Greetings! My name is Matt Pinckard and I have been the Associate Pastor of Burlington Baptist since February 2019. Below I share some of the story of how I came to know God and a little more about who I am as a person.

Growing up I was raised in a Christian household- my father was a pastor and professor, and both of my parents went to seminary. I was born in the New Orleans area and raised there most of my life with the exception of a few other pit stops, including 4 years living in Southeast China where my parents served as missionaries with the International Mission Board.  When Hurricane Katrina wrecked my city of New Orleans in August 2005 my whole life was changed. 

Though I had grown up believing the truths of Christianity with my head (Jesus being fully God and fully man, the authority of the Bible, the reality of the perfect life, death, and physical resurrection of Christ Jesus, etc.), but I hadn't been living the truths of the gospel in my life. I put on a show and went to Youth Group and even went on various mission/choir trips around the world to tell others about Jesus. In the world's eyes, I was a "good person." 

But in secret I was enslaved to all kinds of sin and gave no regard for obeying God's Word in my daily life.  I was content to follow a bunch of man-made rules that made me feel like I was a better person than a lot of people.  In my mind I would've said "Sure Jesus has saved me, but really I'm doing enough good things that I can earn my way to Heaven."  How wrong I was!

After Hurricane Katrina I begin to strongly question the goodness of God. I realized that I needed to decide for myself (and not let my parents decide for me) whether or not I truly believed that Christianity was true. I went on a quest reading literature to determine whether or not the resurrection of Jesus was true, and whether faith was true, and how science played a role in all of this.  As I studied I became convinced in the truthfulness of Jesus' claims to divinity.  But there was still a head/heart disconnect.

During Mardi Gras of my Senior Year of High School I got involved in a car accident that totaled my car and nearly injured my passenger friends. God used some of the choices I made that day to deeply convict me of my sin. I felt the Holy Spirit piercing me to the heart and tearing at my soul, and I was compelled to repent of my sins and believe in the gospel.  I finally realized that I wasn't a child of God if there was no evidence of the Holy Spirit producing "Christian fruit" in my life. John 3:36 is the kind of verse that struck me: "Whoever believes in the Son (Jesus) has life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but God's wrath remains on them."

From that moment God has carried me on a path of discipleship that has led me to different schools, different cities, different churches, and even different parts of the world.  I am still a broken instrument being restored and conformed more to the likeness of Jesus every day, and it amazes me that God has chosen His church as Plan A and not a Plan B to advance the gospel of Jesus in our dark world. 

Somehow in God's kindness I married the greatest woman in the universe, Amanda, in November 2012. God has blessed us with so many gifts including our two kids, Ivy and Asher (they're so cool). Now that God has us in Burlington, Iowa we are so excited to put out hands "on the gospel plow" and share the good news of Jesus all around us! Let us get to know and serve you!

As far as hobbies go, I'm sort of all over the map. I am particularly fond of Star Wars, board and card games. I love most sports (go New Orleans Saints, Pelicans, and Vols of Tennessee!), I enjoy the great outdoors and exercising. I love many kinds of movies and books. Video games are good in the right measure.  There's a lot of great food out there, and I can wash most of it down with a good ol' Southern style Sweet Tea.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about Christianity or our church! You can reach me at iathewelcomemat@gmail.com