Monday, December 2, 2013

In Memory of William Clyde Martin 12-2-2013

 December 1, 2013

Miracle Mountain

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

CLYDE MARTIN, Beloved pastor, age 86, now living in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is in grave condition following a fall at home last week.  He suffered a stroke while hospitalized and other extremely serious issues have followed.

His doctors tell us that unless God intervenes he has only days left to live.

We know this faithful servant of the Lord is ready to go to his heavenly home that Jesus has prepared for him.

As you can imagine, he has been a witness and testimony for the Lord to hospital staff and visitors, in spite of his own painful, weakened condition. The Presence of The Lord in the room is sweet and powerful.

'The Preacher' has faithfully prayed for and ministered to so very many during his 70 years of preaching and pastoring, and now he needs your prayers.  WILL YOU PRAY FOR HIM, that he will be free of pain and that the sweet, holy peace of the Lord will sustain and fill his inmost being?
Please pray that he will be granted a glimpse of Heaven and loved ones waiting his coming.
Please pray for us, his family, as we walk through this strange, new, dark valley.  

We will miss him terribly, but we know we must soon say, 'Goodnight ... we'll see you in the morning...'

We covet your love, prayers and encouragement.  Pray we will be Christ-like in our grief.  We are awed at the peace and presence of the Lord in these difficult hours.

As things change  we will share more details with you.


Ruth, his wife of 63 years,
Mark, his son, and
Debbie his daughter


William Clyde Martin
May 23 1927- December 2 2013

Heaven gained an amazing Man of God this morning! He has touched so many lives across the country and around the world, leading thousands to become children of God!
  Yes, he was a fisherman for the multitudes hungry for the word of God, but he also was a loving and devoted husband,father,friend and my Uncle. 
  His gentle guidance and love for me has rescued me in times of trial by leading me in the right direction. A trip to visit them in 2003 on top of their mountain in Pigeon Forge,( that has become known as MIRACLE MOUNTAIN in our family) changed my life forever. I was broken, confused and hurting and he reached out to me as a loving Uncle with soothing,comforting words in his little mountain top cabin/office he called HIGHER GROUND. 
  I love you always dear Uncle Clyde....I will thank God everyday for each remembrance of you!
( I took several of these pictures over the years and many were shared from my cousin Deborah Martin through the years)

Laura Butler Brown

Pastor W. Clyde Martin, age 86 of Gatlinburg, went to be with the Lord on Monday, December 2, 2013. He was born May 23, 1927 in Mayodan, NC to Joe and Minerva Martin, and born again on October 31, 1943 at the age of 16 when he accepted Christ as his personal Savior. He immediately answered the call to preach, beginning a lifelong commitment to the ministry. His ministry included, but was not limited to, serving as a pastor in Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Hawaii, and as an evangelist, nationwide and worldwide. A pilot since the age of 13, he flew himself during many of his evangelistic journeys. He has been described by many as "a pastor with an evangelist's heart, and an evangelist with a pastor's heart", and had a great love for preachers and churches. 
Pastor Martin studied at Wake Forest University, Elon College, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX, and received an honorary Doctorate of Theology. But none of these were as great as the education he received during what is described as the highlight of his ministry, when he served as Associate Pastor to Dr. Robert G. Lee at Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, TN. Their relationship was akin to the relationship shared by Paul and Timothy. Dr. Lee became Pastor Martin's "father in the ministry".
Through his prayer life, he received discernment, and was a true visionary for those churches he pastored and for his evangelistic ministry. Locally, he founded the Smoky Mountain Tourist Ministry in Gatlinburg in 1975, and also served as the Chaplain to the Gatlinburg Police Department.
He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings.
He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Ruth Richey Martin; son, Mark Martin; daughter, Deborah Gillespie; grandson, Joshua Dale Gillespie; granddaughter, Rebecca Gillespie; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Family will receive friends 2-4 PM Thursday with funeral service will follow at 4 PM at First Baptist Church, Sevierville with Rev. Dan Spencer, Rev. Mark Martin, Dr. Randy Davis, Dr. Ron Herrod, and Evangelist David Cobb officiating. Family and friends will meet at 11 AM Saturday in Shiloh Cemetery for interment. Arrangements by Atchley Funeral Home, Sevierville. ( - See more at:

     A Tree Called Fortitude 

by Ruth Richey Martin

A Tree Called "Fortitude"  by Ruth R. Martin

    Young Rebecca marched purposefully into my kitchen, hands on her little hips, judgment in her blue, blue eyes.   When she had my full attention she said ,"Granny, what does fortitude mean?"  For a second I was at a disadvantage, not knowing what had prompted my precious granddaughter's demand to know the meaning of a word that she didn't understand. Then I knew.

