Pastor / World Leader / Author
Matt was born near Seattle and, due to growing up with a father in the military, moved several times before settling in the Houston area. He attended church during his childhood and adolescence but did not truly know and follow Jesus until the age of 17.
God used Matt’s love for football to link his path with another teammate, Jeff Faircloth, placing their lockers directly next to each other. Jeff approached Matt one day after practice and announced that they were going to have a conversation about Jesus, but Matt could choose when the conversation took place.
Matt became intrigued. Over time, God began to break down the walls. Matt researched and studied, trying to find reasons why he didn’t have to believe and didn’t have to submit to Jesus Christ. But in the middle of Matt’s doubts and intellectual barriers, Jesus rescued him and captivated his heart.
Matt went on to serve as the youth pastor of a small church near Houston before attending Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, where he received a bachelor's degree in Bible. While at Hardin-Simmons, Matt became the teacher of an inter-denominational Bible study for college students. He also served on staff at Beltway Park Church. After several years in Abilene, Matt moved to Dallas but continued his itinerant speaking ministry.
Matt’s hope is that we would know and worship the triune God rightly, that both our minds and hearts would be full of and shaped by Him.
In 2002, Matt became the lead teaching pastor of Highland Village First Baptist Church, now known as The Village Church. In 1999, he married his wife, Lauren. They have three children: Audrey, Reid and Norah.
On Thanksgiving 2009, Matt suffered a seizure in his living room. He was rushed to a hospital where an MRI revealed a golf ball-size mass in his right frontal lobe. Once the tumor was removed, he was diagnosed with anaplastic, or malignant, non-encapsulated oligodendroglioma, WHO grade three.
After undergoing 18 months of radiation and chemo, Matt was given a clean bill of health. He continues to receive regular MRI scans to monitor his progress. God has been unbelievably gracious and merciful throughout this story, using it—especially Matt's health updates—to encourage The Village and others around the world.
In 2012, Matt became the president of Acts 29, a network of churches planting churches. He brought a fresh vision to the organization, mapping out four specific hopes for its future—plant churches who plant churches, be known for holiness and humility, become radically diverse and be serious about evangelism and conversion. Matt has authored three books, with a fourth on the way.