were very fruitful as we saw many students come to a saving knowledge of Christ – many who are now serving in gospel ministry as ordained pastors, missionaries, and youth workers. However, the success of those early years in ministry could not overcome the legalism and self-righteousness that we held in our hearts. Nor could it assuage the lingering memories of our painful childhood experiences. Most of our ministry energy emerged from a desperate attempt to somehow overcome these obstacles – seeking to justify ourselves through our performance. By God’s grace, in 1999 Martha Jo and I attended a conference that would change the trajectory of our lives in a dramatically profound way.
Our Shaping Influences: In October of 1999, we attended a Sonship Conference sponsored by World Harvest Mission, now called Serge. It totally changed our understanding of the Gospel and how we do ministry. Serge’s Sonship Conferences, Mentoring and curriculum, basically teaches that the Gospel that saves you is also the gospel that radically transforms you. Sounds basic, right? But what we have found in our own lives as well as the church folks we have worked with in the past 30 years, is that most of us not only have a truncated view of the Gospel, but we also only see it as only having to do with our initial salvation. We completely miss it’s power to transform us in our day to day walk and instead we either try to perform for God so He’ll stay pleased with us, or we add “Christian” to our descriptors while continuing to live our lives exactly as we had before. In 1999, we were Bible College graduates serving in ministry and we were living like we were spiritual orphans having to fend for ourselves. Looking back it wasn’t the just the teaching at the Sonship conference that made the biggest difference (although it was fantastic!) The most powerful part for us was meeting with a Sonship “Soul Care” Mentor each day who walked us through, and help us to apply, what we were learning to our daily lives. This Soul Care mentor asked us disruptive questions, exposed some ugly lies we were believing, and presented Jesus and His work for us in a way that truly put his glory and beauty on display! Our biggest joy in ministry since that time has been doing the same thing for others that was done for us during that Sonship Conference – helping people apply the Gospel in all of it’s fullness to all areas of life.
Calling and Ministry Influences: During the summer of 2018, Martha Jo and I were led by Christ to resign our ministry positions at Surfside church. We now endeavor to serve Christ through the ministry of Hope Christian Discipleship and Soul Care. Martha Jo and I continue to immerse ourselves in the scriptures, endeavoring to believe the gospel, repenting of our unbelief, and learning to rest more deeply in Jesus’ love. We also frequently read Dan Allender, Tremper Longman, Nancy Guthrie, Jack Miller, John Owen, John Frame, Michael Reeves, Tim Keller, Paul Tripp, Tim Lane, Chuck DeGroat, David Powlison, Ed Welch, Elyse Fitzpatrick, Jen Wilkins, Tara Barthel, Ebeneezer Erskine, Paul Miller, Sinclair Ferguson, Walter Marshall, Eugene Peterson, C.S. Lewis, and Henri Nouwen. The writings of these men and women – along with the theme of our Union with Christ – is pervasive in all that we do – in preaching, teaching, writing, pastoral counseling, and in our interpersonal relationships.