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TEXAS: Longview pastor suspended after DWI arrest

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Senior pastor John LONGVIEW (KYTX) - The pastor of one of Longview's oldest churches is now on suspension after he was arrested in Smith County for driving while intoxicated.

Ed Moore, the church's spokesperson in the matter, said Senior Pastor John "Jack" Logan Matkin has been relieved of his duties for the time being.

Matkin was arrested by Department of Public Safety troopers on April 18 and confined in the Smith County Jail until he made bail about 5:40 a.m. April 19 on a charge of driving while intoxicated/with open container.

"He has been suspended by the bishop from his ministerial duties for up to 90 days," Moore said.

The Bishop of the Texas Annual Conference, Janice Riggle Huie, not only suspended Matkin, but placed the activities of the church under the direction of the associate pastors, Rhett Ansley and Mike Schutz.

Moore said Matkin was appointed to the church in June 2010 as the church's senior pastor.

Moore said most of the church body did not learn of the incident until this past Sunday when the district superintendent, Rev. Bill Taylor, led the services.

"It just came to light for most of the church and most of the congregation is still in shock. But we are a strong congregation and we will get through this," Moore said.

In a press release from the Texas Annual Conference, Bishop Huie stated the district superintendent, the conference and the church staff are working to assure that First United Methodist Church continues to serve its members and the Longview community.