Rev. Matthew Best Installed as Pastor of Christ Lutheran Church
Updated October 2, 2023
Yesterday, the Rev. Matthew Best was officially installed as pastor of Christ Lutheran Church in Harrisburg. In addition to his role as head of congregational life, he will also serve as executive director of Christ Lutheran Health Ministries, which serves hundreds from the Allison Hill community and beyond each week.
"We are delighted to have called Pastor Matthew to our church community. With his business and non-profit experience, we knew that our Health Ministries would continue to grow to serve our Alison Hill neighbors and beyond,” said Kate Cartmell, president of the Christ Lutheran Church Council. “He also brings preaching and pastoral skills that inspire and expand each of us to live in faith. We welcome and hold Pastor Matthew as he joins Christ Lutheran's journey."
Christ Lutheran Church traces its roots back to the late 1800s and continues to be a place of healing and help in the community today. While still a place of worship, it is also home to the Holy Spirit Hospital Medical Outreach Clinic, which offers free care to those who would otherwise not be able to afford it. Dental care is also offered three times a month by a team of volunteer dentists and support staff.
“My priority is to build new and strengthen existing relationships as I work to understand the full impact of the ministries Christ Lutheran offers,” explained the Rev. Matthew Best. “The goal is to help guide us to a future where we can offer healing to all who come to us in need of God’s love. There are many opportunities that I’m truly excited about and look forward to seeing how they blossom.”
The Rev. Best has an extensive background in politics, in both governmental service and political campaigns. After graduating from Grove City College with honors in Political Science, the Rev. Best worked for a member of Congress, a lobbyist on Capitol Hill, a Pennsylvania State Representative and founded and led his own government relations firm. He spent time overseas in Finland researching the decline of the Lutheran Church and, more locally, served as operations manager for Project SHARE in Carlisle.
After graduating from Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg with a Master of Divinity degree, the Rev. Best was ordained in June 2017 and started his first call at St. Stephen Lutheran Church in New Kingstown, Pa. On Sunday, May 21, 2023 the congregation of Christ Lutheran Church extended a Call to Rev. Best. His first official service at Christ Lutheran Church was Sunday, July 16, after which members hosted a welcoming reception.
He serves as chair of the Lower Susquehanna Synod Mission Committee and leads the Synod Affordable Housing Task Force. The Rev. Best also serves on the Advisory Board for the Lutheran Journal of Ethics, is part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Homelessness Network and is on the leadership team for ELCA Vital and Vulnerable Congregations. He represents the Lower Susquehanna Synod for the Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania, where he is the Policy Council Chair and serves on the board of the Tree 4 Hope Academy, a girls’ school in Guatemala. The Rev. Best also serves on the advisory board of Community Partners for Change and is a co-founder of the Memorial Blanket Project.
In his personal time, the Rev. Best enjoys running, reading, and writing in his blog. He resides in Carlisle with his wife, four children and rescue dog.
“I’m overjoyed to serve at Christ Lutheran Church because it is a place of healing,” said the Rev. Best. “There is plenty of healing that needs to happen in our community, in our lives and in this place.”
Christ Lutheran Church recently experienced a major plumbing issue, a costly and unexpected expense. Further repair is still needed. If you can spare any amount to help Christ Lutheran Church continue its critical, life-sustaining and healing ministry, please donate here: www.christharrisburg.org/donate.