Asbury Seminary welcomes Rev. J. Matthew Barnes, Ph.D., as the new Director of Community Formation. Dr. Barnes comes to this position with experience as a pastor, missionary, and academic in a variety of contexts. He has a heart for mobilizing others to serve Jesus in today’s world and will be joining the team effective September 6.

“I am delighted to have Matt join our team and appreciate the gifts, talents, and expertise that he brings to our community,” Rev. Donna Covington, Vice President of Formation, said. “His compassion for others, pastoral ministry experience, gifts of preaching and teaching, as well as his vision for the future of the Church will be a wonderful asset to further the formation of our community.”

Prior to coming to Asbury Seminary, Dr. Barnes served the Church for more than two decades. Most recently, he served as senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Alhambra, Calif. Dr. Barnes holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Hardin-Simmons University, an M.Div. from George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University, and a Ph.D. in New Testament from Fuller Theological Seminary.

Dr. Barnes has been married to his wife, Alida, for twenty years and together they are the proud parents of three boys: Myron, Smith, and Toby. He is passionate about preaching, leading, training volunteers, engaging in staff and leader development, and providing pastoral care and counseling.