Why orange?

In 1843, a pastor named Orange Scott led a small and courageous group of preachers in speaking out against slavery. Because of this stand, these abolitionists were forced out of their churches and formed what is now The Wesleyan Church. We are proud to find our roots and history in that movement.

But this is more than our history.

Shockingly, slavery is still alive. In fact, there are more slaves in the world today than any other time in history. 27 million people are victims of human trafficking, slave labor and sexual exploitation. Half of those victims are under 18 years old.

The Trans-Atlantic trade route has been exchanged by our interstate highways. The plantation replaced by sweat shop and brothel. The auction block now conveniently located on our laptops.

There is no question, when it comes to this evil epidemic, history is repeating itself. What remains in question is whether history will repeat itself when it comes to the Christian response.

This is why we are joining the global and local fight against modern day slavery. (Oh, and by the way, the international color of the anti-slavery movement “just happens” to be Orange.)

Are you in? We are starting small, igniting awareness and sparking action. Here’s how you can help…

We do not claim to have the solutions or strategy to stop slavery in a few simple steps. We are just trying to do something. Our goal is to proclaim the truth of this tragedy to the smartest, most passionate, most creative people we know (that would be you, by the way) and see what happens.

The problem is huge. And we are small. But as my good friend JD Walt likes to say, “It’s not our job to start a movement. It’s our job to move.”


Love Chapel Hill recently celebrated our one year anniversary of meeting for worship in The Varsity Theatre.

Thanks to all of our friends who believed in this while it was still an idea, a wild hope, a dream.

The beauty of this dream is that it never belonged to one person. It was a gift given to us, and shared with us.

Check out this little visual roadmap of the past year.

Jesus didn’t die for good people.

He died for sinners and runaways
For traitors and rebels
For the lost and the last like you and me.

We deal with our enemies by taking them out. He deals with His enemies by taking them in.

Seven years ago today, I married Sarah.

Hands down, best thing I’ve ever done. I think guys are built with an innate ambition to make something of themselves, to seize the great opportunities, to create something or become someone that matters.

I have come to the conclusion that the great opportunity of my life is to love this one woman. To honor, cherish, protect, provide. To believe and inspire belief. Nothing else I do in my life will ever be more important and lasting and significant than this.

As many of you know, Sarah’s mom, Mary Ann Presher, passed away after a yearlong struggle with brain cancer. We are heart broken, and yet grateful for the grace and mercy of God as we try to walk through this together. The hope of the Resurrection is real, and we are holding on to it.

Mary Ann was an incredible woman that loved Jesus with everything that she was. And His light danced in every corner of her well-lived life. It was His joy that fueled her playful sense of humor, and hid behind her contagious smile. And out of the heart of her Father, she was the best mom in the world.

Mary Ann was deeply loved, maybe because she loved so deeply. She made you believe you were loved and worth loving.

We wrestle with the unanswered questions of unanswered prayers. Still, we are strengthened by her own words: “God is faithful. God is in control.”

We want to thank you for standing beside us through this. We are moved by your support and comforted by your prayers. The care package of cards from the Love Chapel Hill family was a beautiful gift, arriving right on time. Your genuine friendship and kindness has been the borrowed strength we need.

We’ve dreamed for a long time about the kind of church this would be. A place where hurting people find healing. A place where broken hearts are held together by friendship. Thank you for being that for us.

Much love.

Matt & Sarah

Love is the Great Reversal.

This has been our mantra since the earliest days of Love Chapel Hill. Last summer we put together this video to spell out what we mean by that.

Credits: Much love to JD Walt for the inspiration and executive producer/director of Love-gistics Justin Simmons.

This week the song ‘Wagon Wheel’ by bluegrass band Old Crow Medicine Show has been in heavy rotation. I highly recommend it for your spring/summer soundtrack. Best enjoyed when the sun is out and the windows are down.

Bonus points to OCMS for the references to North Carolina as “North Caroline” and for paying poetic homage to the pines and dogwoods. Reminds me to appreciate my home.

Hat tip to Dustin Vail and his backyard firepit for reintroducing me to this one.

Lent changes the way we keep score.

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