Paul Leonard Martin was born November 5, 1923 in Leonard, Oklahoma to Elmer Grady Martin and Ira Belle Beene Martin.
He went to be with his Lord on August 4, 2019 at the age of 95 years.
Paul lived in the areas of Bixby, Leonard and Liberty Mounds his entire life. As a child, he worked alongside his dad and other family members as sharecroppers. He continued to farm after he became an adult.
In 1946 he joined the Oklahoma National Guard, C Battery, 160th Field Artillery where he was a sharpshooter. He honorably discharged in 1950.
Even though Paul knew Lorene Mobley since childhood, it wasn't until the late 1940's that their relationship changed, they began courting, and fell in love. On February 5, 1949, it had been snowing and the roads were bad, so Paul drove the tractor to pick up Lorene. They went by tractor to the highway, where he had a car waiting. From there they drove to Bixby and were married by the First Baptist preacher at the parsonage.
Paul and Lorene were blessed with two daughters, Joanne in 1951 and Brenda in 1961.
In the late 1950's, Paul decided that small-scale farming really didn't pay that well, so he began working at Orbit Valve. Later, he went to work at North American Aviation, and then American Airlines from which he retired in 1988 after 21 years. He loved working on the big jets at American Airlines. When there would be low-flying aircraft, he could identify it from the ground for whomever he happened to be with.
In 1957, Paul answered the call to preach after being saved in a tent revival. He preached his first sermon at Bixby Free Will Baptist Church. His first pastorate was at Alsuma Free Will Baptist Church in Tulsa. He also pastored at Duck Creek Free Will Baptist Church in Liberty Mounds and Shahan Free Will Baptist Church in rural Coweta.
Even though Paul had quit farming as a vocation, he still loved it. He enjoyed raising a big garden each year, as well as raising acres of corn with his Daddy and his brother, Gene.
His farming background probably contributed to his interest in restoring antique tractors. He enjoyed a good tractor and steam engine show and would use those as opportunities to bond with his sons-in-law and grandsons.
During their years together, Paul and Lorene traveled the continental United States extensively.
In 1978 Paul became "Papa" for the first time when Matthew was born. In 1983 Michael came along, then Andrew in 1988. Being Papa was a role he thoroughly enjoyed.
Paul and Lorene poured their lives into their ministry and worked hard to take care of the needs of the church. He touched countless lives over the years as he performed weddings, funerals, sang, taught Sunday School and preached sermons. He loved singing with the "Glory River Singers", a group of friends that sang at churches and nursing homes.
Even though he never pastored a large church, his workplace was also his mission field. Paul took the Great Commission to heart, and countless lives were won to Christ through his living witness in the workplace.
Paul was preceded in death by his wife; his parents; son-in-law (Rex Cox); one brother (Gene Martin) and one sister (Willia Dean Hayes). He is survived by his daughter, Joanne Cox of Bixby; daughter, Brenda Dickey and husband, Steven of Glenpool; three grandsons, Matthew Cox of Bixby; Michael Cox and wife, Chelsea of Bixby, Andrew Dickey and wife, Paige of Tulsa; sister, Pauline Watkins of Broken Arrow; nieces, nephews, countless friends and his church family at Bixby Free Will Baptist Church.
Casket bearers are Steven Dickey, Matthew Cox, Michael Cox, Andrew Dickey, Henry McClain and Hoss Delcoure. Honorary casket bearers are Luther Metcalf, Martin "Junior" Baker, Lawrence Edwards, Herschel Edwards, Don Allen and Ronnie Gibson.
Music is provided by Sherri Sloan, Heather Rhea and Steve Bender.
Visitation is scheduled from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Thursday, August 8, 2019, in the Leonard & Marker Funeral Home. Funeral services have been scheduled for 10:00 a.m., Friday, August 9, 2019, in the Bixby Free Will Baptist Church, officiated by Pastor Jeff Sloan and Dr. Monte Moran. Interment will follow in the Duck Creek Cemetery.