Richard James Martindale was born the oldest of five children of Donald and Shirley Martindale on July 28, 1957 in South Bend, Indiana. His parents were both from small towns in Darke County in west central Ohio and were married while they were attending Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana. By the Sunday morning of Rich's birth, his mother had completed her Bachelors Degree in Theology, but because illness and finances had caused a delay, his father had another year to finish his degree in Education.
Bethel College was and is a liberal arts college run by the small Midwest denomination to which Rich's parents belonged and in which Rich himself was raised. Until about the time of Rich's birth, the Missionary Church had been called the Mennonite Brethren in Christ, a spin-off of the Canadian Holiness movement at the turn of the twentieth century. The Missionary Church was and is a very biblically, morally and politically conservative brand of Christianity with a heavy emphasis on biblical inerrancy, what is now called creationism, extended teaching sermons, historical dispensationalism, and the associated emphasis on end-times prophecy and speculation. Though not expected of all members, speaking in tongues and other ecstatic manifestations of the Spirit were not uncommon, usually during Sunday evening services.
The summer Rich turned two and his brother Dan turned one, the family returned to Ohio where their father began teaching junior high school history, refereeing local basketball contests, and leading Greeneville United Missionary Church. Rich's sister Becky was born that summer and his brother David a year and a half later. Rich's parents had trained for and dreamed of being part of the Missionary Church's substantial overseas mission program, but the mission board balked at supporting so large a family in such an endeavor. When Don and Shirley announced that a fifth child was on the way, the door to foreign missions was closed. Friends on the mission board told Rich's father about a struggling church in wild west of Phoenix, Arizona. Shortly after the birth of their fifth child, Doug, the family moved west in time for Rich to begin his first grade year at Sevilla Elementary School in their suburban west-Phoenix neighborhood. Though not the pastor, Rich's father took a lead role in the renewal of Calvary United Missionary Church while teaching junior high school science, and working a second job as well, to feed the family. Rich's mother was home with the younger children until Doug was old enough for school, then began teaching in the lower elementary grades.
As part of the Anabaptist tradition of the Reformation, the Missionary Church held an ordinal rather than sacramental view of Baptism and Communion and rejected all other sacramental rites of the ancient Church as "papist inventions." Rich was not baptized, therefore, until the spring of his tenth year when he was led into a baptismal font, declared, "I believe Jesus Christ is my personal Lord and Savior," and was immersed three times, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The family moved back to Ohio and lived on a farmstead during Rich's twelfth year to be nearer extended family. For his seventh grade year, Rich rode the rural school bus each morning to the junior high school in the whistle-stop town of Bradford in Darke County. After that year, they were convinced that the closeness of their family had little to do with geography and that Phoenix was definitely their home and returned west. There Rich completed eighth grade at Sevilla and went on to the college preparatory track at Alhambra High School.
In Rich's junior year, Alhambra High established an Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps and he was selected to be among the founding group of cadet officers. Because of his leadership skills in that initial year of the program, Rich was promoted for his senior year to the rank of Cadet Colonel and made commander of the corps of cadets. That year he was offered Congressional appointments to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis and an early decision Army ROTC scholarship to anywhere the Army had a program.
Since he wanted to eventually go to medical school, Rich applied for and was admitted to the Johns Hopkins University, across the country in Baltimore, Maryland where he engaged in pre-medical studies while majoring in psychology. Having tried to find a church home in the vicinity of the University that was similar to the one in which he had been raised, Rich was eventually led by extraordinary means to the large University Baptist Church where he was an active part of the choir and college group for his school years.
Though displaying leadership within the ROTC program, Rich's academic performance was mediocre among the great minds at Johns Hopkins and he was not offered admission to medical school with his first round of applications. When he graduated with a Degree in Psychology and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Medical Service Corps of the U.S. Army in 1979, Rich applied for and received permission from the Army to delay the beginning of the active-duty obligation he had incurred through the ROTC scholarship, in order to participate in a second application cycle.
That attempt was also unsuccessful, and Rich reported for duty with the U.S. Army with training at Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas before his first assignment as the Medical Platoon Leader for the 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry (Airborne), part of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky.
