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Martin ThielenMartin Thielen serves as senior pastor at First United Methodist Church, Cookeville, Tennessee. Before coming to Cookeville, Martin served three other Middle Tennessee churches, including First United Methodist Church of Lebanon, Tennessee. During his decade-long tenure at Lebanon, the church experienced significant revitalization and growth. For details, read "How a Two-Hundred-Year-Old, Declining, Mainline Church Got Its Groove Back."

Before transferring to the United Methodist Church, Martin served as a pastor and denominational worker for the Southern Baptist Convention. He worked for four years as a national worship and preaching consultant and editor of Proclaim for the SBC. He has led more than one hundred church leadership workshops for ministers across the country. He also served as an adjunct professor of worship and preaching at a seminary.

Martin has a bachelor of arts, a master of divinity, and a doctor of ministry degree, along with a year of Ph.D. coursework at Vanderbilt University. Writing for publication has long been an important part of Martin's ministry. He has written seven books, four of them on the subject of worship and preaching, and more than one hundred articles. His doctor of ministry project was "Ministering to Ministers through Writing." For further information about Martin, especially his passion for vocational ministry, read "Baptizing Babies and Burying Old Folks."

Martin and his wife Paula are the parents of two adult children.

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