Martha Dixon Kearse became a minister in the life of St. John’s in 2001 as the Minister to Children and Family Life and was installed as Associate Minister in February, 2012. She has been a member at St. John’s since 1989. Martha worked for St. John’s as an assistant to the Minister for Youth during the summer of 1989 and served one term as a deacon before becoming a staff minister.
Growing up in central Virginia, Martha graduated high school in Lynchburg. She then earned her BA in English and Education at the College of William and Mary. In 1985, she moved to Charlotte to teach high school English at East Meck High School. Then, in 1989, she moved to Providence High School where she taught until 1997.
In 1992, Martha received her MA in English and Rhetoric from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and bought a house with her husband, Monty Kearse, whom she had married in 1991. Monty and Martha have four children: Mattie, 22 and a recent graduate of UNC-Wilmington; Conner, 20 and a junior at UNC-Greensboro; Anna, 17 and a senior at Myers Park High School and Rep Dimo, 17, whom they co-parent with his mother, Debora Thon, and who is also a senior at MPHS. They have a dog named Lucky and live in the Elizabeth neighborhood.
Martha received her Master of Divinity in Pastoral Studies from the M. Christopher White School of Divinity at Gardner-Webb University in 2007 and was ordained by St. John’s Baptist Church that same year. She served as Minister to Children and Family Life from 2001-2012. Martha coordinates with other staff members our congregational efforts of Christian Education and Spiritual Formation, specifically in the Sunday School Ministry and other adult teaching/learning opportunities. Martha serves as staff liaison for Women of the Church and for the Pastoral Deacon Panel. She is on the Planning Board for Charlotte CROP Walk and works closely with the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America and QC (Queen City) Family Tree. Martha also works with the Progressive Clergy organization here in Charlotte on the Racial Justice committee and is active with the community of South Sudanese people living here in Charlotte. Martha received her Doctorate in Ministry at Gardner-Webb University in 2017.
In pursuit of sanity, Martha likes hiking in the mountains, reading books, watching movies, taking walks with friends, binge-watching Netflix, dogs, happy music in most categories (except jazz), riding a bike in the country and chocolate. She likes jeans over dresses, flats over heels, blue over red, Jesus over Paul, and chocolate over just about any other food you could mention.