Having grown up in a Christian home and having been raised in the church all my life, I have pretty much always known about Jesus and the church. I was baptized as an infant in my family’s (historically Reformed) church. However I wouldn't consider myself saved in a “reborn” fashion until during my sophomore year of college.
Tragically through the trial of losing my high school girlfriend to a car accident during my freshman year of college and the healing process that followed...God carried me through that loss. I (fortunately but unworthily) began to feel the soverieign call of the gospel on my life in the midst of my grief. My awareness of the holiness of God and the consequences of my sin truly began to humble me. It wasn't until this point that the gospel was making a discernable difference on me even though I had "known" the message of the Bible and had a great respect for the church.
God uses people in great ways to accomplish His purposes. During my second year of college I had the opportunity to live with my cousin Tiffany in State College, PA. Tiffany and the church we attended helped me to examine my sinful heart and truly evaluate my thinking. For the first time in my life the gospel became real and my faith began to take root in the person of Jesus. I knew based on the preaching I heard in church that I needed a savior to rescue me from my sin.
Tiffany also helped me to realize and pursue the gifting that was becoming much more evident in my life. The desire to help others understand God’s word was something that just clicked in me. Having lost my girlfriend at such a young age in life gave me unique opportunities to publicly talk about my story. The grieving process I talked about centered around my faith and became the basis of realizing that God was calling me into ministry. My desire to study the Bible and know God's word inside and out became my greatest passion.
After graduating from college and after serving in several para-church events that energized and nurtured a heart for evangelism, I found an opportunity to serve a local church close to home with the responsibilities of being a youth pastor in a large congregation. It was a challenging position that I filled for nearly seven years and one that I grew from significantly.
God wasn't finished using people to help shape my life. He can use familiar people (like my cousin Tiffany) and He can use new people too. The first of these new people would become my best friend and accountability partner. Scott Welch and I have “been through the wars” of counseling summer youth camps and retreats together. Counseling teenagers in the midst of a post modern culture that values the authority of self above the truth of God’s word proved valuable in learning to defend the faith. Growing deeper through fellowship and worshiping together with a few other close friends at the McLean Bible Church in Northern Virginia each week helped grow Scott and I as men and Christians through studying the word together. Scott and I also have been through many of the same life stages together...and that would include meeting our wives at about the same time.
My wife Emily is, next to Jesus, the most significant person in the world to me. Having experienced true blessing in the past, I never dreamed God would grace me with such an amazing woman of God. Emily and I met through eHarmony (which did an outstanding job of matching us by the way) and have enjoyed what is now 10+ years of an amazing Christ cenetered marriage. As we both continue to learn how to best serve each other as husband and wife, the love and respect we have for each other just continues to give evidence to the grace of God in our life together. Emily is the best part of my day. She is my best friend, my helpmate and the love of my life. I am not me without Emily. We're joyfully living life with our first child, our son Lincoln, who was born in March of 2013!
My sole passion and deepest enjoyment is teaching and preaching God's word. I pray God continues to bless me in that call to proclaim the gospel message of Jesus Christ and Him crucified...may I know nothing else!
Matt is a liscensed minister through the Evangelical Association of Reformed and Congregational Christian Churches.
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