Marty McKenzie was called to preach in 1992, but his response was much like Moses’ when God called him to bring his message: “I can’t speak in front of people!” It took five years of struggle before he was convinced that God wanted him involved in ministry, specifically ministering to the incarcerated. A mission was laid on his heart to go to the jails and prisons to reach out to those who had been brought low by their past—those in a place in life where they would be receptive to the Gospel.
In October of 1997, Marty preached his first message at a Men’s Ministry Dinner. Two months later, he was preaching for the first time at the Effingham Prison. This quickly led to regular church services each month, and he has been there on a monthly basis ever since.
It didn’t take long for the needs of another forgotten group to come to light, and in 1999 Marty began providing church services in two nursing homes. This time, it was a full church service, complete with hymns, prayer, and a sermon.
That same year, Marty began a partnership with a short wave radio network and began sharing the Gospel with those in Third World countries. The program was on World Wide Christian Radio out of Nashville, TN, and it had the potential to reach 120 countries at one time. A second short-wave radio station was added in 2000. Until this point, providing these services had cost nothing more than the gas to drive to the prison and nursing homes. The addition of the radio ministry created a need for outside financial support, pushing Marty to pursue incorporation and, ultimately, 501(c) 3 status. His Love Ministries was incorporated on April 17th, 2000.
Doors continued to open, and HLM continued to step through them. These opportunities were evidence of God’s call for Marty to spend his full effort on His Love Ministries, and the ministry went full-time March 17, 2003. Today, over 1,000 services a year are conducted by HLM in 26 different facilities by three full-time ministers, two part-time ministers, and an amazing group of volunteers.
From the start, Marty had to rely on God for everything—especially the courage to speak in public. His main message is that Jesus is the Savior. “I stick to Jesus, because that’s the Gospel,” he said. “However, I vary what and how I say something. The only way to change life is through Jesus. I use scripture to make my point.”
While the ministry was set up in 2000 as a nonprofit organization that can take donations, HLM does not ask for money from the people it helps. Instead, the ministry is funded entirely by donations of those who wish to partner with its mission. “The Lord takes care of our finances.”
“We started this ministry to serve the forgotten in our community,” Marty said. “We consider ourselves an extension of mainline churches, even though we don’t have church buildings for ourselves. Our office is our homes, and we don’t buy many supplies. We provide services—that is our goal.”
The goal of HLM is to spread the gospel to those who really need to hear it and equip those who know Christ as Lord and Savior to minister to others. We reach out to those the World has forgotten.