Matt HamOP Site Pastor
Matt Ham, OP Pastor
Matt was born and raised in the small farming town of Mullins, SC. Growing up, most of his time was spent playing sports or hunting with his dad and 2 brothers. He grew up in the church but did not understand the gospel of grace and as a result he didn’t love Jesus (or anyone else) half as much as he loved himself. Matt was a very self-righteous person who really hurt his family and friends with his arrogant pride, judgment, and criticism.
After high school, Matt attended The Citadel, where he played football. Upon graduating from The Citadel, Matt took a job working as a graduate assistant strength & conditioning coach at Clemson University. Upon arriving at Clemson, a good friend began to explain to Matt the gospel of grace. Matt says, “Over the course of the next year, everything I thought about God, myself, and life completely changed. For the first time in my life, God’s grace was truly amazing.”
In 2006, Matt married the most amazing woman he had ever met, Stephanie, and they moved to Charlotte to finish his seminary training. Upon arriving in Charlotte, good friends invited them to Hope, where he met Mark Upton and Matt Guzi and began to experience a gospel-centered community like he had never seen before. The authenticity of the people at Hope, especially the leaders, who led out of their weakness and need of grace, was both attractive and scary at the same time.
Over the next two years, Jesus used Hope to help Matt understand the gospel of grace at a deeper and richer level than he ever imagined. He began to understand that he was a far worse sinner than he ever knew, but also that he was more deeply loved than he could have ever dreamed. In May of 2008, Matt graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte with his Masters of Divinity degree and accepted a call to Hope as a pastor. He still wakes up most days thinking that the gospel is too good to be true for a sinner like him.
Matt has been greatly influenced by both Mark Upton and Matt Guzi, as well as men like Will Huss, Roger Edwards, Tim Keller, Paul David Tripp, Michael Horton, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, Pat Conroy, Dabo Swinney, Nick Saban, and Alan Jackson. He and Stephanie have three daughters, Lucy June (2009), Mary Rachel (2011), and Kate Briggs (2014). Most of his time is spent hanging out with his family, working out, watching college football, or reading a good Pat Conroy book.