Jeff was raised in the Deep River community of Sanford. He and the love of his life, Julie, have been married for 20 years and have two children, Aubrey (14) and Gabe (8). They live in Jeff’s childhood home next door to his parents, Larry and Ruth Wilder. He works at Moen, Inc. of Sanford.
Jeff has been a member of the contemporary Christian band, “Working on Commission”, for 10 years. He, along with fellow praise team members, Chris Johnson and Jeff Alverson, have released three CD’s.
Jeff has served as an elder since the start of New Hope Baptist Church. He has served in Youth Ministry for over 20 years. Jeff and Julie have consistently opened up their home for countless student activities including Summer Blitz and Movie on the Lawn. They both have a servant’s heart and open door policy.
Things Jeff enjoys include: all genres of Christian music, serving at church, coaching his children’s sports teams (soccer, basketball or baseball), spending time with his eGroup boys (whom he loves), spending time with his family, and being anywhere with his Bride (but perhaps shoe shopping).
One of Jeff’s favorite verses is: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6
Howard was born and raised in Roanoke Rapids, NC. He joined the US Army in 1973 and was stationed at Fort Bragg, NC as a member of the 82nd Airborne Division Military Police Company. During his tour of service he received several commendations for work as a Military Police Investigator.
While in service he met and married Jacqueline Stewart. They have just celebrated 37 years of marriage and have two children, Michael and Jennifer, six grandsons and one granddaughter.
Howard has worked in several industries over the years, mostly in the quality control or quality assurance. Jackie is a nurse and is currently in a private duty position. They enjoy hanging out with each other and spoiling the grandkids when they get the chance. Jackie enjoys cooking for the Mark Lilly Sunday school class. No one complains. Howard and Jackie were charter members of New Hope. He has been an Elder for a little over a year and considers it an honor to serve his church and the Lord in this position.
Howard did not grow up attending church. His profession of faith occurred as a young adult after marriage. He had always believed in God and Jesus as His Son but never took the next step. The Pastor he was talking to led him to the Lord by assuring him that being a Christian is a work in progress and knowing the answers to all your questions is not necessary for salvation. After all these years Howard believes he is still a work in progress.
What's important to Howard is your faith in Jesus Christ and accepting Him as your personal Savior. John 3:16 states: "For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son so that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life". Study the Gospels, develop a solid relationship with Jesus Christ and allow Him to lead.
Virgil Martin, an elder at New Hope Baptist, wishes to give all praise to the Lamb, Who sits on the throne – Honor and power, dominion and praise to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Virgil retired from the Army and moved to Sanford, where he and his family have been attending New Hope Baptist since 2009. He has found that through good times and bad, it is God alone, who is unchangeable and unshakeable. Virgil holds to the truth of God’s scriptures, knowing that as a young man and even later in life, that to cleanse one’s way, one must take heed to the Word of God and hide His Word in our hearts that we might not sin against our great God. It is important to put on the whole armor of God each and every day, to be strong in the Lord and power of His might that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
In holding to God’s truths, Virgil knows we must study to show ourselves approved unto God. Approved workers need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth; and in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving letting our requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. One of Virgil’s life verses is Phil 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Virgil seeks to know the Lord more deeply while realizing we all must still face the challenges of this world. He is married to Angela, and is the father to Heather, Meghan, Nathan and Jestyne. He is the grandfather of Lexi, Garret, Madi and Emma.