The veneration of legends is essential to the growth of the creative industry and at this moment, we choose to celebrate the personality of Rev. Ferdinand Larbi Martinson – a true servant of the gospel.
Gospel music continues to serve as an important instrument to propagate the gospel courtesy the persistent contribution of some individuals who have dedicated themselves to the task and one of such standouts is the legendary Rev. Ferdinand Larbi Martinson.
The fable of Ghanaian gospel music and its journey through the times, with the sole purpose of uplifting the name of God while winning souls – cannot be written incomplete without the critical mention of Rev. Martinson Larbi.
Intriguingly, Rev. Martinson’s legend is not as loud as some of his peers in the gospel fraternity but his contribution to the growth and sustenance of gospel music has been overly profound and striking.
Rev. Martinson, who hails from Aburi in the Eastern Region of Ghana, started as a Teacher but the calling of the Lord to do gospel music, in its unadulterated form, was nothing to ignore or reject – making him a full-time gospel musician now.
Described by many as the ‘Master of Worship’, the songwriter, singer, instrumentalist, and preacher has spent decades in the gospel industry, leaving remarkable footprints on the successes of many musicians in the gospel fraternity.
Through his dulcet voice, creativity, and dynamism, he has blessed the church and gospel music lovers with numerous powerful songs, many of which have become major conduit for exaltation and invoking the presence of God. Lifetime releases such as ‘Wofata’, ‘Kronkron’, ‘Adom’, ‘Tumi ye wode’, ‘Ye meho nsenkyerehene’, ‘Me dofo kesse’, ‘Adom ara k3k3’, ‘Adom nsuo’ among others have dominated worship songs ministered in our churches in the past three decades.
As a prolific songwriter, Rev. Martinson has written many inspiring songs for a number of Ghanaian gospel artistes, many of whom have become household names in the music industry in general. He has demonstrated his versatility and service by singing back-ups for almost all the celebrated gospel musicians in Ghana.
Award-winning gospel artists such as Elder Mireku, Jewel Ackah, Ohemaa Mercy, Cecilia Marfo, Gifty Osei, Nicholas Omane Acheampong, Ophelia Nyantakyi, Professor Kofi Abraham, have all benefited and continue to benefit from his exploits.
Although Rev. Martinson has enjoyed little recognition, beneficiaries of his talent and mentorship have recorded exceeding breakthrough in the gospel ministry and business, all of which reflects his selflessness and bigheartedness.
It is said that a true hero is not measured by the size of his strength but by the strength of his heart. Aside from enduring a grueling start in his musical career, Rev. Martinson persisted in his quest to make an indelible impact in the gospel industry, a drive that is few and far between.
In one of his interviews, he recounted how he almost gave up on music after being disappointed by many gospel artists who benefited from his free-handedness but failed to recognize his efforts.
“At some point, I took a painful decision to stop doing music after suffering a lot of disappointments. But what kept me moving was my father in music, Jewel Ackah who advised me to persist because we are working for God and not man. I am not interested in money. I am interested in serving God and using music to draw many people to Christ,” he recounted.
The lack of unity among gospel artists has been identified as one of the pressing issues troubling the growth of the industry. Some industry players have underscored the need for gospel artists to regard themselves as having a common purpose and collaborate to advance the kingdom business. In an era where the competition was keen among the gospel fraternity, Rev. Martinson defied the odds and featured Nicholas Omane Acheampong on a song – becoming the first gospel artist to do so.
Currently sojourned outside the country, he continues to lift the banner of Ghana and Christ around the world, leading choirs in mega churches and ministering to multitudes on diverse platforms.
Within a spate of two decades of glorifying God through the power of music, Rev. Martinson has produced 5 quality albums; Wofata-s3 wogye ayeyi (1999), Adom nsuo -worship (1999), Isaiah.54 worship-2002, Manna worship – 2005, Adom ara keke (Mix -2006), and More than gold worship & prayer -2010.
He currently out with a new single, Medo wo, available on all music streaming platforms.
He also has a seven piece gospel group called ‘Voices of the Ark’, touring the whole of Ghana to spread the gospel.
It is said that a country that does not recognize its heroes is not worth dying for and an industry that does not accord its legends the needed acknowledgment may not be worth sacrificing for – the reason it is imperative to tout the efforts of Rev. Martinson who had dedicated his lifetime projecting the gospel and aiding others to attain success – all to the glory of God.