Martha Toney

Martha Toney

The Rev. Dr. Martha Toney

Deacon for Pastoral Care & Healing

The Rev. Dr. Martha Ann Toney is a native of Spartanburg, South Carolina. Martha was ordained as a Deacon in the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida in 2014. That same year, she also received her Doctorate in Biblical Studies from the Graduate Theological Foundation. Before Martha’s work toward ordination began, Martha was trained as a Chaplain with 6 units of Clinical Pastoral Education. Her experience in Chaplain work was expansive, ranging from Church work visiting the homebound to Hospital Chaplaincy and two years as a Hospice Chaplain here in South Carolina. She served 14 years in caring for others in the role of Chaplain. She is a board-certified Chaplain.

Martha’s earlier years in life were spent as a professional opera singer. She sang for 30 years, both as a Soloist in the New York City Opera and other prestigious organizations in America and internationally in Europe, including the opera house in Hof Theatre, Hof, Germany.

Martha holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Converse College (1969). She has two degrees in music: A Diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music (1978) and a Master of Music from the Manhattan School of Music (1972).

At age 50, Martha retired from singing and began to pursue ministry. However, even today, when invited, she still loves to sing! In 2007, before working towards being ordained, Martha received a Master of Ministry Degree at Southern Wesleyan University. This love for Jesus led Martha to Central Florida through the  support and encouragement of Bishop John W. Howe, where she was ordained and served as deacon during her years as Chaplain. During the many years of ministry, Martha has frequently been called on to teach, inspire, motivate, and train parishioners and colleagues on various occasions. One of Martha’s primary gifts is that of communication and the ability to inspire. She was personally trained as a certified public speaker by John Maxwell in 2016.

In addition to her role as Deacon, Martha has written 3 books, all of which can be found on Amazon. The latest book was published in September of 2023. Sacred Presence is a 31-day devotional on the Holy Spirit’s role in the life and ministry of Jesus. It contains 32 colored illustrations in conjunction with Shirley Veater, a renowned artist from the UK. She and Shirley are now in the process of another book on the last week of Jesus’ life, which is due to be published for Lent 2025.