HOWARD LEE MATTHEWS was probably called to the pastorate of the Green River Church in the month of July, 1950. It became his first Church to serve in this capacity. He was born in Ohio County, Kentucky, on January 14, 1931, near Fordsville. He is the son of the late Ira Matthews (b. January 5, 1902 - d. August 7, 1983) and Mary (Walker) Matthews (b. October 18, 1901 - d. August 22, 1983). His father was born at the Falls of Rough, Breckinridge County, Kentucky, and died at Fordsville, Ohio County, Kentucky. His mother was born at Pellville, Hancock County, Kentucky, and died only fifteen days after her husband, at Brook's Station, Bullitt County, Kentucky. Both of them are buried in the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Cemetery in northeastern Ohio County, near Fordsville, where they held membership for years and where they served the Lord. Mrs. Matthews was a prominent teacher of children in Sunday School for years, while Brother Matthews served as a Deacon and Song Leader. They became the parents of five children - two sons and three daughters. Both sons became Baptist Ministers. Harold Matthews has been a missionary of the Southern Baptist Convention in the Philippines since 1957. Brother Howard Matthews was born on the family farm and attended the Shreve one room country school for five years, finished Hartford Junior High School and graduated from Hartford High School, Class of 1948, being the Valedictorian of the class. He received the A. B. Degree (Bachelor of Arts) from Western State University, Bowling Green. He secured the Bachelor of Divinity (B. D.) Degree from the Southern Baptist Seminary, Louisville, in 1956; and, the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) Degree from the same school, in 1973. While attending college he served these Green River Churches: (1950-1952), Pleasant Grove (1951`-1952) and Mt. Zion (1951-1952) Churches. He had attended the Pleasant Grove Church as a child, and was converted at Hartford Baptist Church under the preaching of a Brother Thatcher and was baptized by Pastor John A. Brown. He was licensed to preach by the First Baptist Church of Bowling Green, in 1950; and was ordained by the Hartford Baptist Church, in 1951.
In addition to the Churches already mentioned, Brother Matthews has served the following additional ones: Zion, Ohio County (1952-1956); Mt. Zion, Hardin County (1957-1961); Buffalo, LaRue County (1961-1967; Whitesville, Daviess County (1967-1970); Utica, Daviess County (1970-1979); and Northeast Park, Evansville, Indiana, (1979 - ). In 1956-1957 he served as Moderator of the Ohio County Association. In 1959-1967 he served as the Moderator, and on the Church Training, Search and Budget Committees. While in the Daviess-McLean Association he served as the Moderator and on the Search and Church Training Committees. He also served on the Baptist State Board of Missions for two terms, and on the Credentials and the Historical Committees. He has preached the Annual Sermon before all the Associations where he has served.
He was married to Miss Tholma [sic] Joan Carr (b. January 30, 1934), who was born in Detroit, Michigan, and is the daughter of the late Luther Hamilton Carr (d. in 1982) and Myrtle Edith (Drew) Carr (d. in 1971.) Her parents moved to Winslow, Indiana, in 1935, and to Hartford, Kentucky, in 1945. The Matthews married in early 1954, and have five children, as follows: Daniel Lee Matthews (b. February 22, 1955); Betty Jane Matthews (b. July 24, 1956); Luther Kevin Matthews (b. October 8, 1960); Robert Earl Matthews (October 14, 1963); and, Andrew Lynn Matthews (b. July 21, 1969). All are now (1987) married, and there are seven grandchildren. Brother Matthews served the Church through February, 1952, when he resigned to accept the care of the Zion Church in Ohio County. During his pastorate the basement Sunday School rooms were completed and furnished; the Church began having a regular Cemetery Committee to care for its cemetery; and, the Church began to use Mr. John Martin's bus to haul people to and from Church at a cost of $5.00 per week at first and $10.00 per week later. It was also during his pastorate that Mrs. Minnie Keown began her long tenure as Church Treasurer.
A Sesquicentennial History of the Green River Missionary Baptist Church 1836 - 1986, Written and Compiled by Wendell Holmes Rone, Sr., For the One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the Founding of the Church, 1987.