Martin Bell

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Martin Bell (born c. 1937 in St Ignace, Michigan; died January 25, 2009 in Petoskey, Michigan) was a private investigator, Episcopal priest, author and musician. He pastored St Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church in Indian Springs Village from 1989 to 1995 and authored a series of popular inspirational books published by the Seabury Press.

Bell was a native of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. He is a graduate of Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin and worked for the Pinkerton Detective Agency, rising to the position of assistant chief of the criminal division in Chicago before leaving to become a priest. He attended seminary at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts and was ordained in 1964.

Recordings of some of the parables Bell developed for Bible study were heard by editors of Seabury, who then invited him to compile them into book form. The result was The Way of the Wolf (1970), which became a top-selling inspirational book. The book was accompanied by an LP of original songs.

In 1977 Bell founded a mission in Indiana that provides investigative services to those who can't afford private detectives. He came to Alabama to pastor St Francis of Assissi in 1985, and returned home to Michigan four years later. While serving as Chaplain to the University of Michigan, he founded "Canturbury House", a church-operated coffee house which presented live performances by artists such as Gordon Lightfoot, Len Chandler, Maria Mudaur, Richie Havens, Paul Stookey and Odetta.

He later built his own recording studio, ProSound Productions, and his own publishing company, Wolfway Books and Records. His series of annual Christmas albums were sold to benefit the Town of St Ignace.


  • Bell, Martin (1970) The Way of the Wolf: The Gospel in New Images. Seabury Press. ISBN 0345305221
  • Bell, Martin (1975) Nenshu and the tiger: Parables of life and death. Seabury Press. ISBN 0816402612
  • Bell, Martin (1986) Return of the Wolf. Seabury Press. ISBN 0345334833
  • Bell, Martin (1986) Distant Fire HarperCollins. ISBN 0060607688
  • Bell, Martin (1988) Wolf. Seabury Press. ISBN 0345337735
  • Bell, Martin () Street Singing and Preaching: A Book of New Psalms ISBN 0687399653
  • Bell, Martin () Night Places: A Suspense Adventure ISBN 068727950X


  • Garrison, Greg (January 24, 2009) "'Wolf' author, ex-Birmingham-area minister Martin Bell dies." Birmingham News