(TCS class of 2003)
Matt Smith came to Tabernacle when he was just 5 years old, but before graduating in 2003, he was an extremely involved, well-rounded student. Academically, he was a member of the Beta club, but fellow students best knew him for his athletic ability. He was extremely talented in soccer, making several 1st
tournament teams and eventually making 1st
team all-state his senior year. However, basketball was definitely his passion. In high school Matt was the leading player for the Varsity Rams as the team won the conference championship during his10th and 11th
grade years and the regional championship his 9th
grade years. He received several 1st
tournament team awards as well as a 1st
team all-state award his senior year. His basketball skills were also recognized by Piedmont Baptist College where he played basketball all four years and received several awards:
- 1st team all-tournament team his freshman year for Invitational Classic
- 1st team all-tournament team his junior year for Invitational Classic
- 2nd team all-region his senior year
- MVP of tournament his senior year for Invitational Classic
While he was extremely gifted athletically, his athletic skills were dwarfed by his devotion to Christ. During his senior year, Matt came under great conviction during a chapel message and during the invitation asked Brother Tony to show him from Godís Word how to be saved. He asked Jesus Christ to be his personal Savior, and his entire life was transformed. Upon graduating from Tabernacle, Matt received the Christian leadership award.
As a freshman at Piedmont Baptist College, Matt began to sense and answered the call of God upon his life for full-time Christian service. Later at college he felt the definitive call to preach the Word of God and entered into Piedmontís Pastoral Studies Program. Although Matt was extremely nervous about standing in front of people to speak, he promised God that if the Lord would open doors, he would follow Him all the way. As a result, Matt received and accepted many invitations to preach while still in college.
In 2007, Matt graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies. He immediately began pursuing his Master of Arts in Biblical Studies, which he received in 2009. He is currently completing another Master of Arts in Christian Leadership from Liberty Theological Seminary. Matt has been accepted at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, to begin pursuing his Doctor of Ministry degree, a degree he will commence in 2013.
Matt entered full-time ministry in the fall of 2007 as youth pastor at Forbush Baptist Church in Yadkinville, NC. On July 1, 2008, he accepted a position from Gospel Baptist Church in Greensboro, NC, where he currently serves as an associate pastor. At Gospel Baptist he oversees all middle and high school ministry operations, teaches college and career Sunday school classes, oversees all outreach, and is able to preach to the entire church on Sunday nights. Matt comments, ďI truly feel just like the apostle Paul when he wrote 1 Timothy 1:12, ĎAnd I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.íĒ This verse in 1 Timothy also serves as Matt's life verse.
His tenure at Gospel has been exciting; he enjoys being part of a team that has been blessed to see the youth department nearly double in size and to see the Lord increase Sunday morning attendance from 316 to nearly 480.
Matt was blessed on August 16, 2008, to marry the girl of his dreams, Miss Alison Decker (Pastor Leonardís granddaughter). Their son, Isaac, was born in September of 2011.
Reflecting upon the impact that Tabernacle had upon his life Matt states, ďThe TCS staff helped influence me to make God-honoring decisions with my life. I saw a consistent commitment to the important things in life by the staff. They were more worried more about the eternal than the earthly, and that made a concrete impression, which has prepared me for my life in the ministry. Certain traits I gleaned from the men on staff have stuck with me. Pastor Leonard was committed to doing everything with excellence; he believed everything should be done right no matter what. Tony was committed to preaching Godís Word every day in chapel; he believed in the Bibleís power to change our lives. Scott was committed to doing everything with enthusiasm; he was truly excited about serving God no matter what he was doing. Stephen was committed to building strong relationships. I remember spending a lot of time working and serving with him, which provided a great, godly role model for me.
May the Lord bless Matt as he continues to serve and grow in the Lord. TCS is proud to recognize him as one of our own.