The Reverend Matthew Lawrence Watley serves as the Executive Minister of Reid Temple AME Church under the dynamic leadership of Rev. Dr. Lee P. Washington, Senior Pastor. A Holy Spirit-filled, gifted preacher, lecturer and author, he is nationally and globally recognized as an innovative thinker and leader.
In 2006 Rev. Watley took on the additional responsibility of becoming the Managing Minister of Reid Temple’s North Campus, which he founded in a high school in Silver Spring, MD. Currently Rev. Watley preaches at the three morning services at the North Campus as well as the evening service at the Glenn Dale campus. Both locations comprise the largest church in the African Methodist Episcopal denomination with a total membership that exceeds 15,000 congregants.
Rev. Watley led the initiative to design and build two sanctuaries while at Reid Temple. The Glenn Dale Campus accommodates 3,000 worshippers and the North Campus was built to seat 1,100 worshippers. In addition the campuses offer administrative office space, Credit Union, Bookstore, Counseling Center, Recording Studio, and the Reid Temple Christian Academy, which serves grades Pre-K-8 and is accredited both through Middle States and ACSI.
His leadership has included being a member of the General Board of the A.M.E. Church, the Richard Allen Foundation Board of Directors, and the Executive Committee of the World Methodist Council of Churches. He also served as the Chair of the African-American Denominational House Steering Committee at the Chautauqua Institute.
Rev. Watley was invited by the Ford Foundation to participate on a special commission charged with evaluating Non-Governmental Organizations in the Republic of South Africa. He also received distinction as one of the “Top 20 Preachers under 40 to Watch” by The African-American Pulpit, a quarterly journal that serves as a repository for the very best of African-American preaching. In 2009, IMPACT, a professional organization committed to political and civic engagement, honored him as IMPACT Person of the Year.
Rev. Watley is the founder of Power Lunch, a non-denominational noon-time worship service. On Wednesdays, Rev. Watley provides professionals working in the Washington D.C. metro area with dynamic preaching, sound biblical teaching, and a Spirit-filled worship experience at the Reid Temple North Campus. The service is also available through a live stream at http://www.lifestream.tv/powerlunch/.
An accomplished writer, Rev. Watley joined forces with his father, Rev. Dr. William D. Watley to co-author Poems of a Son, Prayers of a Father. He also contributed to other publications, including James Washington’s Conversations with God; Beyond the Frontier by E. Ethelbert Miller and Doing Church by William Watley. Rev. Watley is the author of a new book Ignite — 50 days of prayer that will change your life.
Rev. Watley holds a BA in Political Science and a Masters of Divinity from Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he served on the university’s Board of Trustees as a graduate student. He has an Executive Masters in Leadership from Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business where he also serves as an Adjunct Professor. He is often called on to lecture for corporations, civic groups, professional associations, and universities.
Married to the former Shawna Francis, Senior Policy Advisor with Holland & Knight LLP, they are the proud parents of a beautiful daughter, Alexandra Elizabeth.
Along his journey, Rev. Watley has received numerous ecclesiastical, academic, civic and literary awards. Concerning these and other accomplishments, he submits that the challenge of servant-leadership is not to win acclaim or to amass honor, “but to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God.” Micah 6:8