Martin, V. Paul (1925-2012)

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Vernon Paul Martin, pastor, chaplain, potter, was the fifth of seven children born to Simon B. Martin (14 September 1897-13 November 1984) and Lydia (Bauman) Martin (16 February 1900-28 March 1976). He was born 4 December 1925 in Sherkston, Ontario, Canada, where Simon was the pastor of a mission congregation. Paul married Ruth Erb (22 January 1925-17 April 2001) on 26 August 1947. They raised five children: Robert, Timothy (1952-2005), Philip, Elizabeth, and Carolyn.

Paul and Ruth served for 45 years in five congregations of Swiss Anabaptist origin in the Mennonite Conference of Ontario and Quebec: Hawkesville (1950-1962) in Woolwich Township, Waterloo County; Morningside (1963-1970) in Toronto; Wideman (1970-1981) in Markham; Wanner (1981-1990) in Cambridge; and Stirling Avenue (1990-1992) in Kitchener.

Paul Martin was a bi vocational minister both because of financial necessity and theological conviction. He believed that by working alongside people in daily living he would learn how to communicate the Gospel in terms people could understand. Both Paul's preaching and counselling demonstrated the truth of this reality. During his ministry in congregations he worked at many jobs to provide needed income. He taught at Ontario Mennonite Bible Institute, painted and cleaned houses, taught driver training, served as chaplain in retirement centers, and served as director of summer camp programs.

Martin wanted to be a pastor from a young age. He was encouraged by his parents in this vision and joined The Golden Rule Gospel Messengers in the mid 1940s. As a member of this mission group, he learned to preach on the street corners of Kitchener and to talk to people about their faith. Paul trained formally for his ministry at Toronto Bible College for three years, and attended the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Indiana, during a sabbatical. The musical skills of both Paul and Ruth in playing guitar and singing enriched their ministry in congregations. In later years Martin became a skilled potter and developed a presentation called "A Parable of Life on a Potter's Wheel" which became a supplementary ministry in churches of many denominations.

Paul and Ruth Martin lived at Fairview Mennonite Home in Cambridge during retirement. Here Paul helped plan for the weekly Sunday evening services. Ruth died on 17 April 2001, and Paul Martin died on 31 May 2012. They are buried in the Wanner Mennonite cemetery.


"Rev. V. 'Paul' Martin." Ezra Eby Revived! Web. (accessed 25 February 2014).

Author(s) J. Laurence Martin
Date Published February 2014

Cite This Article

MLA style

Martin, J. Laurence. "Martin, V. Paul (1925-2012)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. February 2014. Web. 20 Sep 2020.,_V._Paul_(1925-2012)&oldid=122684.

APA style

Martin, J. Laurence. (February 2014). Martin, V. Paul (1925-2012). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 September 2020, from,_V._Paul_(1925-2012)&oldid=122684.

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