About Matthew L. Watley


About Matthew L. Watley Us


Rev. Matthew Lawrence Watley is the Senior Pastor of Kingdom Fellowship AME Church in Silver Spring, Maryland, and formerly was the Executive Minister of Reid Temple AME Church North and D.C. Locations. A third-generation preacher, businessman, lecturer and author, he is nationally and globally recognized as an innovative thinker who constantly explores new ways to reach the unsaved by using spiritual, political, and economic empowerment techniques. Rev. Watley has proven he has the strategic vision necessary to guide an organization through continual change.

The motto of the 5,000-church membership is, “We are making kingdom disciples to make a kingdom difference.” Kingdom Fellowship is the 4th largest Church within the AME denomination. Currently, there are three worship services each Sunday. Kingdom Fellowship owns and operates a 125,000 square-foot tower that leases to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration along with other businesses, including insurance, legal and technological companies. The Church has also acquired a twelve-acre campus and is in the process of building a new worship center along with an adjacent 100,000 square-foot office building that is being repurposed for commercial and community use. In addition to the thousands that attend worship in-person, thousands more stream the worship services on-line each week.

Pastor Watley was invited by the Ford Foundation to participate on a special commission charged with evaluating Non-Governmental Organizations in the Republic of South Africa. In 2009, IMPACT, a professional organization committed to political and civic engagement, honored him as IMPACT Person of the Year. Rev. Watley has addressed and lectured to a host of groups. He has been invited by Ch2Mhill, Prudential, Industrial Bank, American Institute of CPAs, National Association of Black Accountants, U.S. Department of Transportation, Conference of Minority Transportation Officials, National Society of Black Engineers, and Blacks in Government to name a few. Pastor Watley has also lectured at both public and private institutions, including Georgetown University, Howard University, Wiley College, Paul Quinn College, Alabama State University, Wilberforce University and Wesley Theological Seminary.

An accomplished writer, Rev. Watley joined forces with his father, Rev. Dr. William D. Watley, to co-author Poems of a Son, Prayers of a Father. He also contributed to other publications, including James Washington’s Conversations with God; Beyond the Frontier by E. Ethelbert Miller and Doing Church by William Watley. Rev. Watley is the author of a new book Ignite — 50 days of prayer that will change your life.

Rev. Watley holds a B.A. in Political Science and a Masters of Divinity from Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he served on the university’s Board of Trustees as a graduate student. He also has an Executive Masters in Leadership from Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business. In the summer of 2015, he received a Master of Arts in Education and Human Development from The George Washington University. Rev. Watley is presently pursuing a doctorate in Ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA.

Married to the former Shawna Francis, Senior Policy Advisor with Holland & Knight LLP, they are the proud parents of a beautiful daughter, Alexandra Elisabeth.

Along his journey, Rev. Watley has received numerous ecclesiastical, academic, civic and literary awards. Concerning these and other accomplishments, he submits that the challenge of servant-leadership is not to win acclaim or to amass honor, “but to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God.” Micah 6:8