      I explained simply that fortitude is that special strength that just will not give up but hangs on and keeps hanging
on and endures.  "Oh," she replied, "I just wanted to know. Granddaddy is out there calling that tree Fortitude." And with a  whirl, she was out the door, and away to rejoin her brother Joshua and Granddaddy in the yard, satisfied her Granddaddy had not used a bad word, and was not in danger of having his mouth washed out with soap.        

     When we bought our mountain home it needed lots of improvement, particularly in the yard of which there was
practically none.  We had to have a bulldozer grade away part of the mountain itself to make room for cars to park. (We could literally stand against the house and touch the mountain).  Built for a vacation home by a family from Florida, it was not exactly ready for permanent year-round occupancy . 

      The first spring we lived here, a tiny ,scraggly eight or ten inch twig of a cedar tree appeared.  I cannot tell you how many times that little cedar sprout got squashed, smashed, stepped on, cut down, moved down, run over, dried up in summer heat, or  frozen in winter.  Anything and everything that could happen to a young tree happened to that cedar.  

     But it kept coming back.  And coming back.  And coming back AND GROWING. As years passed that little stubborn sprout grew waist high . . . shoulder high . . . higher than a man could stretch up his arms.  People would
say, "Why don't you cut down that tree? It's just a little old scrubby cedar."  My husband started calling the little determined-to-live tree "FORTITUDE."  Soon, we all were calling the tree by a name, just as we would a person or a pet animal.  It became a symbol of spirit . . . the spirit of strength and endurance.  An unconquerable, undefeatable, indomitable spirit.

     Fortitude is now a huge , handsome cedar, taller than our house, perfectly shaped.  Several years ago we were paving our driveway and parking area, and the workmen were laying out the pattern. They were ready to cut down Fortitude when my husband stopped them. "You can't cut that tree."  When they tried to explain why it would be easier to get the equipment in, etc.,  etc. . . . Clyde planted his feet, folded his arms and told them, "I don't care what you have to do, you are not going to cut down Fortitude." (At this, the men looked askance at each other a bit like little Rebecca had looked many years before.)  My husband then told the men how the little tree had struggled to live, concluding with, "Anything that is that determined to live deserves the right to live."

     Today, Fortitude stands proudly with a wide curve of pavement around it's feet . Birds make nests in it's branches, take shelter there during  winter's bitter weather, and summer's sweltering heat.  Squirrels play in and under it's wide
ruffled skirt, and at Christmas, hundreds of tiny bright lights sparkle and twinkle and shine like fallen stars or a zillion fireflies nestling in it's branches.  A winter's snow and Fortitude becomes breathtakingly beautiful in white glistening glory.

     To us, Fortitude is a living symbol .  An encouraging symbol.  A challenging symbol.

    To me, Fortitude is the living symbol of my husband's strong, indomitable, persevering, overcoming spirit.  Today is Father's Day, and this is my loving tribute to the father of my children, Mark and Debbie, and my husband of nearly fifty-three years.  I have watched him endure and conquer things that a lesser man would have succumbed to long before. He has had and overcome heart attacks,  five-bypass heart surgery twice, a major stroke, prostate cancer, and  severe asthma. He has known heartaches and heartbreak , disappointments and setbacks.  Yet, he has faithfully followed
wherever God led, and listened and obeyed whenever God called.  He has laid aside personal goals and set is eyes on the crown incorruptible the Lord Jesus will present him with one day with the words, "Well done, thou good and
faithful servant."  And I know what my husband will do.  He will reverently place his crown (at least one crown, probably more) at the nail-scarred feet of Jesus and say, "I did the best I could because I love you, Jesus.  All honor belongs to You, my Lord and my King."

     I looked up a definition of fortitude:  " An inner strength that enables one to encounter danger or bear pain or endure adversity with courage."  Another definition read, "Something inside a person that makes him different from the run of the mill."

    A tree called Fortitude.  A man who could also be called Fortitude.   A man called Clyde Martin.
A man of fortitude who is my husband.  A man I love.

Romans 8:28



  1. Thank you for posting this wonderful tribute to your beloved uncle! He was an amazing man of God, and his influence will live on for many more decades.

    1. Thank you Glenda . He was an amazing man. I was so blessed to have him in my life!