For Bishop RJ Matthews, God has never worked in mysterious ways. There was no crisis of faith nor any confusion on what God was calling him to do in his life’s journey; his predestined path was always crystal clear.
“I remember driving with my mom when I was young and looking out the window. I turned to her and I told her that one day the world wants me to build a church out there,” Matthews said.
Just like the men of faith before him, Matthews felt called to build a sanctuary for the people of his fellowship. The young man of faith worked tirelessly in his devotion to God throughout life until finally in 2011, the opportunity to make his vision tangible presented itself.
Kingdom Vision — originally located on Highway 69 — purchased land at 2467 S. Frontage Road in 2011 under the guidance of Matthews, who serves as the church’s senior pastor. This was the same plot of land Matthews told his mother he would build a church on years prior.
On Oct. 31, the sale was officially complete and in the spring of 2014 construction crews first broke ground.
“I think this investment is a reward to so many people’s faithfulness and commitment to God,” Matthews said. “The original process was we built everything almost free without borrowing a dime but then after seven years we decided to finance.”
For the last eight years, construction crews have been making steady progress on the place of worship, building when they can and stopping to fundraise if necessary.
When the project first started in 2011 Matthews and his congregation relied on loans from good samaritans to fund the project. Kingdom Vision’s congregation gave monthly alongside the church’s big giving seasons where they would donate “sacrificially’’ three times a year.
“When we had the money, we paid. When we did not have the money, we fundraised,” Matthews said.
In the last year, Matthews and Campus Pastor J’Marcus Brooks made the executive decision to finance the remainder of the project and progress on the church has since skyrocketed.
The first phase of the new “life empowerment center” will be complete in the next two to three months after years of steady construction. Kingdom Vision’s congregation will finally step into the walls of their new religious sanctuary with a new children’s space and an area for worship.
“For me, to be a part of this, I am just honored and thankful to do it in hard times. It is an honor to serve my church and its people,” Brooks said.
The new “life empowerment center” is expected to be complete within the next year and will house several classrooms, office spaces, event space for weddings, funerals and concerts, a children’s area and a worship space that can seat over 600 people.
“We want it to be a place where our community can come. It will still be a church but we want to make it more available to everyone,” Brooks said.
Matthews — now lead pastor in Houston, Texas, at The Harvest — has watched the church God called him to build from a distance with a sense of pride and elatement for his congregation. Although he is in Houston for a good while, Matthews and his wife intend on returning home regularly to visit and establish a strong connection between Kingdom Vision and The Harvest.
“The churches are still connected so whatever is being preached in Houston is also being preached in Columbus,” Matthews said.
Brooks will remain in Columbus as the campus pastor where he will act as a representative of outreach and evangelism for the church’s community.
“Our desire in this project is to meet people and to touch the lives of our congregation,” Brooks said.
After 20 plus long years of working toward his dream, Matthews has finally built a church in the exact place he promised his mother he would so many years ago.
You can help your community
Quality, in-depth journalism is essential to a healthy community. The Dispatch brings you the most complete reporting and insightful commentary in the Golden Triangle, but we need your help to continue our efforts. Please consider subscribing to our website for only $2.30 per week to help support local journalism and our community.