Victor M. Matthews, S.T.D. Legacy Professor
Dr. Victor M. Matthews is the former Professor of Systematic Theology at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, MI, where he ministered to both the hearts and minds of students for more than five decades. Dr. Matthews received a Diploma in Bible from both the Simpson Bible Institute and Grand Rapids Baptist Theological Seminary. He earned an A.B. from Calvin College, a B.D. from Grand Rapids Baptist Theological Seminary, a Th.M. from Calvin Theological Seminary, and a S.T.D. from Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary.
Beginning as a faculty instructor shortly after receiving his second Diploma in Bible, Dr. Victor Matthews was soon one of the most beloved professors at Grand Rapids Baptist College and Grand Rapids Theological Seminary (formerly Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary). From 1949–1989, he taught full-time at the school but remained active at the seminary as Professor Emeritus until his passing in 2008. He taught courses in apologetics, biblical studies, and theology while personally mentoring hundreds of future pastors and church leaders. Furthermore, he volunteered thousands of hours teaching weekly night Bible classes to the general public in addition to training Christian businessmen and community leaders. In 1970, he launched a Thursday Evening Bible Class (TEBC) that today remains an active ministry in Western Michigan. Internationally, he spent time studying in Israel and taught courses in Liberia, West Africa.
Beyond his teaching gifts, Dr. Matthews was a quintessential pastor. Born and raised in Washington, he was known for his ability to listen and speak God’s truth and love into almost any situation. An ordained Baptist preacher, he served for seven years in his first pastorate in Seattle, Washington, before moving to Grand Rapids. Upon arriving in Michigan, Dr. Matthews became a pulpit supply pastor in addition to serving four Baptist congregations for extended periods. He was a member of several organizations including the Evangelical Theological Society (an active member for 53 years), the American Statistical Association, and the Galilean Baptist Mission for which he served as a Board Member and Secretary of the Board. He was also a regular speaker at various conferences, retreats, and camps throughout the Midwest and was nationally recognized as a leading expert on spiritual warfare due in part to the seminars he led and the writings he penned including his famous “Warfare Prayer.” Cornerstone University recognized Dr. Matthew’s numerous contributions by naming its auditorium in his honor along with designating its highest athletic scholarship after Victor and his wife Bonnie.
Dr. Matthews wrote various church and ministry publications throughout his career including booklets on “Biblical Inspiration,” “Textual Inerrancy,” and “Theological Integrity.” Among the books he penned are Confessions to a Counselor, Personal Success, Plant My Feet on Higher Ground, Growth in Grace, and Neo-Evangelicalism.