James Renard Matthews was born July 16, 1963 to the late Rev. Amos Matthews, Jr. and Mrs. Thelma Smith Matthews in Lane, SC, the youngest of seven children. He graduated from C. E. Murray High School, Greeleyville, SC and Columbia Junior College, Columbia, SC. He also attended Gupton-Jones Mortuary School of Science, College Park, GA and Morris College School of Religion, Sumter, SC. Pastor Matthews is a graduate of Mt. Olive College, Mount Olive, NC where he earned a B.A. degree in Church Ministries. He also graduated from Erskine Theological Seminary, Due West, SC and was awarded the Master of Divinity degree. Pastor Matthews earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from APEX School of Theology, Durham, NC.
Pastor Matthews accepted his call into the ministry and was licensed to preach the gospel on July 3, 1994 while a disciple of his home church, St. Asia Baptist Church, Greeleyville, SC. He later became a disciple of Pleasant View Missionary Baptist Church, Sunset Beach, NC and was ordained on June 18, 1995. Pastor Matthews is currently the pastor of Chesterfield Missionary Baptist Church, Longs, SC.
Pastor Matthews’ philosophy is “Humanity should always seek to be great, but not through the channels of pride, popularity or position. The pursuit for greatness must be sought after by becoming a servant of the Master. Jesus Christ says, ‘But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant.’ (Mark 10:43 NIV) The attitude of servitude is perhaps the single most important aspect for a leader of God’s people. When one is committed to Godly service, obstacles, trials and tribulations will come and many times unpopular stands or decisions must be made. But it is when these stands are taken and decisions are made that the greatest come forth shining as pure gold and God is glorified.
MEET THE FAMILY The Matthews family is devoted to spreading God’s love. Pastor Matthews and leading lady, Mrs. Vicki Matthews, thrive to keep the family connected, grounded, and empowered through God’s word.