Man with glasses and a dark mustache

Joey Kemp interview

Tuesday, April 2, 2024 – 2:01 p.m.

Joey Kemp followed his cousin's lead and joined the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit church, where he currently serves as treasurer and manages the church's finances.

Detectives Armstrong and Parker interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.


  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective E. Parker
  • Joey Kemp

Detective Armstrong: Thanks for coming down to talk to us today. Would you please state your name and address for the record?

Joey Kemp: Joey Kemp. 517 Wedgewood Drive.

Detective Parker: We're sorry for your loss.

Joey Kemp: Thank you. Pastor Martinson was not only my spiritual leader but also my friend.

Detective Armstrong: Do you have any idea who might have wanted to kill the pastor?

Joey Kemp: None whatsoever. It's inconceivable to me that anyone might have wanted to harm someone who has done so much good.

Detective Armstrong: Did he ever mention receiving threats of any kind?

Joey Kemp: Against Pastor Martinson? I can't imagine anything of the sort.

Detective Armstrong: Everybody has enemies.

Joey Kemp: Pastor Martinson may have been the rare exception to that rule. I never heard anyone say a bad word about the man.

Detective Parker: How are the church's finances?

Joey Kemp: Healthy. Pastor Martinson may have been a generous spirit, but he never overreached or considered the money to spend as he saw fit. He bowed to the needs of the church and the will of the Holy Spirit.

Detective Parker: All families argue about money. There must have been those in the congregation who felt Pastor Martinson should have spent the church's money in other ways.

Joey Kemp: The pastor had a way about him. When he spoke and explained what he intended to do and why, he somehow managed to gain the support of everyone listening.

Detective Armstrong: Not everybody listens. Some people hear only themselves and their own desires.

Joey Kemp: Not after they've been a member of this church for any length of time.

Detective Armstrong: But not everybody is. The pastor must have interacted with every sort of person, both in running a church and in spreading the Word, from those hired to maintain the furnace to those the pastor helped to those who felt they deserved help only to be told the church could not or would not lend a hand.

Joey Kemp: You obviously never met Pastor Martinson.

Detective Armstrong: Apparently, that's my loss. But, even Jesus gained enemies in the course of his preaching. He, too, was killed.

Joey Kemp: Are you trying to imply a link?

Detective Armstrong: I'm simply pointing out that nobody walks this earth without collecting some manner of animosity. So, I find it hard to believe that someone as close to Pastor Martinson as you were would be unaware of anyone who might've been angry or upset with him.

Joey Kemp: I assume the pastor was killed by a stranger.

Detective Parker: To what end? Was money taken that day?

Joey Kemp: The Easter offering hadn't been collected yet, of course, and we don't keep cash in the church, but the thief wouldn't have known that. I assume the thief was frustrated to learn that there was nothing of value to take and struck the pastor down.

Detective Armstrong: You believe a stranger did this, then, as opposed to, say, your cousin Zina?

Joey Kemp: Zina? What does she have to do with this?

Detective Armstrong: We've been told the two of them argued on numerous occasions. And since you've said that Pastor Martinson didn't have problems with anyone else, that leaves Zina as the most likely suspect.

Joey Kemp: You're twisting my words. My cousin did not kill Pastor Martinson. You should just leave her alone. She's already traumatized by what happened.

Detective Armstrong: In your own words then, who would you suggest we talk to, if not your cousin?

Joey Kemp: Fay thinks she knows everything. Fay Nutt, the church secretary. Talk to her. And Leo Ingram. As associate pastor, he's probably aware of what goes on behind the scenes.

Detective Armstrong: Such as what?

Joey Kemp: I wouldn't know. I only keep the books.

Detective Armstrong: You're a member of the church. People talk.

Joey Kemp: I talk to Zina, and she talks about the glory of God.

Detective Armstrong: When she's not arguing with Pastor Martinson.

Joey Kemp: I'm not going to let you keep twisting my words. We're done here.

Detective Parker: Thanks again for coming in. We'll be in touch.

Interview ended – 2:31 p.m.


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