Nationally known author, lecturer, educator, and musician, Martin Bell impacted thousands of lives.
The most well known of his books is The Way of the Wolf, which includes the Christmas classic “Barrington Bunny.” He also authored Return of the Wolf, Nenshu and the Tiger, Distant Fire, Night Places: A Suspense Adventure, Wolf, and most recently Street Singing and Preaching: A Book of New Psalms. Publisher’s Weekly has described him as “a master craftsman.”
Christian education programs developed by him have been used by churches of many denominations from Pennsylvania to California, Michigan to Alabama. He was a featured speaker at various regional and national gatherings and on the Chicago Sunday Evening Club television program.
Martin’s gifts in music were also remarkable. He was a musician all his life. Early on, he played violin, serving as concertmaster of a number of school and community orchestras–all without reading music! Later he gained proficiency in guitar, piano, and keyboard. Through the Martin Bell Music Studio in St. Ignace, Michigan, he offered artist development and instruction in voice, piano, music theory, and composition.
In 2000 WolfWay Records released an unabridged audio version of The Way of the Wolf. This 2-CD set gives audiences everywhere the opportunity to hear Martin’s new reading of all the stories from this perennially popular book.
And in 2002, WolfWay released Songs from The Way of the Wolf, a reissue of several tunes from the LP record released at the time of The Way of the Wolf‘s publication. This new album includes three bonus tracks–tunes Martin composed and recorded just within the last year.
The CD Just to Be Is a Blessing, also available on this site, includes a new setting for Holy Eucharist and a number of songs on biblical themes.
A graduate of Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin, and Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Martin was an Episcopal priest for over forty years. He pastored churches in Michigan, Indiana, and Alabama, and served as ministry developer in the Dioceses of Oklahoma and Northern Michigan. He was chaplain to the University of Michigan, where he and fellow chaplain Dan Burke created Canterbury House, a coffee house that gained national attention. Canterbury House hosted many notable artists, including Gordon Lightfoot, Len Chandler, Maria Muldaur, Richie Havens, Paul Stookey, and Odetta.
The last years of his life he devoted to writing, music, and recording in St. Ignace, Michigan. Martin Bell died in 2009.
Photo by Dave Kunze © 2001 WolfWay Records