Global Ministries is saddened to learn of the death of Oliver W. Martin

Global Ministries is saddened to learn of the death of Oliver W. Martin

Oliver Wendall Martin
November 25, 1958 – April 19, 2014

Oliver Wendell Martin, III of New York City, New York, formerly of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was born to earth life November 25, 1958, and to eternal life April 19, 2014, at the age of 55. He was preceded in death by his parents, Mother Uther Jean Jones, Stepfather Ernest R. Jones and brother, Kenny. Family and friends left to cherish his memory: Joe Marshall, New Kensington, PA; Ernie (Irene), Wilkinsburg, PA; Charles (Madeline), Pittsburgh, PA; Howard (Joanne), North Braddock, PA; Calvin (Kathy) Plum Borough, PA; Anthony (Debra) Mason, OH; Aunt Marjorie Green, Baltimore, MD; sister-in-law, Towanda Marshall, Texas; beloved partner Craig J. Kania of 14 years (Wisconsin); Godmom Reverend Pj Banks-Anderson, DMin (Michigan); and cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Oliver earned his Bachelor of Science in Information Sciences degree from Robert Morris University. He was the Founder and CEO of Conscious Contact of New York; Administrative Chair of NYC Faith in Action for HIV and AIDS Coalition; National Administrative Leader, National Faith in Action for HIV and AIDS; Board President, National United Church of Christ HIV and AIDS Network; Lead Organizer for many years of multiple community events such as: World AIDS Day, the Annual Week of Stepping Up In Faith for  HIV and AIDS, Christmas in July at Riverside Church; Advocacy events for all faith communities at International Conferences and more; Organizer of Spiritual Outreach Service, S.O.S.; and Quarterly HIV Support Forums in collaboration with AIDS Service Center New York City (ASCNYC) and Riverside Church. Oliver was instrumental in the dissemination and promotion of the curriculum Affirming Persons – Saving Lives; National Restoration to Military Families Team board member; and in January, Oliver agreed to become a charter member of Space for Grace Fellowship Center, a new church start in the greater Lansing, MI area.

Oliver also served on the board of Wider Church Ministries of the United Church of Christ and on the Common Global Ministries Board of the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) until mid-2013.  Reverend Dr. James A. Moos, Co-Executive of Global Ministries and Executive Minister of Wider Church Ministries remembers “We were privileged to have Oliver serve in a leadership role on both boards of directors.  He possessed an infectious smile, a wealth of wisdom and, most of all, a deep commitment to serving all of God’s people.”

Oliver received numerous awards and honors including: Life Changers Award – 2014 Love Alive International Foundation, Inc.; Positive Change makers Award – 2012, Citation from NYC Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg for HIV/AIDS Ministry Leadership – the Riverside Church, NYC – 2007, The New York AIDS Coalition – Vanguard Award – 2003.

Oliver brought people together from numerous parts of many communities. His ability to create, coordinate, and collaborate with hundreds of people is nothing short of amazing. He had an exceptional ability to plan events down to the minutest details, way in advance, and make them come off like well synchronized works of art. Oliver was thought of as a virtuoso convener of people, a disseminator of life-affirming, life-saving, and life-improving information and resources.

Oliver was in the woods with a rough road ahead and he stayed in the Light of Love all the way to and beyond 8:03 p.m. Saturday, April 19, 2014.

A memorial service is being planned for August 16, 2014, at the Riverside Church, New York City.  Condolences may be sent to Craig J. Kania at or 2421 Sycamore Drive Apartment 5, Green Bay WI 54311.