Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, "It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word." And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them. ~ Acts 6:1-6
Peg and I joined His Place Church about 2003. God has blessed us with such a wonderful staff and family. We are eternally grateful.
Matt, his wife Jenn and their children have been growing and learning in fellowship at HPC
since March of 2013 after returning from overseas missions. They spent three years with the Free
Burma Rangers where Matt served as head of security and was a chaplain to foreign volunteers.
Jenn served on the medical staff and helped with administration. The story of their missions in
Burma and elsewhere is one of adventure and saving grace!
Matt began his adult life in the US Marines as an infantry rifleman. Days before his third
overseas deployment in response to Al Qaeda attacks on our Embassies in E Africa, Matt and his
siblings lost their mother to cancer. Matt angrily turned his back on God. Upon his return from
Kenya and honorable discharge from the Marines, Matt became a firearms instructor and security
professional specializing in ‘close-protection’. He protected a number of high-profile clients up
until 9/11/01. After the terrorist attacks on our country, Matt went back to work for the US
Government. First as a security contractor to the US Dept. of Energy, then on many deployments
to Iraq and Afghanistan protecting other US Government officers. Following Christ was
certainly not in his ‘scope’ at this time!
Matt returned from his fifth deployment to the middle east in 2005. He came back angry and
spent three turbulent months stewing in his rural Idaho home. Matt was “surprised by joy” (as
CS Lewis penned it) when he met Jenn, who lost her first husband and high-school sweetheart in
a tragic accident. Matt’s sister introduced him to Jenn who had fully given her life to Jesus as He
lovingly carried her through the grieving.
Matt wanted nothing to do with the “religious” Christianity he thought he knew. After long
heart-felt conversations with Jenn, it was obvious she had a relationship with Christ Jesus that
was real and personal. After another deployment to Afghanistan, and only days before their
wedding, Jesus revealed himself to Matthew with love, grace and mercy, breaking his heart open
for Christ and to others, literally at the foot of a cross. On that Sunday, Matt nailed his sins to
that cross and gave his life to Christ. Three days later Jenn took his hand in marriage on a
mountain-top in North Idaho. God is so good, and His timing perfect! Since 2015 He has grown
their family through adoption, giving them Gabriel and Liberty. They are both such amazing
gifts! It’s been a journey of deep heart-break and soaring joy... “the price of love” that our God
knows full well!
Matt now works full time as a Deputy with the local Sheriff’s Office where he is the Liaison for
the Patrol Chaplains. He trains and provides missionaries and others with physical and
information security consulting as a business ministry.
Matt, Jenn and their children love this local Church family at HPC! Before returning to the US
they prayed for a close church family in which to build long-term relationships and grow in
Christ. He has answered graciously and wonderfully and we are very thankful!