While Christ is the Founding Pastor of every true local church, Matt was privileged to be part of the beginnings of Sovereign Grace Chapel as an under-shepherd in the summer of 2006. Prior to planting Sovereign Grace Chapel, Matt was raised in a wonderful Christian home by Jerrie Mager and the late Thomas Mager (who graduated to glory in August 2016) on the Westside of Youngstown.

He began following Jesus in his early teen years. He graduated from Youngstown Chaney in 1995 and went on to study nursing at Youngtown State University. After graduating from YSU with a BSN, he worked for two years as a nurse saving money in hopes of attending The Master’s Seminary in Los Angeles. In 2002, he packed his bags and headed west to The Master’s Seminary. He gained more than a tremendous theology education and equipping for the pastoral ministry (M. Div) in Los Angeles when he met his future bride, Bernie. They married in 2004. In 2006, upon graduation they came to Youngstown to plant a church. In God’s mercy, He was pleased to raise up Sovereign Grace Chapel.

Matt and Bernie currently have three children: Gracey, Moriah, and Sam but are hoping to add more to their quiver. They are licensed foster/adoptive parents with Mahoning County. Matt enjoys reading and working out in his spare time. Oddly enough, often at the same time. But most of all, he enjoys spending time with his wife and children.