My name is Matt Black. I have been a part of the leadership of Smoky Row Brethren Church since 2008, but my involvement with the denomination goes much further back. In fact, I was born into it. My grandfather, Jim R Black was a pastor in the denomination for many years. And my dad, Jim F. Black is still currently preaching in the denomination at Milledgeville Brethren Church in the state of Illinois. So this denomination has been my life.
Being raised as a pastor’s kid sent me on a journey that may seem somewhat familiar to many of the same cloth. I was seen as the “perfect kid” by many adults. I had my rebellious moments and struggles, but for the most part I did the right thing. Then I went to college at Ashland University and had to find my own path. I loved sports and always have. In fact I have my own baseball blog here: http://giftofgod80.mlblogs.com I didn’t want to really be a pastor so I went into a communication and sports broadcasting degree.
Yet, God has some funny plans sometimes. Through a great friend and roommate in college, Jason Barnhart, I was drawn back into ministry. I went to Ashland Theological Seminary, got my M-Div degree, and thought this is what God wants me to do.
Over the years since coming here to Smoky Row I have learned that ministry is so much more than just being a pastor. It took me awhile to see that, but I am thrilled with where God has placed me. I am involved in so many different roles at Smoky Row and I love it.
I currently work at United Collection Bureau in Upper Arlington. I have met so many people in all walks of life and it has been such a blessing! I love people. That is it. That is the basics of who God has made me to be. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
Outside of my love for being around people, I love coffee, a good book, and sports.