Rev. Marti Soper
Marti was born in New Jersey and grew up in Atlanta and Miami before attending Boston College for a degree in Finance, and UCLA for an MBA. Nine years at IBM led her to explore purpose and meaning in the church, for the first time in her life.
At the invitation of an IBM colleague, she became active in the Church and Society Committee of Holy Covenant UMC in Carrollton, Texas. This led to involvement in ministry with a sister church in El Salvador during a brutal civil war in that country. Marti traveled to El Salvador in 1990, just one year after the killing of 6 Jesuit priests, their housekeeper, and her daughter. Her experience in El Salvador was truly transformational. During this time she was also engaged in a weekly bible study that introduced her to scripture, began to form her as a Christian, and deeply unsettled her.
Eventually, a call to seminary emerged, nurtured by a hunger for biblical knowledge and spiritual growth. A call to pastoral ministry blossomed while serving as a Youth Minister at Arapaho UMC and attending Perkins School of Theology. Rev. Soper received her MDiv in 1997 and became the Associate Pastor at Arapaho. One of the highlights of her ministry was giving leadership to a project that partnered Arapaho, Curamericas and the Rotary Club of Rio Bravo in building a medical clinic for an impoverished community.
In 2003 she was appointed to Greenland Hills UMC and was their Pastor for nine years. During these years, the church re-vitalized its worship and re-established its presence in the community by building a new Fellowship Hall and pre-school, both of which have been instrumental in opening up the church to its neighborhood in distinctive ways. Greenland Hills became an official member of the Reconciling Ministries Network in 2012, though its inclusive ministry, especially with same gendered families with children, was well known long before that.
Her last appointment allowed her to serve on the Cabinet of the North Texas Conference as the Director for Leadership Development with responsibility for the ecosystem that forms, develops, equips and sustains leaders for both the “inherited” and the “pioneering” church. The last five years have allowed her the balcony space to explore the church with a lens focused towards a future that will demand new forms and a faithful interpretation of the gospel for a new day. “I look forward to the privilege of serving Northaven and pray our ministry together will be a faithful embodiment of God’s dream of reconciliation and transformation for the world.”
Rev. Marti is married to Rev. Jack Soper, and they have four children and five grandchildren, all in the Boston area. Hobbies include nature travel and making stained glass.