President’s Biography: Dr. Mary J. Matthews

Dr. Mary J. Matthews

Dr. Mary J. Matthews is a lifelong member of the Norrington AME Zion Church, the Raleigh District, and Central North Carolina Annual Conference in the Eastern North Carolina Episcopal District.She is the mother of one daughter, Demetria UpChurch and grandmother of two Jaylen and Diamond. She is employed with the State of North Carolina at the Department of Commerce, Division of Workforce Solutions in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Her ministry in working with the Lay Council started in the late 1970’s when she was elected secretary of the local Church Lay Council. In the local church, she presently serves as lay council treasurer, preacher steward, and Church finance officer. She came-up through the ranks of the Connectional Lay Council having served as an officer on every level since being elected to serve in the local church. She has served as president of the district lay council and currently serves as Director of the Varick Christian Endeavor Society.In the conference lay council she has served as president, first vice president, treasurer, financial secretary and assistance secretary. She served as recording secretary for the Eastern North Carolina Regional Lay Council for 24 consecutive years, where she not only recorded the minutes, but presented Lay Academies throughout the region.

Mrs. Lula K. Howard appointed her to serve as assistant secretary of the Connectional Lay Council in 1997. In August 2001 in Akron, Ohio,she was elected recording secretary of the Connectional Lay Council; and re-elected to serve a second term, July 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. In August 2009, Dr. Yvonne Tracey appointed her to serve in a duel role on the Connectional Lay Council Executive Board in the positions of Convocation chairperson and Life Members chairperson.On July 31, 2013 in Montgomery, Alabama, Mary was elected tenth president of the Connectional Lay Council of the AME Zion Church. She has actively served as a member of the Connectional Lay Council Executive Board since 1997.

She remains deliberate in the mission and ministry of the Connectional Lay Council having travel to 10 of the 12 Episcopal Districts in the AME Zion Church during her tenure as president; including traveling abroad to Acura, Ghana Western West Africa; Zimbabwe and South Africa Annual Conferences; and to the Nassau Bahamas Annual Conference.

She served as alternate delegate to the 1992, 1996, and 2000 General conferences; and elected to serve as delegate to the 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 General conferences. President Matthews is a life member of the Connectional Lay Council, Women’s Home and Overseas Missionary Society, and the International Ministers and Lay Association.

She loves God and her Church and is willing to work wherever, praying she can make a difference. Her favorite scripture is Philippians 3:14, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Favorite Hymn: “I Have Found A Friend in Jesus.”