Pastor Matt’s Biography
I was born and raised in Youngstown Ohio and moved to California in 1985. I was raised in a blue collar working class family by parents with a strong work ethic and moral integrity. Our family attended a Polish National Catholic Church that was co-founded by my mom’s father, a polish immigrant. Our family moved to the outskirts (Country) of Youngstown Ohio when I was 6 years old, to escape the hustle of city living. I was first introduced to Christianity at a vacation bible school at one of the local Assemblies of God Churches. I remember the last night of the VBS, an evangelist gave an alter call and I couldn’t help but go forward to accept Jesus as my savior.
As I grew up I always had a love for the things of God but I never came face to face with having my own knowledge of what it meant to be saved. I viewed forgiveness as something that was earned not just received. I struggled with just being able to accept what I now know as God’s grace, that undeserved, unearned acceptance and forgiveness. I was basically cruising through life without any real satisfaction, looking for something to fill that spot that only a relationship with Jesus can fulfill. The whole time the Holy Spirit was protecting me and carrying me to that day when Jesus would become real in my life.
I had become and was doing all the things that I was never raised to do. I was caught in the trap of trying to do everything I could to be happy, run my own life and do whatever pleased my flesh.
On January 5th, 1989 at 7:15pm everything changed in a flash. I finally had enough with chasing after the wind. I was completely done with life and all it had to offer so far. I wanted out and figured that the only way for that to happen was to end my life; our savior had other plans, thankfully.
Jesus intervened in my circumstances and instead of losing my life, He graciously exchanged the ashes of my life for a new life that I can now live through Him.
It was not long after I accepted the free gift of salvation and Jesus coming into my life that I began praying for His direction and what was my part in serving the body of Christ. I don’t recall the exact time line but it wasn’t long thereafter that I was being asked to lead bible studies and teach at mid-week services. It became evident that the Lord called me to be a Pastor/Teacher, even though I didn’t quite see it that way. I couldn’t get past the fact that our Heavenly Father knew everything about me and would still entrust me with the teaching and preaching of his word.