Reverend Martin L. Espinosa is Executive Pastor and Founder of Ray of Hope Community Church in Nashville, TN. Ray of Hope’s commitment is to be a community church with a global outreach that invests its time, talent, and treasure in kingdom building everywhere. Rev. Espinosa’s particular ministry interest lies in the area of preaching healing and deliverance to people who have been hurt, hindered or left without hope in this rapidly changing world. With this in mind, Rev. Espinosa has preached, lectured and led local and national workshops on issues related to family relationships, fathering, male sexuality, overcoming childhood sexual abuse, and the relationship between male spirituality and sexuality. He has gained national recognition for his insightful preaching and unambiguous teaching of the gospel.
The founding philosophy of Ray of Hope Community Church is Created with a Purpose: Called to Serve the Community. With that as the church’s ministry foundation, it is proud to boast of outreach ministries that have included partnering with a battered women’s shelter for mothers and their children who needed safety and refuge, an adult education ministry which assisted persons in earning their GED degrees, hosting economic empowerment seminars which have led both the church to buying and developing much of the property adjacent to the church and to members owning homes and increasing wealth. The church has partnered with a neighborhood school to ensure students have uniforms and necessary school supplies to enhance their learning experience.
Reverend Espinosa earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from American Baptist College (Summa Cum Laude), Nashville, TN, with a concentration in Bible and Theology. He received the Masters of Theological Studies from Vanderbilt University Divinity School where he focused in Homiletics (Preaching). Further studies were done at Vanderbilt toward a M.A./PhD. in Homiletics and Ethics.
Reverend Martin L. Espinosa was born on the Caribbean twin island republic of Trinidad and Tobago where he received his early education in the Catholic school system. Rev. Espinosa accepted Christ as his personal Savior at the age of thirteen (July 27, 1977) during an Inter-School Christian Fellowship Bible Camp. He was later baptized at Mt. Pleasant Independent Baptist Church (February 26, 1984). Rev. Espinosa was ordained by the Bethel Baptist Church in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands on May 27, 1988, under the pastorate of Reverend Dr. Bentley Thomas.
Reverend Martin L. Espinosa is married to Rev. Dr. Renita J. Weems (writer, biblical scholar, and national speaker). The couple has facilitated marriage and family workshops across the country, which are aimed at building and strengthening the Black family and protecting the future of Black children. Rev. Espinosa and his wife are the blessed parents of one daughter, Savannah Nia.
"And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will guide you with knowledge and understanding." (Jeremiah 3:15)
Hope CDC is a faith-based non-profit organization committed to equality and inclusiveness seeking to eradicate pockets of poverty in Nashville. It does this by, first, providing programs and services that promote empowerment, self-sufficiency, education, and economic development, and, secondly, it does this by upholding the belief that all community members have something to teach or a skill to share thereby enriching the quality of life of children and families.
Rev. Martin L. Espinosa
Rev. Dr. Renita Weems