Pastor Matt grew up in Michigan. After graduating from Beal City High School in 1993 he attended Central Michigan University graduating in 1998. Pastor Matt studied radio and television in college.
In his early professional years, Pastor Matt worked in radio and television. He worked for WPRJ-FM (a Christian Radio Station) for six years as a DJ, Chief Operator, and Promotion Manager. He also worked for Heitman Video Production as a cameraman, sports announcer, and talk show side-kick.
After college, Pastor Matt worked for Northern Radio Network for six months before the company went bankrupt. His next job was substitute teaching that led to a full time teaching position with third through sixth graders at a small charter school. After teaching, Pastor Matt entered Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, in 2000 to answer God’s call to ministry.
After graduating from Wartburg Seminary, Pastor Matt was ordained to the ministry of Word and Sacrament on June 26, 2005. His first call was at Grace Lutheran Church in Luckey, Ohio, where Pastor Matt also volunteered as a firefighter, EMT-B, and chaplain at Troy Township Fire and EMS. Pastor Matt was also chaplain for the Luckey Police Department.
Pastor Matt became Associate Pastor at Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Lake Havasu City Arizona in January of 2011. While at Mount Olive, Pastor Matt primarily focused on ministry to youth and young adults. He started an annual mission trip with partner congregation Grace Lutheran Church in Phoenix, Arizona, that enriched both congregations through deep friendships across the Body of Christ. He also started the contemporary worship at Mount Olive that has grown to become a point of pride in the music program in the congregation.
Since coming to St John’s in the fall of 2014, Pastor Matt has become involved in the Lewis County Community. He is a chaplain with Lewis County Chaplaincy Services, serves on the Chehalis FFA Community Advisory Board, announces football and basketball games for Winlock High School, and dances in the Southwest Washington Dance Center‘s yearly production of The Nutcracker.
Pastor Matt’s passion for ministry starts at the end of worship. For him, the most important part of the Christian walk happens from Monday to Saturday. The Gospel frees each and every Christian for ministry within his or her vocation. No matter what one is called to do, each one has a divine calling from God in the midst of that vocation.
Pastor Matt and his wife, Rachel, celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary on August 1st, 2018. They have three children, 18 year old Elizabeth (Lizzy), 17 year old Angela (Angie), and 15 year old David. Rachel is a special education teacher and also graduated from Wartburg Seminary in 2005 with a Master of Arts in Theology. Her Master’s Thesis is an inter-generational curriculum for education in a congregation. She has written several Christmas plays and a Vacation Bible School Curriculum. Rachel currently is the Winolequa Learning Academy Special Education Teacher and Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) Teacher for Winlock Schools.