The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

July 20, 2013

Alabama church dismisses pastor after heroin arrest


Associated Press

— COLUMBIANA, Ala. (AP) — A Shelby County church is dismissing its pastor following his arrest on heroin-related charges.

Deacon J.W. Ross says the Columbiana Church of Christ is "devastated" following the arrest of its 42-year-old pastor, Paul Jeremy Martin.

Al.com (http://bit.ly/15S1zB2 ) reports Martin is charged the possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia following his arrest early Tuesday in Birmingham.

Police and court records show officers responding to a traffic accident found Martin passed out in a car, which was still running. A warrant says officers found a syringe containing heroin.

Court files don't list a defense lawyer for Martin, and he could not be reached for comment.

Martin recently began serving as pastor of the church, which has about 60 members.