Bio: Born and raised in Portsmouth, VA, I eventually landed in upstate SC because when God calls I move. I gave my life to Christ in 1987 and surrendered to the call to ministry in 1997. I am a three-time graduate from Liberty University and Theological Seminary: BS in Religion (2003), the MA in Religion (Leadership concentration – 2006), and the Master of Divinity (Pastoral Ministries – 2013). I have served as a worship leader and senior pastor in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia since 1996, and now serve as a Lead Pastor and Mental Health Coach. After experiencing a divorce, God graciously gave me my wife, Jennifer, whom I married in September 2015. Between the two of us, we have 8 children. Jennifer and I both love people and long to see them enter into a relationship with Christ and walk in the power of His Spirit. I pray that these thoughts I share will challenge and inspire you to greater heights and deeper depths for the glory of Christ.

As of October 8, 2018, this site is called “Honest Thoughts from a Pastor”. Pastors are often forced to sugarcoat the truth and water down things to spare the feelings of others. When I was going to counseling through my divorce, authenticity was encouraged. You have been warned. I might be more real than you want to handle. Ultimately, I want to help people in their Christian walk. I want to encourage pastors. I want to minister healing to the wounded. If I can help you beyond this blog or you want to know more about me, you can go to any of the following:

matthewwinters1980@gmail.com (email)




@matthewwinters6 (Twitter)


66 thoughts on “About

  1. Matthew, greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for stopping by to read and follow Hope For Today. I look forward to reading your blog as well.

    Congratulations on your and Jennifer’s little bundle of joy! May God continue to bless you immensely as you both continue to follow the lead of Holy Spirit for your lives.

  2. Hello Matthew, I was wondering if it would be okay with you if I posted your sermon, How will people remember you, on my blog themomfred. Thanks Belinda

    1. Belinda, I am blessed by the fact that God is using this message and have no problem at all with you posting it on your blog. I’m so thankful for the redemptive and restorative power of the Lord Jesus and want all to know that they can find that through repentance.

  3. Thanks for the follow! I also enjoy following and reading blogs by other like minded believers.
    My dad retired from the USAF, Langley AFB when I was 12. I lived there until I went to college at ODU. I was saved but not following the Lord’s guidance!
    The only times I was in Portsmouth was when my dad was hospitalized in Portsmouth Naval Hospital or visited a few friend who lived there.
    Good for you attending Liberty. Anyway, I consider Virginia home since all my major milestones occurred there and that’s where my grandsons and their parents live-now we visit often.

  4. Matthew, I love the look and feel of your blog. It’s professional and appealing. Thank you for your faithfulness in the service of Christ. I look forward to reading your posts. Cheers!

  5. I am always interested, and greatly pleased, at seeing young couples who are serving the Lord. I encourage you both to continue your ministry and announce the Word of God in all of the lands.

    May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless and keep you and yours always.

    Yours in Christ;

  6. Praise the Lord, my dear brother! Thank you for finding my blog and following. I love how believers use the internet to reach the world for Christ. Great blog! 😀

  7. I am enjoying your thoughts and heart. I, too, am a divorced pastor. In 2013 God sent me His grace in the form of Debbie, whom I married in 2004. God is so good to us broken people and He reaches out to make us whole again. Blessings on you and your family!

  8. Honesty is the way of a believer to choose from. And i am thankful to God that for your steady and firm believe the word of God. Champions are going through tough times. We look at to Jesus He was our hero , He never had an easy time. From encouragement till weeping for His friend shows , we need that too to be perfect in God’s love. Do the race and and always keep your eyes above as you always do. In Jesus’Name

    * thanks for visiting , Hope was a great inspiration for you, also for those are serving in the Lord i encourage read my book and be inspired again to not sinking but raising for loving others. Find it in my blog.

    May this good word of love and mercy bound you in his arm and bring more people to Him.

    Dariush Youkhaneh
    -Author of Serving The Living God

  9. Thank you again Matthew for joining up with Freedomborn it is appreciated, I’m sorry to hear that your first wife left you, it’s hard when we are Married to unbelievers who walk away, of course we are no longer bound to that Marriage but it does leave scars but than Thankfully Jesus does heal and fade them.

    Many blessings to you and those you Love, hoping that the Beauty and the Joy of Christmas filled your heart with Love that will overflow all year.

    Christian Love and Blessings – Anne.

  10. I was reading through the about page here and I noticed one quote that I liked very much! “It is not God’s plan for anyone to live in their setback because every setback is a setup for a comeback.” Such a true statement! We have to realize that we are only a failure when we stop trying. I look forward to reading through your blogs over the next few weeks!

  11. I like your About page, Matthew (Comeback Pastor)! Praise the Lord for His testimony in your life, and for your testimony in His life! Praying for you and Jennifer, and for Overcomers Church. God loves you!

  12. Hi Matt,

    Thanks for following my blog. I checked out some of your posts too. I am curious if we might have known each other from Portsmouth. I grew up there as well. If not, what a small world. Chances are that we know some of the same people. I lived mostly in Churchland. Peace to you and I wish you continued blessings on your ministry and family.


    1. I lived in Portsmouth from 1980-1998. My dad still lives there. I was born in Portsmouth General Hospital which no longer exists and graduated from Portsmouth Christian School in 1998. I grew up in the Simonsdale community near the City Park. We might have some of the same connections. It’s great connecting with you. I look forward to future conversation.

      1. I left P-Town in late ’94. I know the area you lived in. I used to go to that park frequently enough because my mom had a business on Airline. Good to be connected with you.

  13. Oh Wow, Oh Wow–what a great testimony, and what a lovely couple you two are! It’s a shame many churches still forget God’s “grace” when it comes to divorce (I suspect they’ll have to answer for that one day)…but HE always makes a way for those He’s chosen to serve Him. I love the name OVERCOMER, because that’s what I am In Christ. Wonderful to meet you through the blogs, Brother and Sister–may HE bless you most abundantly!

  14. A setback is a setup for a comeback, God bless you Pastor!
    Have been encourage once more, I believe that God called me back to church because HE is about to do something great. I am so excited!

  15. Divorce can happen to anyone. I never thought it would happen to me, especially after 20 years of marriage, but it did. But God had a plan – better than I could have imagined. Thank you for the work you do and also for following my blog. I look forward to reading more!

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