I grew up in Charleston, SC and was raised by two loving parents. I have one older brother, Jonathan. I have always been close with my grandmother, who everybody affectionately calls Neena. My family taught me what love looks like in a home and what it means to prioritize family. I’ve always relied on them to love me and they have never let me down. We always made sure to vacation as a family, worship together, and celebrate holidays and birthdays together.
I knew I wanted to be a father at a young age. I always loved being around children – helping them learn, making them laugh, and making sure they are safe and feel safe. My mother was an elementary school teacher for many years and I would job-shadow her every chance I got! I also loved church. When I was really little I would spend hours at my little Fisher-Price table drawing angels, churches, and pictures of Jesus. I always felt loved and accepted within church. When exploring what I wanted to be when I “grew up,” I learned that I could make a career out of my love for young people and the church, so I studied Christian Education in undergrad.
After a few years of working within youth ministry in Rock Hill, SC, I went back to school to study nonprofit and government administration at the College of Charleston. After graduating with my Master of Public Administration, I worked for the City of Charleston in planning and economic development. I really liked my job but felt that something was missing. I was missing being a part of a ministry team! I was encouraged by my pastor and church community to explore a seminary education. So, Chris and I moved to Boston where I attended Boston University School of Theology. I loved my seminary education. There I felt more vocationally called to ministry with young people and their families. This time in seminary solidified my calling to ministry.
I love working in the church! I am surrounded by wonderful co-workers and am supported by a community that knows what’s important in life. I’ve been so blessed to be a member and a staff person at Westminster Presbyterian Church. I love that working within youth ministry affords me the opportunities to spend ample time with my family, as well as involve them in many of the church activities.
When I told my youth group that Chris and I were hoping to adopt, the room lit up! So many youth shouted that they wanted to babysit and were so excited that Chris and I were going to be growing our family! We have so many friends who want to be uncles and aunts to our little one and have showered us with support and love! We are so lucky to be a part of a family and community that supports us through this journey and will, without a doubt, love the child that becomes a part of our family.
Matt (according to Chris)
When I met Matt I knew there was something special about him. He had the whole room laughing and enjoying themselves. From our first conversations he was genuinely interested in my opinion and how I felt about anything from music to wanting to know what I aspired to do in life. Matt has always had a huge heart for caring for others and making sure no one is left out. He is always willing to help someone out or stay late with his youth if they are waiting for their parents to pick them up.
In addition to Matt having a huge heart he is also one of the best cooks I know. He can make anything from asian stir fry to chickpea noodle soup. This year we started a tradition of baking Christmas cookies and it was so much fun. We had Christmas music playing while we were singing, and dancing, and baking in the kitchen. Matt can also be quite the handyman. He replaced our garbage disposal all on his own. Yes you read that correctly, he replaced the garbage disposal all on his own. How lucky am I, right?!
I knew Matt was the one when I understood how important family, faith, friends and traveling were to him. Because of his family, faith, friends, and experiences with other cultures, I know Matt will make an outstanding father. He is great at understanding what a child needs and knowing the perfect time to be goofy to keep the crocodile tears at bay. Our nieces and nephews adore him and always ask their parents, ‘When will Uncle Matt be back?”. I can’t wait to see him as a father because he has so many qualities and values that he will pass onto our children. I am one lucky man to have a husband like Matt!