On Stands Now
July 2024

Questa  •  Red River  •  Cerro  •  Costilla  •  Amalia  •  Lama  •  San Cristobal

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Photo by JasperK Photography (Jasmine Peralta-Kingery) Gayle Martinez taking a break from her colorful life!

Gayle Martinez: Full-Time Pastor!

Gayle Martinez is best known around Questa as co-pastor of Living Word Ministries, with her husband, Peter. Gayle is so active in the community that many people may be surprised that in addition to pastoring, she had a full-time job as Holy Cross Hospital’s marketing director in Taos for 11 years. She ramped it down to part-time before retiring for good at the end of October.

What is she doing now? The first thing that comes to mind is finishing up her Masters degree from Shiloh University in apostolic leadership. She will graduate in Fall of 2022, yay! Before, Gayle says, she had three jobs: pastor, marketing director, and student. Now that marketing is off her list, she can officially cross student off next year, although Gayle will always be a student of life and a lifelong learner.

Before coming to Questa, Gayle and Peter were associate pastors for 20 years at The Good News Christian Fellowship in Taos, serving with Peter’s brother, Pastor Rudy Martinez. Then, 15 years ago, the couple were ordained and came to Questa. Their Living Word Ministries Church was located north of Questa, in El Rito. They then merged with El Buen Pastor church, and underwent an extensive remodel on their Questa building. It is a beautiful place of worship.

Gayle has an impressive resume of community building in our area, and we are fortunate to have her. She worked for the Town of Taos in convention and recreation services; for 12 years she planned events and helped bring the Youth and Family Center to Taos, along with the Convention Center. She went on to become the Taos Chamber of Commerce Director for 10 years.

For three years before coming to Holy Cross, Gayle did marketing for the Cumbres/Toltec Railroad, the historic train that runs from Antonito, Colorado to Chama, New Mexico. She describes that one as the best job ever!

Gayle is eager to bring her talents and experience to Questa. She says that the beauty of Questa is its readiness; it is ripe with possibilities, remarking that there are wonderful things going on in Questa. Maybe it has always been that way, but it seems that the pace of change has accelerated. Gayle says that when Questa earned a National Heritage designation, that was a turning point, a game changer. Questa is waking up and going to work, she says.

She notes that there are many good people building strong relationships with a willingness to work together and collaborate, and this is what she has desired her entire life—working with people with open hearts, building trust. It is exciting to watch the community and the people in it blossom. The Questa area has the right people doing the right things at the right time. “We all get to play together,” Gayle laughs.

As pastors of Living Word Ministries, Gayle and Peter have created a community center that they want to share with other groups. They love to work together with other churches, the schools, the village, and businesses, to meet the needs of our families. In November and December, they offered Grief Share Training, both for those who are grieving and those who want to be more available to those who grieve.

Their New Thirst Christian Recovery Group meets every Friday and gives quality support in overcoming substance abuse and addiction. It is led by a husband and wife team, Thomas and Rhonda Donaldson, trained as facilitators in Christian recovery.

Living Word Ministries offers a variety of seasonal events. Mother’s Spa Day in May before Mother’s Day is over the top, offering mothers, grandmothers, stepmothers, or any mother figure a day to get facials, manicures, pedicures, haircuts, and make-up. They have a kids play corner, a prayer circle, many different teas and gifts—everything moms deserve! They also have a community garden. Come springtime, you are invited to join them—call them so you can help out with preparation and planning. And you can help celebrate the Harvest Festival in October, complete with homegrown pumpkins.

Living Word Ministries, while receiving offerings, professes a different view of tithing than what most folks understand: they tithe to our community. Believing that it is better to give than receive, LWM creatively supports the community, including the Food Pantry, CAV, and to our local EMS and veterans groups, to name a few. Sponsoring back-to-school events, they give school supplies to students. During COVID-19 last year, they gave gift certificates for $2,500 worth of classroom supplies to Questa teachers.

Gayle reminds us that the word community includes the word UNITY—that’s what it’s all about.

Please join Gayle and Peter Martinez and their congregation at Living Word Ministries, 12 Llano Road, in Questa. They are available for coaching and counseling and overall support. (575) 741-08099; www.lwmsite.org; check out Facebook.com/lwmsite for the latest. They are listed in Questa del Rio News Church Directory on page 39.