Westmoreland pastor retires after 36 years in ministry

tree dedicated — The Rev. Jim Martinez stands next to a tree dedicated to him. The plaque reads, "Hard Maple Dedicated To Pastor Jim Martinez Westmoreland Methodist Church 6-18-2012. (Photo submitted) .

WESTMORELAND — The Rev. Jim Martinez is retiring after 36 years, including the last 12 at Westmoreland United Methodist Church.

Martinez, age 63, came to the Rome area in 1993 with his wife, Brenda, to be chaplain at Griffiss Air Force Base. He served in that role until the base closed, and was its last active duty Air Force chaplain. The couple then went overseas for several years before returning.

The couple, who will continue to live on Pillmore Drive in the Town of Lee, have children and a grandchild in the area. They intend to travel internationally, said Martinez, who also intends to continue to pursue sailing as a hobby. He said he will also volunteer with Veterans Affairs and assist churches in the area.