Canvass – church members

YCSD investigators interviewed the members of the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit church who arrived for the sunrise service on Sunday, March 31, 2024.

The interviews summarized are some of the most typical or relevant to the investigation and are representative of all interviews conducted.


Brenda Clemens
Occasional church visitor

Ms. Clemens said she had no idea who could do such a thing to or why. She said a better man than Pastor Martinson could not be found. "He spends so much time with the less fortunate, the widowed, the children without fathers, and he still finds time to counsel and visit his flock."

Clemens said she has lived alone since 2020, when her husband succumbed to prostate cancer. She said that even though she wasn't a church member, Pastor Martinson still brought a bag of groceries to her door every Thursday afternoon.

Clemens said she attended church occasionally but wasn't planning to go to sunrise services that morning because she wanted to sleep in. She said she woke up around 5:30 a.m. "I thought since I was awake, I might as well go to church."

Clemens suggested investigators talk with Fay Nutt, the church secretary, because "she always seems to know everything about everyone."


Henry Davis
Church member

Mr. Davis said he had been a member of the church longer than Martinson had been the pastor, and he was certain the murder must have been a case of mistaken identity.

"Our pastor has no enemies. I don't recall ever hearing anyone say a single thing negative about him. He was a true man of God," he said.

Davis said sheriff's deputies were already at the church when he arrived just before 6:00 a.m.


Sally Gross
Church member

Ms. Gross said she and her son, who have been members of the church for a few months, arrived at the church at 6:30 a.m.

Gross said she had sought out Pastor Martinson for counseling on dealing with her teenage son's rebellious behavior since her recent divorce. Gross said her friend Deirdre Littleton had recommended Pastor Martinson because he had helped her with a similar situation.

Gross said everyone loved Pastor Martinson, and she just couldn't believe that someone murdered him.


Connie Stark
Church member

Mrs. Stark said she arrived at the church just as members of the congregation were being allowed to gather in the sanctuary. Stark said she was too upset to talk, but would make herself available at a later time, if needed.


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