While there, he made his home in nearby Clarksville, Tennessee, and after a brief visit with the Baptist church there, began attending Madison Street Methodist Church. Active as a tenor in the choir, Rich met a young soprano by the name of Jenny Lucas. After two years as friends, they began dating when one of Rich's friends commented after having had lunch with he and Jenny that, "well, she thinks you're dating." Rich and Jenny were married at Madison Street Methodist in the fall of 1983 before the Army assigned Rich to further training in San Antonio.
While assigned as Commander, 565th Medical Company (Ambulance) at Ft. Polk, Louisiana, Rich and Jenny's first son, James Dawson, "J.D" was born at Baynes Jones Army Community Hospital. When his command tour was completed, Rich was reassigned to the hospital as the Director of Plans, Operations, Training and Security. He and Jenny decided to expand their family, with the plan of trying for another spring birth to avoid the heat of the Louisiana summer. Two days after confirming that Jenny was pregnant with their second child, the couple received orders giving Rich command of C Company, 528th Forward Support Battalion of the 8th Infantry Division in Baumholder, Federal Republic of Germany, where winter is tough on expectant mothers. Kyle Thomas Martindale was born that spring at Landstuhl Army Hospital.
Father Rich left the Army after nearly thirteen years of active service to follow a call from the Diocese of East Carolina to Virginia Theological Seminary and Holy Orders. He was ordained to the Diaconate by the Right Reverend B. Sidney Sanders, Bishop of East Carolina in June, 1995 and to the Priesthood by the Right Reverend Robert O. Miller, Bishop of Alabama in December of that year while serving as Curate for Saint John's Episcopal Church in Decatur, Alabama.
Rich was called to Saint Mark's Pro-Cathedral, Hastings, Nebraska in 1998 and served as the Cathedral's tenth dean until 2005. While in the Diocese of Nebraska, Dean Rich was a member of the Executive Committee of the Diocese, assisted and then lead the diocesan camp programs, was spiritual director for the Happening youth renewal program, and led the transition team for the election and transition of the Bishop of Nebraska. For his service and contributions, in 2008, the Vestry of St. Mark's named him Dean honoris causa, granting him the style, "the Very Rev."
While Father Rich served as Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, Columbus, Georgia in the Diocese of Atlanta, from September, 2005 through January, 2012, he was a member of the Executive Board of the Diocese and the Diocesan Finance Committee, and chaired the study committee that developed and recommended blanket changes to the Diocese of Atlanta's canons for the election of bishops. In Columbus, he was President of the Muscogee County Clergy Association, Co-Chaired the Martin Luther King, Jr. Steering Committee, and served on several civic boards and organizations.
Though grateful for the opportunity to lead such a varied and complex ministry, Father Rich left Trinity Church in the summer of 2011, convinced that God was leading him back to a more direct ministry to the needs and aspirations of God's people.
Moving to Clarksville, TN to be close to Jenny's parents, Father Rich used the generous six-month sabbatical provided by Trinity to rediscover that call to the basics of parish ministry. In a rapid series of events that he refers to as, "one of those spooky Spirit moments," Rich found and was called to serve St. Paul's Church in Henderson, KY. Just ninety minutes from Clarksville, the call allowed the Martindales to be, in a sense, two places at one time. Jenny calls herself "a commuter wife," spending much of her time in Clarksville, helping with her family, and commuting for weekends with Rich and her friends at St. Paul's.
In addition to delighting in being pastor and friend to the one hundred or so families on St. Paul's roles, Rich is equally enthusiastic (if not always equally delighted) with attending to the day-to-day administration of parish life. He has served the Diocese of Kentucky as a member of the Bishop's mission task force, has helped present the program at the Fall Gathering of Diocesan youth at All Saints, and is an active participant in the western Kentucky clericus, the group of priests and deacons serving our part of the Diocese. In Henderson, Father Rich is a regular feature at community activities. He is a member of the Henderson County Ministerial Association, has been asked to offer prayers for a wide array of civic and political functions, and is an officer of the Rotary Club of Henderson, serving as President of that Club for the 2014-15 program year.