HOUSTON (ABP) — After a three-year search, First Baptist Church of Houston, one of the largest congregations in the country, elected a 33-year-old college minister as pastor.
Gregg Matte, who leads a ministry to students at Texas A&M University, was elected by the 22,000-member church Easter Sunday, April 11, to succeed John Bisagno, who retired in 1999 after 30 years as pastor. Matte (pronounced Mott) begins his duties in August.
The search committee looked at 265 nominations, according to chair Roger Bridgewater. Matte, a Houston native, was a frequent guest preacher during the three-year search.
As a sophomore at Texas A&M, Matte and four roommates began a weekly Bible study in their off-campus apartment. Fourteen years later, the study has turned into a weekly Tuesday night worship service that draws 4,000 students.
Although he has never been a pastor, Matte said he does not see that as a problem. “I have always had a pastoral heart,” he said. Matte earned a master's degree in Christian education at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary's extension campus in Houston.