St. Matthew's, Wilmington NC, is searching for a new full-time Director of Youth & Family Ministry (DYFM). The salary, which will take into consideration work experience, includes health and retirement benefits. Annual salary increases, mileage reimbursement, and a continuing education allowance will be included in the package. Our previous director, a laywoman with youth ministry certification, served almost twenty years and retired in June 2020. Due to uncertainty about whether to seek an Associate Pastor or another lay parish worker, we focused on denominational affiliation issues during the lengthy Covid slowdown of parish fellowship activities. We plan to have the DYFM position filled by August 2022.

Candidates will be laypersons and not listed on any denominational roster. The health and retirement benefits offered will not be part of a denominational plan.

In January 2020, the parish voted by more than 80% to express its intent to terminate its relationship with the ELCA. Due to Covid, a second vote to terminate was delayed until September 2021, at which time more than 92% voted to terminate the relationship with the ELCA and by 52% to affiliate with the LCMS. On May 3, 2022, St. Matthew's received a letter from the Vice President of the North Carolina Synod of the ELCA denying the request to terminate membership in the ELCA. As a former congregation of the Lutheran Church in America (LCA), St. Matthew's had the further constitutional requirement to have synod approval to terminate its membership and was denied without rationale for the decision. The congregation is quite displeased by this turn of events but is otherwise deeply energized by its future and unimpeded in its mission and ministry by this recent event.

St. Matthew's is an evangelical catholic parish deeply committed to biblical marriage, the value of life from womb to tomb, and to the traditional worship and ethics of the Great Tradition. We are conservative but not rigid and seek a like-minded candidate with high energy and enthusiasm for working with youth from pre-K through college and their families.

Candidates will be committed to Lutheran theology in faith and life, have a four-year degree preferably from a Christian college or university, and interested in staying in place in order to grow a vibrant youth and family ministry. Candidates will likely have experience with Lutheran summer camp programs and may recently have served on staff at a conservative summer camp program. Typically, the Director and the Senior Pastor attend confirmation camp with middle school youth each summer. The Director and, at least, three adult chaperones take high school youth on a weeklong servant mission or a large youth gathering in the summers. This year, eight youth and five adults are attending the LCMS gathering.

St. Matthew's has an excellent music program, a well-educated congregation, is easy to assimilate into, and has a large activity center with full gym, youth room, and commercial kitchen. With the Senior Pastor and the Administrative Assistant, the Director of Youth & Family Ministry will be the third full-time employee. The Director of Music and Adult Choir Director are both c. half-time positions. The Visitation Pastor, Bookkeeper, and Sexton all serve c. 15 hours per week. One member serves very part-time as Adult Bell Choir and Children's Choir Director. Two members share the position of Nursery Supervisor, rotating weekly, and serving four hours on Sunday mornings.

St. Matthew's is located directly across from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, the second most difficult UNC campus for admission after Chapel Hill. The congregation hosts a Christian Montessori pre-school run by a member of the parish for more than 35 years; most of the client families are non-members. Wilmington has four public high schools, two early college high schools, a community college with two campuses, and several parochial and private schools. St. Matthew's also draws families from both the much larger Brunswick County across the Cape Fear River from downtown and also from several communities in Pender County north of town. A few families commute 45 minutes to worship because of the excellence of St. Matthew's life together. Five retired Lutheran pastors are members of the parish, four of which assist with services as requested.

Wilmington is a rapidly growing metropolitan area located along the Atlantic coast, a popular vacation destination with attractive beaches, mostly mild winters, occasional hurricanes, and increasingly a popular destination for younger retirees mostly from the northeastern states. The large USMC base, Camp Lejeune, is about one hour north of Wilmington on US 17. The very large Army base, Fort Bragg, is about one and one-half hours west. Raleigh is about two hours up Interstate 40 from Wilmington. Charlotte is approximately four hours west on US 74. Myrtle Beach SC is about one hour south on US 17.

Pastor Samuel Zumwalt has been ordained 41 years and has served St. Matthew's for 18 years. Laura, a non-practicing attorney, and he have been married 20 years, and they have a soon-to-be, 15-year-old daughter, Clare, who will enter early college high school in the fall. To contact Pastor Zumwalt, the Head of Staff, with questions or for a copy of the job description, please email: