Dr. Smith was born in Wisconsin. He was unaware of his need for Jesus Christ as personal savior until senior high school. As a sophomore, his history teacher shared The Four Spiritual Laws with him. There, in that teacher's office, Matthew prayed to receive Jesus Christ as Savior and put Christ on the Throne of his life as Lord.
Changes happened to Dr. Smith quickly. Soon his high school Spanish teacher, asked him to help begin a teen Bible study. Soon 40-50 teens met for study weekly. At his teacher's church, Pastor Myron Higby challenged him to consider full-time Christian service. After a trip to the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, Illinois and Trinity College in Deerfield, Illinois, he began to pray over God's will for his life.
God called him to Moody and Trinity. It was at Moody that Matthew surrendered to the call of God for ministry in a chapel service.
Marrying the joy of his eyes, Melodee Joy, the new couple moved to Southern California where he served as a volunteer youth pastor, as a part-time youth pastor and as a missionary pastor where they served for many years. God brought about a life-changing step in Matthew and Melodee's life when the couple accepted the call to East Los Angeles County. This was a time of great growth and development from a leadership standpoint for them. Turning around a dying church in a Hispanic community, the next 11 years allowed them to teach and train countless leaders in the Southwest and Mexico through leadership conferences and consulting opportunities. While there, Matthew earned his Masters of Arts in Ministry in Chicago and his Doctor of Philosophy in Christian Theology in Southern California.
Dr. Smith has since pastored churches in Iowa, Florida and California again. He currently pastors at Pacific Baptist Church in El Segundo, California. These opportunities allowed them to expand God's Kingdom and reach out with mission teams throughout the United States, Mexico and France. He is currently adjunct faculty for Colorado Christian University and Bible Believers Christian College and Seminary. He has also been on the faculty at California Baptist University in the School of Christian Ministries and at California Pacific School of Theology.
Matthew's habit of reading the Bible and prayer has been a source of great strength and understanding when it comes to leadership development. He reads the Bible at least once per year cover to cover. He enjoys an intimate, spiritual walk with God, enjoying hundreds of answers to prayer every quarter, and hundreds of new insights monthly from God’s Word (having read it cover-to-cover some 35 times since 1993). It is his habit to label and file each insight topically for future retrieval for messages. Currently he has some 20,000 plus topical observations from the Bible that are a direct result of God’s intimate work during his devotional time.
He is the author of three books. Two devotionals: In His Image, dedicated to the truth that God created you to love you covering the entire Bible and, In His Presence, which explores the invitation that God welcomes you into His presence with joy and pleasure. This devotional covers every verse in the Psalms. His third book, Growing Missional Leaders, provides Biblical strategies to reach your world for Christ. It is an excellent small group resource. He is also the creator of two devotional tools, The Word in Worship Daily Devotional Journal, combines a Personal Prayer Journal and a Bible Highlights Reading Log to help organize and encourage you to enter into God's presence daily. The Personal Prayer Journal, features eight major sections: Each day we pray for the urgent things in our lives. Then, organizing our prayer needs into a daily log allows us to intercede for things like personal and family needs, friends both inside and outside the church, church leaders, missionaries and political leaders.
Books Dr. Smith has consulted on:
Transformational Church: Creating a New Scorecard for Congregations by Thom Rainer, Ed Stetzer and John Lescault.
The Midrash Key: Pinpointing the Old Testament Texts from Which Jesus Preached by Mr. Edward J Vasicek.
Eagles In Leadership