Marty Jacumin – Class of 1985
Church Mobilization Strategist, North American Mission Board,
Southern Baptist Convention; Founder and director, Trajectory Ministries
Pastor, teacher, counselor, friend -- Marty Jacumin has been all of these to a wide variety of people. After many years in the Raleigh area, where he served as a church pastor for 23 years and a seminary professor for 11 years as well as participated on a wide variety of boards and with a number of organizations, he has moved back to Burke County, where he continues to guide and serve churches, individuals, and the community as a whole.
After high school, Marty attended North Carolina State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology with a minor in criminal justice. “After college, I worked with my dad at his company, Jemco, where we manufactured textile machinery. It was during that time that I felt called to the ministry, so in 1997 I was licensed by First Baptist Church, Icard, and enrolled in Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC.” It was there he earned a Master of Divinity and a Ph.D in Church History.
Called Pastor Marty by his congregation, he worked as an associate pastor at Bay Leaf Baptist Church in Raleigh for six years before becoming senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Cary for three years. He was then called back to Bay Leaf Baptist, where he served as senior pastor for 14 years, from 2007 until 2021 when he retired.
He has also served as a professor at Southeastern Seminary for eleven years, teaching pastoral ministry and sermon preparation and delivery. “As teachers and coaches had a big impact on me when I was young, I like doing the same for young pastors. The church needs to reach younger people, and young pastors make a real difference in helping achieve that goal.
“Being a pastor means being involved in people’s lives in whatever situation or place they may be. I have always seen myself as a shepherd, walking with people during the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows in their lives. I have witnessed people come to the faith. I’ve have watched families evolve, rejoicing with them when children were born, seeing those children grow up and graduate, taking part in weddings and funerals. Everyone has struggles, and being able to walk with them through the best and worst of times is a blessing and a reward.”
As part of his job as a church mobilization strategist with the North American Mission Board (NAMB), a division of the Southern Baptist Convention, Marty travels extensively to help churches that are in need. Projects can range from church planting, helping churches with evangelism goals, offering advice to churches that want to be more involved in community action projects, and any number of other projects unique to individual churches. He also continues to use his teaching skills as an instructor at Fruitland Bible College in Hendersonville.
Since retirement from full time pastoral duties, Marty and his wife, Lori, have partnered to start a non-profit organization called Trajectory Ministries (www.trajectoryministries.com). “We have a variety of missions, including writing and publishing devotions that get people thinking. I especially enjoy helping ministers who may be struggling, counseling pastors and their families, listening to their challenges, and being a friend and a ‘safe place.’ We also strive to help heal churches that have split and advise congregations on how to bring people together and revitalize their community.
“I look back on high school as a lot of fun with a lot of great friends. Like many others, I wish that I had applied myself more academically. I could never have imagined my future, but it just goes to show how God can redeem us and use us at any point in our lives. I often think about how a struggling teen may assume that a pastor doesn’t know how he feels or could never understand his problems. But he does because he may have had similar challenges as a young person.
“While a student at East Burke, playing football and basketball as well as participating in the track and field sports of shotput and discus introduced me to a variety of coaches who inspired me. They include Danny Williams, Wayne Fletcher, Bob Bliss, and Rick Ogle. Ken ‘Jock’ Cline was a coach, but he was also a fellow church member, and he was someone I really looked up to. Barbara Bliss was not only my teacher but also sort of like my ‘second mom.’ Her son, Rob, one of my best friends even today, had a group of friends who often stayed at their home. We had a great time, and Mrs. Bliss often said she never knew how many teenaged boys might be asleep on her floor when she woke up.
“Another teacher I remember vividly was Mark Jolley. He taught us Horticulture, and it was a really great class. We usually met outdoors, and that naturally made it memorable. I remember learning about blueberry bushes and grape vines, and he always took the time to help us understand how each plant grew and how to make it grow better.
“As a person who has done a great deal of writing during my career, when I look back, I don’t actually remember much about my high school writing classes. But frequently I have flashes of memory of things I learned in them. So I guess I must have picked up more than I thought. That just shows how good the writing teachers were. We learned even when we weren’t thinking too much about it.
“My parents were naturally great influences on my life. My mother developed in me a love of church and for the Bible. My dad instilled in me a great work ethic. He was always willing to work harder, and I think that quality is what makes me willing to get up at 2 am when a church member calls and asks me to meet him at the hospital. I emphasize to my seminary students that no matter how many degrees they earn, it’s the encouragement and support that people will remember. They may not care how much you know but will always know how much you care.”
Published April 2023