LAKE UNION–After 42 years of dedicated service for the Seventh-day Adventist church, former Lake Union Herald Managing Editor, Martin Butler received the lifetime achievement award from the Society of Adventist Communicators.
Destined for a career in public relations, Martin Butler developed an early skill for writing from his parents who were both English teachers. During his senior year at Cedar Lake Academy, Martin’s father gave him weekly assignments to write news articles for the Lake Union Herald to publicize the school in a positive light. Martin did not realize that 15 years later, he would become the managing editor of the same publication.
In the early years of his career, Martin worked for the General Conference Risk Management Services (GCRMS) in Riverside, California. Martin kept his hands in communication by editing an employee newsletter and becoming the office complaint specialist for dissatisfied customers.
In 1976, Martin left his job to pursue a master’s degree in communication at Andrews University. During his time there, Martin co-edited the school yearbook, directed a Paul Johnson musical, and produced the second album on the Chapel Records label for his vocal trio, Forever Yours. Martin also created a Sacred Arts Series that was later featured in the Lake Union Herald and to this day, is still hosted alongside other blended music in the Howard Performing Arts Center at Andrews University.
Martin saw the summer as an opportunity to learn practical skills in his field, so he interned for the Voice of Prophecy in Glendale, California. There, he met his future bride, Lisa Walden, who was an employee in the public relations office. After graduating, Martin began a two-year General Conference Communication Internship. Two-years quickly turned into five, where Martin was placed in charge of fundraising for the radio ministry.
Martin began another five-year-stint at the Lake Union Conference in Berrien Springs, Michigan. He hit the ground running, laying out more than 100 issues of the Lake Union Herald during the days when this arduous task was accomplished by cutting and pasting every piece. The Union paper was published twice each month. Between deadlines, Martin traveled, captured photos, and produced No One But You slide/tape programs, which rotated quarterly to Lake Union churches in the same manner as Mission Spotlight.
Afterwards, Martin moved onto working for the Southern Union Conference in Decatur, Georgia and then to Florida Conference where he undertook countless projects, and from where he retired.
Martin responded to the Lifetime Achievement award given at the SAC Conference in Columbia, Maryland with: “As I reflect on the past 42 years, I can honestly say I wouldn’t change a single stop on my journey, because I feel each was Spirit-led. Looking back, I can see how the Lord was faithful to His promise to never leave me or forsake me…
Now, as I watch from the sidelines, I’ll cheer you on as we anticipate hearing the words of our Life Coach, “Well done, good and faithful servant… Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord!” Matthew 25:23.