Martin Deppe was educated at Lawrence University, Appleton Wisconsin.
In 1967, Deppe stood behind Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at the signing of a covenant between the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s Operation Breadbasket and the Jewel Tea Company. Having helped negotiate the agreement, Deppe was “midwife” to an event that led this major Chicago chain store to move from 4 percent to 12 percent black employment in only three years.
Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights
In 1970, the Advisory Council of the then Communist Party USA front Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights consisted of Timuel Black, Rev. Edwin Buehrer, Prof. Carl W. Condit, Rev. Martin Deppe, Joseph Engel, Abe Feinglass, Rev. Gerard G. Grant, Very Rev. Samuel J. Martin, Rabbi Robert J. Marx, Rev. Jules L. Moreau, Al Raby, Rev. Joseph Sattler, Jack Sullivan..
Paris "peace" talks
Anti War activism
In 1972 Rev. Martin L. Deppe, was one of 95 members of Clergy and Laity Concerned arrested during a demonstration in the Capital Rotunda in Washington DC. He was situated a few cells down from the Rev. William Sloane Coffin.
“My fondest memory of Bill Coffin,” Deppe says, “is listening to him, in jail, leading the singing of old-favorite hymns, spirituals, and freedom songs with his booming, cheerful baritone and incredible memory. He knew the words of every verse of every hymn; after the first verse, the rest of us hummed along as he belted out the words.”
Claude Lightfoot Reception
Linda Appelhans, Margaret Appelhans, Arnold Becchetti, Leon Beverly, Richard Criley, Reverend Martin Deppe, Ishmael Flory, Frances Gabow, Ben Green, Bill Hampton, FatherJohn Hill, Mrs. Christine Johnson, Jack Kling, Attorney Max Maiman, Margaret Palmer, John Pappademos, Ted Pearson, A. A. Rayner, Jr., Harold Rogers, Norman Roth, Attorney Irving Steinberg, Gil Terry, Robbylee Terry, Charles Wilson and Sylvia Woods.
Alliance to End Repression
Deppe headed the Alliance to End Repression in its 11-year effort that culminated in a consent decree from a federal district court eliminating the Chicago Police Department’s Subversive Activities Unit, the infamous “Red Squad.”
As a pastor, Deppe served six United Methodist parishes in the Chicago area between his ordination in 1961 and retirement in 1999. In one instance, he built a predominately black congregation following the moving-away of some 500 white members; in another, he integrated the congregation and founded an ecumenical food pantry. A clergy colleague has said, “He has a genius for taking churches that are not going anywhere and making them work.”
Clergy and Laity Concerned, Chicago Chapter
Richard Criley Memorial
In 2000, Martin Deppe served on the welcoming committee for the Chicago Memorial Service for Richard Criley, a long-time activist with the Communist Party USA and a leader of the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights.
In retirement, he is an inveterate writer of letters to the editor. As of December 2006, he had written 125 post-9/11 letters to various publications, of which 65 had been published. His wife, Peg, calls this his “retirement pulpit.”
Honoring Frank Wilkinson
Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights organized a "Celebration of the The Dynamic Life of Frank Wilkinson (1914-2006)" on Sunday October 29, 2006. Wilkinson had been a leader of the Communist Party USA, the New American Movement and Democratic Socialists of America.
Honoring Committee members included Martin Deppe.
Open Letter to Obama on Iran
In 2008 Martin Deppe, United Methodist Church, Chicago, IL signed an online petition “A Open Letter to Barack Obama on Iran”.
- Full text of "The nationwide drive against law enforcement intelligence operations : hearing before the Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Ninety-fourth Congress, first session page 151
- Full text of "The nationwide drive against law enforcement intelligence operations : hearing before the Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Ninety-fourth Congress, first session
- Clergy and Laity Concerned, Metro Chicago chapter letterhead, March 22, 1983
- Memoriam Service Program, 2000
- Open Letter to Obama on Iran