September 13, 2023 at 6:00 a.m.
Faith Baptist Church in Sauk Centre is welcoming their new pastor, the Rev. Jared Matthew, as the new leader of their church, and the Pennsylvania native is glad to not be leading the church on his own. As he and his family settle into the community, Matthew is ready to make Faith Baptist Church more visible while bringing Biblical counseling to those who are struggling.
Born and raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Matthew was first interested in becoming a missionary when he was 8 years old.
“I wanted to go to other countries and tell people about the Gospel,” Matthew said. “Our church had a missions conference, and they used to do a junior’s conference for kids, and a tiny, single missionary lady came and talked to us about giving our lives to the Lord for service, and I just felt God pulling on my heart.”
Matthew met his wife, Emily, in Pennsylvania through church functions. They married in July 2010, right before Matthew entered Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Plymouth, Minnesota.
“When we were dating, I made it clear I was going into seminary and was going to be a pastor – a missionary at that time – and I was going to be following God’s call with my life,” Matthew said. “She was OK with that, and so we got married, went on our honeymoon and moved to Minnesota two days later. That was a big jump for us, but it worked out and God used it in our lives.”
Today, Matthew and Emily have four sons: Aiden, 11, twins Jeremiah and Josiah, 6, and Zachary, 5.
When Matthew entered CBTS, he saw how pastoral ministry was modeled and considered it a good fit for him. While receiving his masters of divinity degree, he served as an assistant youth pastor for a couple of years in Eden Prairie.
After receiving his degree in 2016, Matthew was accepted by the First Baptist Church in Faribault. He lived there seven years, five as lead pastor of the church, and he worked for two years as the director of communications for CBTS, helping with online resources and outreach to students. He also created The Central Seminary Podcast.
Pastoring in Faribault helped Matthew get used to writing regular sermons and being in the pulpit every Sunday.
“One of my Bible college professors used to tell us, ‘Sundays come with awesome regularity,’ and I learned firsthand that, whether you’re ready or not, you have to have a sermon,” Matthew said. “I cut my teeth on building a sermon structure and being with and trying to minister to people. You take all the head knowledge you get in seminary, and now you have to put it into practice. … Some of the things you learn in seminary, you say, ‘Yeah, they were right,’ and some of the things, you say, ‘That’s not going to work here.’”
Matthew knew the previous pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Sauk Centre, the Rev. Joe DiVietro, as well as a lot about the church. He also liked Sauk Centre and the lakes in its area, as he and his sons enjoy fishing and other outdoor activities. So, when the lead pastor position opened, Matthew was eager to learn more.
“I liked where things were headed and liked some of the things (DiVietro) had put in place,” Matthew said. “(I liked) the small-town feel, not being super-tiny … not to the point of where you stop by every neighbor’s house on the way to the store.”
Matthew and his family moved into Sauk Centre in July, and he has had a good pastoral experience so far.
“It’s been different in some ways from previous ministries, in good ways,” Matthew said. “I like how things are set up at the church; it’s not all reliant on me, and there are other people who can step up, get involved and show leadership. It is a smaller town, so you see people more in random places.”
One of Matthew’s passions is Biblical counseling, using the Bible to help people when they are going through hard times, and he is planning to bring that free resource to Sauk Centre. As he continues to get settled in, he is also looking forward to determining his upcoming sermon series and planning where the church goes in the upcoming year.
“(I’m) just trying to help our church be an active and visible part of the community, ministering to the families who are here,” Matthew said.