It all started back in 3rd grade in a small, mostly white town that experienced an influx of migrant workers from Mexico. No one really got to know Raymond or play with him at recess and it bothered Matt. So one day Matt took a risk and befriended his fellow 3rd grader who spoke broken English and whose skin was much darker. After a few weeks of new found friendship the teacher told the class that she was going to rearrange the classroom seating. After class Matt asked the teacher to be sure to keep Raymond next to him, which she gladly did. Even as a child, God began to give Matt a heart of advocacy for the marginalized and teach him how to use his white privilege for good.
Now, years later, Pastor Matt continues to be an advocate for ALL people. He believes that ALL of us are made in the image of God, so we are all equally created and loved by our ONE Father. After planting a multi-ethnic church in Charlotte, NC back in 2004 he experienced a glimpse of what Heaven will be like one day. In the fall of 2012 the Lord began to release Matt from the church he and Sara founded in Charlotte to call them to plant a new church.
Matt remembers clearly the conversation with Stadia Church Planting on the phone when he shared that God was preparing him to plant another church. He asked them what cities in the South were they targeting that had the most diversity. They said, “Matt, we’ve been praying for over a year now for a seasoned church planter to consider going to Jackson, MS and now you call. We believe this is nothing short of a Divine Appointment.” That phone call began the prayerful journey to Jackson. Stadia provides a dedicated Management Team to give oversight and support to One Church as well as training, coaching, bookkeeping and project management.
In faith and obedience, Matt and Sara relocated on Monday, June 17th, 2013 moving into Legacy Apartments in Ridgeland, MS. Ridgeland and Northeast Jackson are the most ethnically and social-economically diverse suburbs of the entire metro area. Their dream to launch One Church, a new, dynamic, multi-ethnic, difference making church became a reality on Sunday March 23, 2014. One Church exists to love ONE God relentlessly and ALL people equally so that our lives and city will be changed forever!
Besides being a church planter, Matt represents Mosaix Global Network as a city network leader under Pastor Mark DeYmaz of Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas . Pastor Mark professionally and spiritually coaches Matt weekly and is author of many books and articles on multi-ethnic church.