It all started when...

Matt was a prodigal preacher’s kid who ran away from home at 15, ended up in Hollywood at 17 where, among other things, he directed music videos for Latin MTV.  He returned to his home town of Portsmouth, OH in 1991 and after a wasted year of college, he entered politics (which is just Hollywood for ugly people).  Matt worked for 2 Congressional campaigns and spent 2 years working on Capitol Hill as a legislative aide during the “Gingrich Years” of 1995-1997.

It was during this time that Matt was diagnosed with cancer and came to faith in Christ.  After graduating from Shawnee State University in 1998 with a B.A. in History, Matt studied New Testament Greek at  Kentucky Christian University and then the Graduate School of Theology at Abilene Christian University where he earned a Master of Divinity. He will soon begin working on a Ph.D. in historical theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Matt then graduated from Cornell Law School in 2004 while pastoring a small church in Ithaca, New York.  After a few years working in a large corporate law firm in West Virginia while serving as an interim pastor for small churches, Matt became a Teaching Pastor at Christ’s Community Church in 2006.


He then helped launch and lead Revolution, a Gen-X & Gen-Y ministry from 2008 to 2013. He also served as Director of Leadership Development at Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal ministry from 2008-2016. Matt earned a certificate in apologetics from BIOLA University and is a certified Cross Examined Instructor.  He also launched Free Seminary to train lay Christians to become disciple makers. Now, Pastor Matt is a Teaching Pastor at Christ’s Community Church in Portsmouth, OH and a Constitutional Attorney.

When Matt isn’t preaching or teaching, he is hanging out with friends or reading theology, American history books or detective novels, watching old movies or listening to really loud music.  He is married to Megan (Keaton) Rawlings and the proud father of his rockin’, red-headed son Jackson.