Obituary of Paul R. Martin, Ph.D.

August 17, 2009

Dr. Paul R. Martin, 63, joined the Lord on August 14, 2009 after an 8-month battle at Riverside Methodist and James Cancer Hospitals with leukemia. Born June 28, 1946 he was the son of Rev. Paul and Esther Martin both deceased who pastored churches in the Athens - Albany area. He is survived by his wife, Barbara of 42 years and his son, Timothy Paul, now entering his senior year at OU in graphic design. Also surviving are his siblings: Miriam, of Olathe KS, Lois of Crossville TN, and Stephen of Albany.

He received his BA and MA in Experimental Psychology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (1968-1971.) He also obtained a MA in Humanities from Western Kentucky U in 1977 and his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh in Counseling in 1983. Paul also took theology course-work at Princeton University and Nazarene Seminary. During his lifetime he held a variety of positions all with a heart of service. He pastored a campus church in Kansas City for 7 years. He was instrumental in seeing that a case was pursued all the way to the Supreme Court wherein Christian college students had the right to meet on campus ending in the precedent setting freedom of religion case (Widmar vs. Vincent).

He worked as a college professor for 5 years at Geneva College in Pa., and in MRDD as a behavioral psychologist for some 20+ years at Echoing Meadows in Athens. Being a licensed psychologist, his main calling was as Founder and Executive Director of Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center near Albany, an internationally known residential treatment facility for persons abused by cults and dysfunctional relationships. He aided in the treatment of over 1000 clients over a period of 23 years in his service to hurting individuals, with many lives grateful for his guidance.

He served as an Expert Witness in 29 legal/court cases as a psychologist who testified to the role of "brainwashing" causing behavioral changes, including the Muhammed/Malvo DC sniper trial and the recent terrorist legal case of Zacharias Moussaoui. He also worked with several special intelligence projects.

He authored the book, "Cult-Proofing Your Kids," published 15 scholarly articles, and presented over 60 workshops/seminars at a variety of professional conferences. He was highly interviewed by TV, radio, and news media with about 57 interviews ranging from the Ft. Worth Star - Telegram, Kansas City Star, Tokyo Broadcasting, the Leeza Gibbons Show, 48 Hours-CBS and others. He received the John G. Clark Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Cultic Studies in 1993 from the American Family Foundation (now known as the International Cultic Studies Association). Paul was also awarded the ICSA 2006 Herbert L. Rosedale Award "in recognition of leadership in the effort to preserve and protect individual freedom."

Paul was humble despite all his accomplishments, serving with faith, perseverance, a shepherd’s heart and sacrifice for the causes and calling on his Christian life. His greatest love remained with his wife and son.

A memorial service to honor his life will be held at Christ Community Wesleyan Church in Albany on Saturday, August 22 at 2:00 p.m. preceded by visitation with the family at 1:30 p.m., Pastors Paul Risler and Denver Dodrill officiating.

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