Pastor Martin Eldred was born in Seattle and raised in the Puget Sound area of Washington state. He attended Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, earning a B.S. in Religion in 1983. While at PLU, he met Shelly Clark from Anchornge, Alaska and they were married on August 6, 1983.
On their first wedding anniversary, Shelly and Martin packed up their belongings and headed to Dubuque, Iowa where Shelly began a job in the President’s Office at Wartburg Theological Seminary and Martin started his studies towards a Masters of Divinity. The summer following an internship year at University Lutheran Church in Brookings, South Dakota, Paul Eldred was born in Anchorage. The Eldred family returned to Dubuque for senior year and Martin graduated in May of 1988.
In June, 1988, Martin was ordained into ministry in the newly formed ELCA and took a call to Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran in Stevenson, Washington. While there, daughter Katrina was born in The Dalles, Oregon. In 1994, the Eldreds moved to Enumclaw, Washington, where Martin took the call as pastor of Hope Lutheran and in 1998, the family moved to Eagle River, Alaska to begin life and ministry with the saints at Joy Lutheran Church.
During their time in Eagle River, Martin began studies that gave hin1 the opportunity to study at Christ Church in Oxford, England, eventually earning his Doctor of Philosophy from Graduate Theological Foundation, Mishawaka, Indiana in 2016.
Shelly is currently employed as an Instructional Coach for the Anchorage School District. Son Paul is serving as pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran in Bellevue, Washington and has been married to Ryan Moothart since 2013. Daughter Katrina works for the State of Alaska in the Division of Child Support. Her daughter, Naomi, is finishing up her first-grade year in a Chinese Immersion program in Anchorage.
Pastor Martin loves opera (especially Verdi), soccer (Chelsea), baseball (Mariners), and outdoor activities.