Greetings! I am Matthew Houston Lovett. I was born and raised in Statesboro, Georgia in the United States of America. I am 35 years old, and I am happily married and have six wonderful boys. Since I can remember, I have always known there was some type of special calling on my life. Because of the many things I have experienced in my life, I know that Christ lives!
I came to know the Lord at a young age. I don’t remember the exact age but what I do remember is how early I realized that God lived and that He had me protected. I was born and raised in the Catholic Church. I was baptized in the Catholic Church, attended Sunday school, had my First Holy Communion, went through confirmation and I was also an altar server for many years. I knew that God had called me to do something special. In church, many people would tell me that I was going to be a great priest and that I would be a blessing to many people.
I came to know the Lord more through a very dark time in my life. I was eighteen years old, fresh out of high school and determined to make something of myself. Unfortunately, things changed. I met a young lady and we dated for some time. It was that relationship that changed my life. I will not divulge into many details. However, I will say that God protected me from the adversary’s plans to destroy me. It was then I learned not to trust men but to put all of my trust and faith in the Lord. I knew then that God was preparing me for something to do. Not only was that relationship my development stage, my childhood was as well.
I grew up in a large family with only the support of my late great-grandmother, grandmother and mother for support. I am the oldest of eleven siblings, and God has blessed each and every one of us despite our circumstances growing up. We were poor, we were talked about, picked on, bullied and many other things that would cause a child to feel less confident. Yet we all used those situations to our benefit and became role models to our children and our community. Not only did I experience the hate and meanness from people as an adult during that most trying time in my life I had also experienced it as a child but I know that Christ was allowing me to go through it so that I could grow and have some testament to go with my faith.
My dream for ministry is to be anointed so that I am able to learn all there is to know about our wonderful God, teach it and help those who seek to know more and do better so their lives will be lived that would be pleasing to God. Not only that, but to also glorify Christ in teaching and preaching His word to the lost and saved as well. I know what Christ has done for me and my family, and I know that He lives because it is evident each day I am allowed to live. I know He lives; when I become weak in the flesh and fall, He still has mercy on me. Even when I think that I can’t do something, He reassures me that He is greater than my thoughts, and He always proves me wrong. God has provided and continues to provide for my family. I am a business owner, I have 3 college degrees, and I am blessed with many a talents, I am the Associate Pastor of my Church where I have been for 3 years. I have a brother who plays in the NFL for Kansas City Chiefs who is well-known throughout the U.S. and that is just some of the things I can share about my family to show that in spite of our circumstances and what we viewed to be bad, God turned it around. I do believe that He has blessed us and we are the answered prayers of our praying ancestors.
I am called Minister, and some call me Reverend throughout my community and Church. I also have the pleasure of being called Pastor in some cases, but I do not rely on titles to define who I am in ministry. However, if I had a choice, I would prefer Reverend. Since I have already covered the reason I know I was called to minister, I will elaborate just a little on the key experience in my life that prompted me to pursue ministry. In the Catholic Church, I knew that to minister you had to live a life of celibacy, and you could not have children. I had the desire to be married and have children, so I prayed and asked God to lead me. The spirit led me to ask my great grandmother questions regarding our family history, and I learned that many of my ancestors back to the days of slavery were preachers. I knew then my calling was real because the men before me were nothing but preachers and carpenters. I then prayed more for direction and the spirit led me to leave the Catholic Church at 23, and I then converted to the Baptist faith which was our family roots and I became a worker for the Lord. My Church supports my calling by accepting me as their associate pastor, giving me opportunities to teach and preach and pray with them and for them and by licensing me to preach. My family supports my ministry in the same aspects, and they were my biggest influence by pushing me always to do more and learn more so that I could teach them.
In my geographical area, there are many challenges that seem unique. One of these challenges is the fact that there are so many churches, and it seems that we are all segregated from being the same body of believers. Some pastors seem that they own and “run” their churches, and it limits the opportunities for those seeking to learn more and become more active in their ministries the chance to teach and preach.
A scholarship at CLI is crucial to me. I have desired a decent education in ministry but could not afford it on my own. After I found CLI and read through many of the resources, I found that CLI was an answered prayer. Many people have the desire to attend some type of seminary for training but can’t afford the cost. I thank God for the opportunity to get this great training and education without the hassle of going in debt to learn and be trained through the Word of God. This training and education will allow me to be more effective in my ministry and allow me to show that I have been trained and educated in a respected manner and not get a degree from a simple diploma mill.
In closing, I would encourage all who have read this to continue praying for me, my family and my ministry. Pray that God will continue opening doors that will give me a chance to exercise and develop my gift. Also, pray that I will continue to do what is pleasing in the sight of God for the sake of my witness and the ability to teach and preach in an effective manner that would benefit those who hear. Additionally, pray that God will anoint me with gifts in ministry and bless me to do His work through his strength. God Bless You all!