William Martin "Marty" Hager served as minister of First Presbyterian Church of Dunedin from 1989 to 2002. Prior to that he was minister of St. Paul Presbyterian Church in Houston, Texas, First Presbyterian Church of Pampa, Texas and First Presbyterian Church of Stephenville, Texas. He was ordained in the Stephenville Church after graduating from Austin Presbyterian Seminary in June of 1965.
He attended Wooster College of Ohio and graduated from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois.
He was born to Zella Frances Bost and William Grant Hager in Alton, Illinois. He grew up in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois; he graduated from Missouri Military Academy May 1958. His parents of Kimberling City, Missouri and sister, Martha Frances Mason of Tucson, Arizona, preceded him in death.
In addition to his wife, Lois Stover Hager of Dunedin, four children survive him; Andrew of Houston, Jennifer Wagner of Austin, Christopher of Austin and Matthew of Los Angeles plus seven grandchildren-Levi, Sadie and Lorelei Hager of Houston; Ethan and Emery Wagner of Austin and Grant and Grey Hager of Austin. His children's mother, Sherry De Witt Hager of Houston survives, as well as Lois's children Paige and David Stover.
Marty was very active in the Civil Rights movement and active in community services in all places he was minister. He served as college representative to Congressman Paul Simon of Illinois. In Pampa he and his wife, Sherry, were instrumental in the development of Genesis House, a residential treatment center for juvenile offenders. He also had close ties to the Methodist CME church while in Pampa working with the Reverend Monroe Woods where he was speaking the night Martin Luther King Jr. was killed. He was awarded the Jaycees "Five Outstanding Young Texans" award for community service in 1971 while in Pampa.
St. Paul Presbyterian Church in Houston had a membership comprised of people from more then 20 countries; it had a strong commitment to international justice and hosted the "base communities" for Salvadoran refugees led by Archbishop Oscar Romero and his disciples and the St. Paul church was very active in sponsorship of Viet Nam refugees. The church opened its doors to the community for the first black chief of Police, appointed by Mayor Kathy Whitmire, to speak. It was a very tense night-KKK and White Supremacist Groups were there to meet the attendees and tried to make it difficult and freighting for them to come in-black, Hispanics and Holocaust survivors. Reverend Hager and the congregation escorted them into the sanctuary for safety.
n 1996 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Bloomfield College in Bloomfield, NJ also in recognition of his contribution to social justice causes.
After his retirement Rev. Hager served at an interim pastor to congregations in Siesta Key, FL, Ft Myers, FL, Las Vegas, NM, Washington NC, and Wrightsville Beach, NC. He remained active in the Dunedin Church after his return from the interim pastorates. Contributions in his name can be made to any social justice group that supports the needs of those who cannot speak or fight for themselves.