By Anthony Moujaes
April 22, 2014
Friends and colleagues are remembering Oliver Wendel Martin III, his advocacy for people living with HIV, and the impact he left on the world. Martin worked to help those with HIV-AIDS live their lives with dignity,and a man who went “above and beyond” in his service to the United Church of Christ to raise awareness of the disease. Martin died on Saturday, April 19. He was 55.
Born Nov. 25, 1958, Martin lived and worked in Pittsburgh, Green Bay, Wis., and New York City. His life’s work was promoting curriculum and resources for people living with HIV-AIDS and ways to prevent the spread of the disease.
Martin was a member of the UCC’s Wider Church Ministries Board of Directors and Global Ministries Board of Directors until 2013. As part of the UCC’s HIV and AIDS Network Leadership (UCAN) team, he helped reorganize and direct the work of UCAN in 2005. He later became board president when UCAN was incorporated as a nonprofit and served that role until 2013.
“Oliver was dear friend and an amazing leader,” said the Rev. Mike Schuenemeyer, director of UCAN. “His relentless passion for justice and vision for a church and world fully engaged in HIV response lit up many a room. He knew how to bring diverse people together and his warm spirit set people at ease to deal with difficult questions. For the past nine years, he served UCAN and the national setting of the church in a variety of capacities, often going above and beyond the call. We will do well to draw inspiration from the witness of his life, so faithfully and generously lived.”
He is survived by his partner Craig Kania, and hundreds of friends and colleagues.(From ucc.org)