To say that Ruth Martin comes from a family of LCMS pastors is an understatement. Ruth’s father (Rev. Daniel Richert), both grandfathers (Rev. Otto Richert and Rev. Frederick Fischer), four uncles (Rev. Paul Richert, Rev. Ralph Fischer, Rev. Carl Fischer, and Rev. Harold Bernthal), and three first cousins (Rev. David Bernthal, Rev. Thomas Fischer, and Rev. Peter Richert) became LCMS pastors! The church is figuratively and literally “in my blood -- which is why I was so drawn to the opportunity to lead MOST Ministries,” Ruth said.
But after graduating from Eastern Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in Communications, Ruth didn’t plan to end up working in the Christian non-profit world. After marrying her husband, Jeff, and moving to Ohio for the first 20 years of their marriage, Ruth earned a law degree from the University of Dayton School of Law, became a licensed attorney, had three kids, and practiced law for 13 of those 20 years. While working as a litigator in a large firm in Cleveland, an opportunity to make a 180 degree career change by applying for a Development position with the Ohio District-LCMS presented itself. Putting things in perspective, Ruth decided to temporarily leave the practice of law and try her hand at fundraising for the church because, in the end, she firmly believed that it is every Christian’s duty “to do their part” in sharing the Gospel and supporting Great Commission ministries.
Three years later, Ruth, Jeff, and their three kids (Matthew, Andrew, and Hannah) relocated to Grand Rapids, MI. Since 2003, Ruth has been the Senior Vice President of an international law firm association, worked for Lutheran Hour Ministries as a Ministry Advancement Officer, and served as a consultant to Christian non-profit organizations in West Michigan. Ruth also served on the Michigan District-LCMS Board of Directors for the past 12 years and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Lutheran Braille Workers. She and her husband are members of St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids.
Ruth said she has been “blown away” by the kindness of the MOST staff, the Board of Directors, and the “awesome volunteers” who regularly show up at MOST’s office. And because Ruth would love to meet as many volunteers, team members, and supporters of MOST as she can, she welcomes anyone to stop by the office in Ann Arbor for a quick tour and chat with herself and the MOST Ministries’ staff.