About Dr. Victor Matthews

In 1945, with a diploma in Bible from Simpson Bible Institute, Victor Matthews resigned his Seattle pastorate of 2 1/2 years and moved his wife and son across the country to continue his education at the Grand Rapids Baptist Bible Institute where he remained in various roles for 45 years. He was Pastor at East Paris Baptist Church (now Kentwood Baptist) between 1946 and 1950 and then Oakfield Baptist Church between 1950 and 1951. After graduation in 1949, he became a part-time instructor at the Institute and in 1951, moved to full-time status. While teaching full-time, he earned an A.B from Calvin College and a Th.M from Calvin Seminary. In the mid-1960's he took a year's leave of absence to complete the residency requirements for the S.T.D. degree from Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary. Dr. Matthews taught courses in apologetics, biblical studies and theology while personally mentoring numerous future pastors and church leaders and is perhaps best remembered for his exceptional ability to teach students to think critically and develop a Christian worldview. Students also remember him for his copious notes, extensive outlines and his "just one sentence more..." Dr. Matthews was not only a quintessential teacher, he was also a gifted pastor and counselor. For many years, Sundays found him preaching in a Baptist church somewhere in Michigan. He not only held a number of interim pastorates, he also spoke regularly at conferences, seminars and study groups. In the late 1960's Dr. Matthews had a new vision for ministry and began by bringing six to eight people to the campus for a weekly Bible study. After a year, the group was opened to the general public--and so began the Thursday Evening Bible Class. Attendance increased rapidly and before long grew to an average of 250 people. Dr. Matthews taught the class until his retirement in 1989. The Thursday Evening Bible Class continues today as a free gift of the Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. In addition to the TEBC, Dr. Matthews taught a Men's Wednesday noon Bible class at a local mall for over 12 years and a Women's Monday Bible class that met for over a decade. Anyone who attended one of Dr. Matthews' classes or Bible studies is familiar with his "study guides" or handouts, which provided a detailed outline of the material and the corresponding scripture verses and references. Many attendees and students have kept copies of the study guides and many have used them as a basis for their own teaching. Included on this website are over 400 of these study guides on a wide variety of topics. Dr. Matthews wrote numerous church and ministry publications including Confessions to a Counselor, Growth in Grace and Personal Success: The Promise of God (which is included on this website). He was also recognized as a leading expert on spiritual warfare due to his seminars and writings including his famous "Warfare Prayer" (also on this website). Dr. Matthews' contribution goes far beyond what he has done in the classroom: it reaches to those who have been taught by his students, to those for whom he has spent hours counseling (and praying for) and to those whose lives have been changed because of his devotion to the Lord Jesus, his study of the Word of God and the personal example of his life.