Marcus Matthews is originally from Florence, South Carolina, where his home church, Cumberland UMC, was a pivotal influence in his life. He graduated from South Carolina State College, and later was employed by Cumberland UMC as a community developer in the first wave of the Black Community Developers program of the General Board of Global Ministries. He was later selected by the Ford Foundation’s Leadership Development Program to conduct a year-long study of religious institutions such as the Delta Project in Mississippi, The UMC General Commission on Religion and Race, and a project with juveniles in Syracuse, NY.
Matthews then enrolled at Wesley Theological Seminary and served as a student intern at Douglas Memorial UMC for a year. He became an assistant pastor at Asbury UMC in Washington, DC, where he continued as associate for two years after his graduation from Wesley. Upon graduation, he served as pastor of Jones Memorial UMC in Washington, DC, where he oversaw the building of a new sanctuary and established a community development program. He earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from New York Theological Seminary. He was pastor of Epworth Chapel UMC in Baltimore, from 1982 to 1986, when, during his pastorate, Epworth received 272 new members.
In 1986, he became district superintendent of the Baltimore East District and in 1991 was named Conference Council Director, a position he held until being named Washington West District superintendent in 1999.
The Rev. Dr. Marcus Matthews was elected bishop on July 14, 2004, by the Northeastern Jurisdiction on the first ballot and was assigned to serve the Philadelphia Episcopal Area. In 2008, he was assigned to the New York West Area, where he successfully united four annual conferences into one.
Currently, Bishop Matthews is President of the Northeast Jurisdiction College of Bishops, Chair of the Northeast Jurisdiction Vision Table, Vice Chair, Board of Trustees, Africa University, Chair of Africa University Development Committee, Member of Executive Committee, Board of Trustees for American University, and Chair of Leadership team, Council of Bishops, The United Methodist Church.
During his ministry, Bishop Matthews served on the General Commission on Religion and Race, the General Board of Global Ministries, Connection Process Team, the General Council on Ministries, Africa University Development Committee, World Methodist Council Executive Committee, and the Northeastern Jurisdiction Multi-Ethnic Center for Ministry Board. In 2004 he was elected Co-Chair of the Endorsing Committee of The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the UMC. In 2008 he was elected President of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. He was elected in 2005 to the Board of Directors of Africa University.
Bishop Matthews is married to Barbara Walker Matthews and they have two children, Jaime S. Matthews and Marci Michael, and five grandchildren.
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- An Advent Message
- Video - Bishop Marcus Matthews’ 2013 Easter Message
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