Pastor William Lawrence Mathis, B.A., Morehouse College, 1985, J.D., Boston College, 1989, M. Div., Harvard University, 2002. A native of Albany, GA, Pastor Mathis, after graduating from Morehouse with a degree in Political Science and Accounting, served on the Staff of the Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control for the U. S. House of Representatives in Washington, DC. Afterwards, he continued his interest in Law School, where he emerged as the National Chairman of the Black Law Students Association, in the wake of increasing minority presence in the profession. He served first as a Judicial Law Clerk and then as Assistant State’s Attorney for Baltimore City. While in these positions, he was involved in ameliorating the plight of juvenile delinquents and developing preventive programs and assistance for supporting environments. During this time, he was called to the ministry and began ministering through public policy issues. Finally, prior to his entry to Harvard, he served as Consultant, Chaplain, and Teacher at The Baraka School, a school for inner city male youth based in Kenya, East Africa. While a student at Harvard, Pastor Mathis served as a Consultant to the Aspen Institute Roundtable on Comprehensive Community Initiatives’ Race Project. This project addressed structural racism and how it affects the disparate outcomes within minority communities. Pastor Mathis specifically focused on the disparate outcomes within the area of Criminal Justice/Neighborhood Safety. All of these experiences were instrumental in his overall study plan at Harvard that of Pastoral Ministry and Community Building with an emphasis in addressing public policy issues facing urban environments. Pastor Mathis’ study plan resulted in the publication of his thesis, Springs of Life-Giving Water: African American Ministries’ Role in the Public Square. Since Pastor Mathis’ departure from Harvard he has served as the Co-Chair of the Harvard Divinity School Black Alumni Network and recently as a member of the Dean’s Council.
Pastor Mathis served as an Associate Minister at the New Psalmist Baptist Church, under the leadership of Bishop Walter Scott Thomas, where he was licensed in 1994 and ordained in 2003. While serving on the ministerial staff at New Psalmist he has served as the Prayer and Praise Service Preacher and Team Captain, a Bible Study and Sunday School Instructor, Discipleship Leader, a member of the Young Adult Steering Committee and several task forces to develop and implement community outreach ministries. Upon relocation to the Boston area for school, he served on the ministerial staff of the Mt. Moriah Baptist Church of Brockton, MA, under Rev. Eugene Neville, where upon graduation he assumed the position of the Assistant to the Pastor and served in that capacity for the purposes of the development of infrastructure, organization and efficiency for the ministry as well as its non-profit entities. Also, as Assistant to the Pastor, Pastor Mathis lead the weekly Bible Study for the ministry as well as the principal Worship and Praise Leader for all of the Church’s worship experiences. Pastor Mathis served as the Pastor of the Union Temple Church, New Haven, CT, 2004-2007. While there he developed the structure for a modern, organized and effective ministry to meet people at their need.
May of 2007, Pastor Mathis joined with others to form Springs of Life-Giving Water Church, the place where God and I meet to become . . .! The Springs is a congregation that seeks to assist individuals in viewing and developing each life experience as empowering and directional for their purposed lives as well as expand their present realities to live in the promises of God. In addition, Pastor Mathis served as the Associate Protestant University Chaplain of Brown University (2007-11). While also providing oversight to all campus protestant worshipping communities, Pastor Mathis serves as the Shepherd to Imani Jubilee, Brown University's protestant worshipping community in the African American tradition and served as Interim Director of Brown's Third World Center (2010-11). Recently, Pastor Mathis served until September 2014 as Program Manager for Project Longevity, a collaborative initiative of federal, state, local, academic, and non-profit entities that seeks to reduce homicides and violence in New Haven, CT. Presently, Pastor Mathis serves as Director, Black Church Studies and Lecturer, Supervised Ministries at Yale Divinity School, providing director and oversight that assist the institution, faculty, and students in the experience, exposure, and engagement of the theological perspectives and practice of faith among Africans and people of the African Diaspora.
In line with his assignment, Pastor Mathis has also birth WLM Ministries, Inc., a non-profit devoted to providing consulting services for the development of community and faith-based initiatives with a specialty in the areas of Criminal Justice/Neighborhood Safety and Youth Empowerment. Also in his community commitment, Pastor Mathis along with other local Pastors helped to develop New Haven 828, an organization devoted to bring Pastors and Para-Church Leaders together to form collaborative Initiatives to address the social ills of our community. Pastor Mathis also serves as a Commissioner for the World Baptist Alliance's Commission on Justice and Freedom, a member of the Advisory Board of the New Haven Juvenile Review Board, and the immediate past Chairperson for the City of New Haven’s Commission on Substance Abuse Policy and Prevention.