God has joined Matt and Kari to live out his redemptive plan after both losing their first spouses in 2015. Both had married their first love at 19 years old and spent over two decades serving as pastors in their local churches.
But 2015 brought tragic change for both Matt and Kari. Matt, a widower with two daughters, lost his wife to breast cancer. Kari, a widow with five boys, lost her husband to a sudden heart attack. Both Matt and Kari clung to their faith as they walked through grief.
Matt and Kari met over a cup of coffee in 2016 and connected immediately. Their paths were strikingly similar, and their healing journey bonded them together. They got married in 2017 with their combined seven children at their side.
Matt now serves as the Worship Pastor at Peoples Church in Fresno, California, though he has also served in other churches across the country over the past three decades. In 2018, he released a CD titled, “Art of Life” to support Art of Life Cancer Foundation, where he serves on the board of directors (artoflifecancer.org). This CD features a collaboration of worship leaders and recording artists including Blanca, Jared Anderson and Khristian Dentley (Take 6). In 2019, Matt and Kari have released two songs with a theme of hope and God’s faithfulness.
Their story of loss and restoration has been covered by local television and magazines. They also appeared as guests for podcasts, speaking about marriage and leading through loss and blending families.