REVEREND MATTHEW L. WATLEY
EXECUTIVE MINISTER, REID TEMPLE A.M.E. CHURCH
MANAGING MINISTER, REID TEMPLE A.M.E., NORTH CAMPUS
Rev. 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 who constantly explores new ways to reach the unsaved and affect God’s Great Commission by using spiritual, political and economic empowerment techniques. Currently pursuing his Doctorate in Executive Leadership from George Washington University, Rev. Watley has proven he has the strategic vision necessary to guide the organization through continual change.
In 2006, Reid Temple opened a second worship center in a school and became “One Church in Two Locations”. Rev. Watley took on additional responsibility as managing minister of this location and each Sunday preaches the morning services at Reid Temple’s North campus as well as an evening service at the Glenn Dale campus. Both locations comprise the largest A.M.E. church in the Second Episcopal District 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 was built to accommodate 3,000 worshippers and the North Campus designed 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 other A.M.E. church involvement 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.
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 recently 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 held at an area urban movie theater in Washington, D.C., where he uses biblical principles to teach effective leadership. Power Lunch is also held in Suitland, MD, Columbia, SC and Columbus, Ohio.
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 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 also has an Executive Masters in Leadership from Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business, and is currently pursuing an Executive Doctorate in Leadership from The George Washington University.
Married to the former Shawna Francis, Senior Policy Advisor with Holland & Knight LLP, they are the proud parents of a beautiful daughter, Alexandra Elisabeth.
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