SENIOR PASTOR AND FOUNDER
BISHOP WILLIE J. MATHENEY
Pastor W. J. Matheney was born in Crossett, Arkansas, the seventh child of Mr. Willie and Jewel Matheney. He was raised in the Church, and was anointed by Church of God in Christ founder Bishop C. H. Mason. In 1962, he graduated from T. W. Daniels High School in Crossett, Arkansas.
After graduating from high school Pastor Matheney initially enrolled in college, before entering into military service. He and Mother Jean Matheney, high school sweethearts, were married in 1967 and celebrated the birth of their only child, Erik, one year later. After completing his tour of duty in Vietnam, Pastor Matheney re-entered college, ultimately receiving his B.S. Degree in Biology from Austin, Peay State University, Clarksville, Tennessee in 1971. One year later, accepted a position to join the faculty at Gibbs High School in St. Petersburg and he and his family migrated to the Tampa Bay area.
After several years of sporadic church attendance, the Lord touched Pastor Matheney in 1977 and began drawing him back through the late pastor, Elder Joseph Anderson. In 1978 he surrendered to the call of the Lord. In 1979, he responded to the call to serve the Lord in ministry. In 1980 he was licensed as a Minister by Pastor Anderson and was ordained as an Elder in the church in 1983 by the late Bishop T.H. Thompson. In 1987, Pastor and Mother Matheney founded Eastlake COGIC in Tarpon Springs, Florida.
In addition to his college degree, Pastor Matheney received his Master of Education Degree from Stetson University, Deland, Florida in 1988 and a Doctorate in Religious Education from Christ the King Theological Seminary in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Pastor Matheney spent close to 30 years working as a teacher, coach and Assistant Principal in the Pinellas County School System. He retired from the school system in 2003 , devoting himself to full-time ministry.
Pastor Matheney remains married to the lovely Jean Matheney. They have been blessed to add to their family a daughter-in-law, Suchita and three precious grandchildren Ellis, Maya and Evan. God has blessed Pastor and Mother Matheney, please pray for them.